(aka "Trauma" or "Aura's Enigma")

 

directed by Dario Argento
USA 1993

 

The name Dario Argento needs no introduction. He is the maestro of Giallo, the Italian equivalent of pulp, just added more blood and sex. During the seventies, films like “Suspiria” and “Profondo Rosso” placed him as one of the most inventive and best Italian directors, but as Mario Bava, reduced budgets and bad scripts made its mark on his films.

After a brief renaissance with “Opera”, Argento collaborated with George Romero once again on the Poe homage “Two Evil Eyes”, and was then offered to make a film in the US and thereby making his breakthrough in the US. “Trauma” was that film.

Argento prepared a giallo script with his collaborator Franco Ferrini, dealing with a young girl, who escapes an asylum after having witnessed her parents being beheaded. But the story was too incoherent for an American audience, so it was rewritten into a more typical Hollywood investigative murder story by horror writer T.E.D. Klein.

The end result only resembles Argento and giallo. While there are some true brilliant touches by Argento, the rewritten script never allows him to be himself. Where just about any Argento and Giallo fan knows what “The Black Glove” represents, this obvious was too a confusing element for Klein, so now its just simple POV which makes little sense. A deeply flawed film, it failed at the box office, and Argento was on the first plane back to Italy, where despite some promise with “Non ho sonno”, he never regained his reputation. “Trauma” became Argento’s swansong.

It may be diluted Argento, it may lack the true black glove, the incoherence of Giallo, the full display of the macabre, but despite its flaws, “Trauma” is not a bad film. Yet one cannot help thinking about what this film could have been, had it been made in Italy, where Argento at that time enjoyed quiet a lot of freedom.
 

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 12, 1993 (Italy)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Optimum - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the Review!

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Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:42:06 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.29 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

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English
Subtitles No subtitles
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:59 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: July 25, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments A discount DVD5 release from Optimum, and as it almost always is the case, it looks incredible. A new restored anamorphic transfer, the image is the best I've seen of this film to date. The old Tartan image was very disappointing and non-anamorphic, the new Cecchi-Gori image was great and anamorphic, but Optimum just is better. Colours are deep and saturated, light is corrected (see Image #3), shadows and blacks are superb. There are minute halos, but that is about it. It is simply amazing, that this image only is a DVD5. Impressive.

The film has the original and correct English language 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo track. The film was recorded in English, and later dubbed into Italian.

 - Henrik Sylow

 

 



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Recommended Books on Italian and Giallo Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

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Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

 

 


 




 

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