Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Shadow" or "Sotto gli occhi dell'assassino" or "Tenebre" or "Under the Eyes of the Assassin" or "Unsane" )

directed by Dario Argento
Italy 1982

A hybrid horror, both thriller and slasher, not to mention chopper and shocker, this confirms what Suspiria and Inferno led one to suspect. When it comes to plotting, Argento is one hell of a basket weaver: with holes in his story big enough to sink credibility, he cheats and double-crosses like mad to conceal the killer's identity. Successful crime writer (Franciosa) arrives in Rome to promote his new book 'Tenebrae', an event which triggers off a trail of bloody murders in the manner described in his book. By the end, the entire cast save one has undergone savage cutting, something which would have benefited the film itself, which is unpleasant even by contemporary horror standards. It does confirm Argento's dedication to the technicalities of constructing images - Grand Guignol for L'Uomo Vogue, perhaps - but you'll still end up feeling you've left some vital digestive organs back in the seat.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 22nd, 1982 - Italy

Reviews        More Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sazuma - Region 0 - NTSC vs. 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL vs. A-Film - Region 2 - PAL vs. Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL

Thanks to Ole of DVDBasen, Eric Cotenas and Jayson Kennedy for the Screen Captures 

1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP LEFT

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP MIDDLE

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - TOP RIGHT

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM LEFT

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM MIDDLE

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM RIGHT

DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay (16X9)

Region 1 - NTSC

Anchor Bay

Region 0  - NTSC

Sazuma (Austria)
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

OOP (out-of-print)

01 Distribution

Region 2 - PAL

A-Film
Region 2 - PAL

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

The new 16X9 Anchor Bay is also available in the Dario Argento Box Set with Tenebre / Phenomena / Trauma / The Card Player and Do You Like Hitchcock?

                

Runtime 1:40:24 1:40:24 1:36:41  1:36:25 (4% PAL speedup) 1:36:48 (4% PAL speedup) 1:36:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.80 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.91:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.91:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.94
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.86:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.84:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
Bitrate:

Anchor Bay 16X9

 

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

Sazuma

 

Bitrate:

Sazuma

 

Bitrate:

Sazuma

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English Dolby Digital (5.1) English Dolby (2.0) or German Dolby (2.0).

Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles None None English, Danish, Dutch, Finish, German, Norwegian, Swedish and none. None Dutch, none English (for Italian audio), English (for English audio), none
Features Release Information:
Studio:
 Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1



Edition Details:

• Commentary by director Dario Argento, Composer Claudio Simonetti and Jounalist Loris Curci (in English)
• Featurette: Voice of the Unsane (17:12)
• Two behind-the-scenes segments Special Camera (4:15), Sound Effects (2:04)

• Widescreen non-anamorphic Theatrical trailer (3:13)
• Alternate End Credits Music


DVD Release Date: May 27th, 2008
Keepcase
Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.91:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Dario Argento, Composer Claudio Simonetti and Jounalist Loris Curci (in English)
• Widescreen non-anamorphic Theatrical trailer (3:13)
• Two behind-the-scenes segments Special Camera (4:15), Sound Effects (2:04)
• Alternate End Credits Music

DVD Release Date: March 16, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Sazuma Productions (Austria)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.91:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Dario Argento (Munich 1991) (15:30).
• 3 Deleted Scenes WS - Nonanamorphic 1.75:1(0:28, 0:13, 0:23)
• Trailer WS: Nonanamorphic 1.75:1 (3:04)
• Biographies and filmographies of cast and director.

DVD Release Date: May 31st, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 19

Release Information:
Studio: 01 Distribution

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio: A-Film

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.86:1

Edition Details:
• Dario Argento Filmography
• Trailers for EVIL, RE-ANIMATOR, and THE EVIL DEAD

 

DVD Release Date:
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.84:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Alan Jones and Kim Newman
• Audio Commentary by Thomas Rostock
• Screaming Queen! Daria Nicolodi remembers TENEBRAE (16:9; 16:05)
• The Unsane World of TENEBRAE: Interview with Dario Argento (16:9; 15:13)
• A Composition for Carnage: Interview with Claudio Simonetti (16:9; 10:05)
• Goblin: TENEBRAE and PHENOMENA live from the Glasgow Arches (16:9; 16:37)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:13)

DVD Release Date: 27 June 2011

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 2- PAL DVD - June 2011: Mastered in high definition (a Blu-ray is also available HERE), Arrow Video's transfer of TENEBRAE is brighter than the previous DVD editions (possibly too bright, see cap 2 in which detail in the background sand is lacking compared to the earlier, darker releases). I did not notice any edge enhancement. Shot with 125- and 250-speed films rated at 300, Argento's and Tovoli's photography has dated (thanks in part to color palette of the wardrobe and set decoration - and the EUR locations - which lean towards whites and blues, with only occasional and striking reds), especially compared Tovoli's work on SUSPIRIA which (combined with the art direction and sets) so the slightest fading and print wear is just as detrimental to one's perception of the film's look as edge enhancement and the over-application of noise reduction with little in the way of strong colors and shadows to make such faults less apparent. I have not seen the new French BluRay transfer, but Arrow's transfer is the best of the editions I've seen (both Anchor Bay editions, the Dutch A-Film edition, and the utterly worthless 01 Distribution disc). The Italian mono and English stereo tracks are in good shape. The stereo remixing of the English track mainly benefits the film's pulsing score (I'm not sure how this compares to the 2.0 surround mix on the Anchor Bay editions), although the Italian mono is just as impressive. Arrow's disc offers the first opportunity to watch the film in Italian with English subtitles (the Italian R2 Medusa DVD's English subtitles were from the English dubbing script). The English subtitles include some of the killer's mutterings (which were hard to make out in the English version). English subtitles are are also included for the English track.

The first commentary track features critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman. As with their Blue Underground BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE commentary, this is an informal but informative track. They mention that Christopher Walken was Argento's first choice for the role and that Nicolai was intended to play the girl on the beach. Besides some familiar information (Theresa Russell dubbing Daria Nicolodi, charges of sexism and misogyny, and Goblin's contractual reasons for their screen credit), they discuss the EUR setting and how it lends itself to Argento's concept of a futuristic Rome, transexual Eva Robbins' recent notoriety, and some lesser-discussed Argento crew regulars like production designer Gisueppe Bassan (whose son designed Arento's OPERA and GIALLO) and the Corridori brothers. Although seasoned viewers Jones and Newman frequently get ahead of the film in their discussion of sequences, the commentary does seem to drift out of sync with the onscreen action late in the film. Rostock discusses the film's symbolic use of water, contrasts the film's to sets of murders, and makes a compelling case for Argento's use of the doubling motif (more sophisticated here than in DEEP RED). He also discusses cinematographer Tovoli's use of then high-speed film stocks (ASA 125 and 250, both rated at 300), and the film's pioneeering use of the Steadicam and Louma crane in Italian film (Jones cites Antonioni's Tovoli-shot THE PASSENGER as the first to use the crane, but Rostock claims that Tovoli used a Wescam rig in the Antonioni film). There are instances where the film's audio is mixed a little too loudly into the commentary track.

In her usual charming mix of English and Italian, Daria Nicolodi mentions that she wanted to play Veronica Lario's part since it had more character than her role (similarly she prefers her ditzy journalist role in DEEP RED and her psychotic teacher in PHENOMENA). She remembers Franciosa fondly and expresses her displeasure at being dubbed by someone else for the English version. Argento relates the familiar story of how he was inspired to write TENEBRAE because of a stalker while he was developing a script in the US, and addresses the charges of misogyny and issues of censorship. Simonetti addresses the Goblin screen credit issues and the soundtrack's popularity in discos. Simonetti appears again on stage in Glasgow performing the themes from TENEBRAE and PHENOMENA (with clips from DAWN OF THE DEAD and SLEEPLESS projected behind his band). The film's theatrical trailer (in 4:3) rounds out the extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

***

ADDITION: 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL vs. A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - February 2010':  The new 01 Distribution DVD loses hands-down. Unlike the previous Medusa DVD, the 01 disc is non-anamorphic with an interlaced image sporting heavy combing throughout. The single layer disc sports the film's Italian mono dub (present on the Medusa DVD along with a 5.1 mix and the English mono dub as well as English and Italian subtitles). Note that the Medusa version may have been ported over by De Agostini for their "I Maestri della Paura" sell-through DVD series which pop up a lot on eBay's Italian site but I have no confirmation (the De Agostini sell-through disc of OPERA was not a port of the 1.85:1, Italian-only disc of OPERA but a 2.35:1 edition with Italian and English audio and subtitles in both languages). The OOP Dutch A-Film DVD features a progressive, anamorphic transfer that is cleaner and sharper than Anchor Bay's anamorphic R1 reissue (which has been rumored to be a 16:9 conversion of the 4:3 laserdisc master). Extras are limited to a filmography and unrelated trailers.

 - Eric Cotenas

***

ADDITION: Anchor Bay 16X9 - May 08': Well, aside from anamorphicity there is no other update from the previous Anchor Bay. It has the exact same extras. Even the 16X9 enhancement doesn't appear to have a demonstrative effect on image improvement, but technically, it should look superior on an advanced systems.

Still no subtitles and the same audio options.

The Argento set seems a decent deal if you don't have all of the individual titles already (or depending on which ones you have). Phenomena (also boosted to 16X9) has a more noticeable improvement and that comparison is forthcoming. Stay tuned!

NOTE: Dan says (in email): "Just read your Tenebre comparison and noticed (or at least thought I did) that the new Anchor Bay seems to be vertically stretched. The actress in the first capture has a long face in the new Anchor Bay and a more naturally proportioned one in the other two captures. Tellingly the camera lens is far more of an oval than in should be in the forth 16:9 capture. The (admittedly unreliable) IMDB has the film at 1.85:1 and stretching this to fill the 1.78:1 16:9 image would account for this distortion. While seemingly minor this is one of those things that can't help but niggle at me when watching a film. It's that slight distortion of the film's reality that ultimately proves more annoying than any loss in resolution of a non-anamorphic image (on a 16:9 display)." - Thanks Dan!

 

Robert tells us in email: "I would second Dan’s comment about vertical stretching in the 16x9 Anchor Bay TENEBRE (now available as a single disc as well as part of the Argento 5-disc set). He is absolutely on target: the initial, non-anamorphic version (from the same source as the Austrian Sazuma disc) is in the usual theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (it may even be a trifle wider: it is listed here at 1.91:1). The vertically distorted AB 16x9 version was apparently an attempt to fill modern 1.78:1 16x9 TV screens. Why it was deemed necessary when so many anamorphically enhanced DVDs retain their theatrical 1.85:1 shape is inexplicable. Moreover, Anchor Bay did it on the cheap: rather than returning to an unmatted original film element for real re-framing, they simply stretched the old video master’s image at the time they did the anamorphic enhancement. There is little difference between 1.85 and 1.78, so AB might have gotten away with it, but they carelessly over-stretched it so much that the bottom of the image is obviously cropped; ironically, the generous 1.78:1 aspect ratio would more than have accommodated all the material nearly unnoticeably if the stretching had been done judiciously.

The result is that the only available 16x9 version of TENEBRE is a failure. As Dan points out, several of the screen caps here show the extent of the distortion. An even better example occurs in the film (both releases) at 32:41, the close-up of a camera lens--an emblematic image in this particular film. In the old version, it is round, as expected; in the vertically over-stretched 16x9 version, it is absurdly oval. No DVD reviewer has preferred the 16x9 Anchor Bay version to its predecessor, and the very astute Ian Jane, writing for DVD Talk at
HERE is quite clear about the vertical stretching, saying that the transfer has “serious problems.”

One somewhat more positive thought: while both Anchor Bay editions of TENEBRE contain an Italian audio option but no subtitles, the 16x9 version, unlike its predecessor, does have English closed-captions. These could substitute for true subtitles (however poorly) when playing the Italian track. On the other hand, HDMI connections, which are preferred for HD viewing, don’t support old-style closed-captions like these.

Closed-captions aside, I would vote to replace the AB 16x9 with the original non-anamorphic AB for preferred video status in the “Report Card.”.

(Thanks to Robert E. Seletsky!) 

***

The picture quality is pretty much the same as Anchor Bay and Sazuma both took their print from the Roan Group LD. If I was forced to lean one way I think the Anchor Bay is slightly sharper as I can notice a touch of contract boosting in the Sazuma. Both have noticeable scratches.

The Austrian DVD is shorter as there are missing scenes and are treated as deleted scenes ( and shown in the Extras ) : ex. the end of the scene where Nicolodi and Franciosa enter his hotel room and a quick insert shot of a stab -under 10 seconds in total. The Anchor Bay shows the film with these scenes and adds about 4 minutes to the total time.

The Extras, I gave to Anchor Bay for the commentary, but the Sazum ahs some nice additions as well including the 15:00 minute interview with Argento. I suppose the bottom line is that you should make your won determinations. If you want the so-called "deleted scenes", if you want the Argento commentary, but basing it solely on sound and image it is a toss-up.
 

- Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC

 



( Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC -  LEFT vs. Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

 

DVD Menus
(
01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 
 

 

Arrow DVD Menus
 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM



1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


1) Anchor Bay (16X9) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Sazuma - R0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL - FOURTH

5) A-Film - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

5) Arrow - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM


Hit Counter


DVD Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay (16X9)

Region 1 - NTSC

Anchor Bay

Region 0  - NTSC

Sazuma (Austria)
Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

OOP (out-of-print)

01 Distribution

Region 2 - PAL

A-Film
Region 2 - PAL

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL


 


 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...