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(aka "Profondo Rosso" or "The Hatchet Murders" or "Deep Red: The Hatchet Murders" or "Suspiria 2" )

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy 1975

 

English jazz pianist Marcus Daly (David Hemmings, BLOW-UP) is living and teaching music in Turin. When he witnesses the brutal murder of his psychic neighbor Helga (Macha Meril, BELLE DE JOUR, UN FEMME MARIEE, and NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS), he - along with nosy reporter Gianna (Daria Nicolodi, INFERNO) - begins to investigate the murder and its ties to the murderous recollections Helga picked out from an anonymous audience member and the story of "The House of the Screaming Child." The killer always seems to be on step ahead of Marcus and those who might provide him clues end up brutally murdered and he may be the next victim. In the audio commentary on the new Arrow DVD (recorded for the Another World Entertainment release), Thomas Rostock points out that while the film seems like a stylistic quantum leap from Argento's THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and CAT O'NINE TAILS, there were were indications of some of these leanings in the lesser-seen FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET. Despite the complex camera tricks and atypical rock score from Ennio Morricone in FOUR FLIES, DEEP RED really encapsulates everything that most associate with Argento at his prime (major American exploitation distributor American International turned down the film because of the unconventional scoring). The plotting (with co-scenarist Bernardino Zapponi who scripted Fellini's SATYRICON and Tinto Brass' ALL LADIES DO IT) is unusually tight and the visual are endlessly inventive (cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller had shot Lucio Fulci's second giallo LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN and his later NEW YORK RIPPER, where he was assisted by Mario Bava's camera operator Ubaldo Terzano who also operates on this film). Franco Fraticelli's editing clicks with the music of Goblin (on their first scoring assignment for Argento, with some orchestral interludes by Giorgio Gaslini of Antonioni's LA NOTTE) while some of Giuseppe Bassan's art deco art direction is a dry run for the world he would create in Argento's SUSPIRIA. DEEP RED is also an early genre credit for Carlo Rambaldi (who also dished out the gore for Mario Bava's BAY OF BLOOD). Argento novices who may have started out on SUSPIRIA should check out DEEP RED next.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 11 June 1976 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE (DC + Export) - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Video
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:01:16 (4% PAL speedup) 2:06:32 1:40:21 (4% PAL speedup) 2:06:34.086  / 1:44:50.158
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.96 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,522,273,541 bytes

 

Director's Cut:

Feature: 21,940,703,232 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

 

Export version:

Feature: 17,685,774,336 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.97 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video (Director's Cut)

 

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut)

 

Bitrate:

 

Arrow Video (Export Version)

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray (Director's Cut)

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray (Export Version)

 

Audio Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo/mono

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround; Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo/mono

Director's Cut: DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 2153 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2153 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital EX Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB

Export Version: DTS-HD Master Audio English 2207 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2207 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital EX Audio English 640 kbps 5.1-EX / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English (for Italian track), English (for composite track) English (for composite English track); English (for Italian track) English, none Director's Cut: English, none

Export Version: English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Introduction by Claudio Simonetti (16:9; 0:19)
• Audio Commentary by Thomas Rostock
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:40)
• Italian Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:47)
• Lady in Red: Daria Nicolodi remembers PROFONDO ROSSO (16:9; 19:48)
• Music to Murder For!: Claudio Simonetti remembers PROFONDO ROSSO (16:9; 14:48)
• Rosso Recollections: Dario Argento's Deep Genius (16:9; 13:24)

DVD Release Date: 13 December 2010
Amaray in Slipcase

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• 25th Anniversary Featurette (10:47)
• Italian Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:49)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:42)
• Talent Bios

 

DVD Release Date: 25 April 2000
Amaray

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.30:1

Edition Details:
• DISC TWO:
• Tour of the Profondo Rosso shop in Rome with Luigi Cozzi (16:9; 14:06)
• Easter Egg (16:9; 0:37)

 

DVD Release Date: 13 December 2010
Amaray in Slipcase

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Blue Underground

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,522,273,541 bytes

Director's Cut:

Feature: 21,940,703,232 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.99 Mbps

Export version:

Feature: 17,685,774,336 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 17.97 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Bernardino Zapponi and Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo) - 10:47 in 480i
• U.S. Trailer (2:42 in 489i)
• Italian Trailer (1:49 in 480i)
• Goblin Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (2010 - 4:47 in 1080P)
• Daemonia Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (Directed by Sergio Stivaletti) (8:32 in 480i)

Blu-ray Release Date: May 17th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 24 + 20

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - May 11': Argento considers Deep Red his most successful film and Blue Underground are now offering both the Director's Cut and shorter Export version in 1080P on the same dual-layered Blu-ray disc. While these are NOT seamlessly branched I couldn't say I found significant differences in the image quality between the two cuts. It looks very good - clean, some grain and generally speaking the colors are supported by the Arrow DVD. There is some pleasing depth and limited noise. Blue Underground tend to produce some of the best HD transfer and I feel confident that this is the very best at present.

NOTE: I don't yet have the Arrow Blu-ray but will possibly compare at some point.

Both cuts offer a similar DTS-HD Master 7.1 at a decent 2153 kbps (in the respective languages). There is more depth and range than I have ever heard to date - but it still may be considered more tame by those with modern film expectations. Aside from content - two cuts have similarities although the Italian version offers only English subtitles while the English (Export) cut has English (SDH), Spanish or French subtitles. The translations and positioning and slightly different (see sample below) but nothing that I could ascertain altering the narrative intent.

Supplements aren't extensive with no commentary but we get an 11-minute Interview compilation with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Bernardino Zapponi and Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo. There are both the U.S. and Italian trailers in 480i, a Goblin Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" from 2010 for almost 5 minutes in 1080P and a Daemonia Music Video - "Profondo Rosso" (Directed by Sergio Stivaletti) for 8.5 minutes in SD.

I am a big fan of Blue Underground's Blu-ray transfers (se our reviews of Django, Inferno, Daughters of Darkness, The Bird With a Crystal Plumage etc.) I am very pleased with Deep Red via their 1080Pm package - my favorite Argento film and for the director's legions of fans - we certainly recommend!

Gary W. Tooze

***

Arrow's HD-mastered transfer is not quite the massive leap in quality one was hoping for. The image certainly is sharper and brighter (the brightness may place too much emphasis on an early reveal for repeat viewers). The differences in color timing between the Arrow and Anchor Bay transfers is slight but interesting (rather than ruinous) but the Anchor Bay transfer does have more peripheral information. There is some stair-stepping on the director's cut that is not evident on the theatrical cut, but the theatrical cut has two brief passages of interlaced combing during the car scene and the following re-enactment scene in the theatre (these bits are unaffected in the director's cut). Hopefully, the upcoming Blu-Ray (HERE) does not have these issues.

The Italian 5.1 track is not very impressive (but it was a mono film). The 2.0 Italian track and the composite English/Italian stereo/mono track are just fine (as are the optional English subtitles). The theatrical cut (actually the English export version) was reconstructed from the HD master but is framed differently with thin side mattes. The English track is accompanied by optional English subtitles. The Italian opening credits (on the director's cut) and the English opening and closing credits on the theatrical cut (as well as the English text inserts) are sourced from SD sources and sometimes exhibit softness and chroma noise. Both versions feature the motion backgrounds during the closing credits.

Arrow announced their DVD and
Blu-Ray (HERE) editions for November but pushed it back to December in order to add the English-language commentary by Thomas Rostock (originally produced for the Scandanavian Another World Entertainment 2-disc edition, which featured an NTSC-PAL transfer of the director's cut). All previous director's cut DVD editions had been NTSC-PAL transfers since the 2000 Anchor Bay transfer had been telecined in standard definition NTSC (the UK Platinum Media edition had been native PAL but it featured burnt-in subtitles and was cropped to 1.85:1). A WMV-HD edition was released in Italy paired with their DVD release of the director's cut but Arrow's edition is the first DVD/Blu edition of the director's cut to be transferred from HD (Arrow's version of the export cut is reconstructed using this master and the standard-definition English titles).

Rostock's commentary is indeed a welcome addition as it provides not only analysis of the film but also great background detail (Marc's students in the opening sequence were actually those of co-composer Giorgio Gaslini, and that Lino Capolicchio was originally slated for the lead). The commentary is backed by the Italian track so it may be useful to watch the commentary with the English subtitles on since Rostock points out and pauses for some dialogue in the film. He also quotes from the script (pointing out that some things that are unclear in the film are pointed out as being ambiguous in the script) and informs us that the bathroom murder scene was shot by Aldo Tonti.

The US Trailer looks fine but the Italian trailer is cropped to 1.78:1 (the version on the Anchor Bay disc is 2.35:1) and seems to be transferred from an extremely poor source. Daria Nicolodi is candid as ever about her working relationship with Dario Argento while Claudio Simonetti talks about the origins of Goblin and DEEP RED. An interview with Dario Argento rounds out the extras and his comments about the oppressive (and suppressive) nature of family are very revelatory. An Easter Egg on disc 2 provides a partial question as to whether the proposed SUSPIRIA remake will use the Goblin music from the original.

Anchor Bay's dual-layered disc featured a 25th Anniversary featurette featuring Argento, screenwriter Bernardino Zapponi, and members of Goblin as well as the Italian trailer (a montage of static motion images and action stills minus the solarization effects of the similar Italian SUSPIRIA trailer) and the more conventional US theatrical trailer as well as some text talent bios. The transfer was of Italian theatrical version (labeled the director's cut by Arrow); as such, the Italian track was complete (with optional English subtitles) but the English track featured Italian language segments (and English subtitles) since the film had been cut down to 105 minutes for English audiences (the US version was further cut down to just under 100 minutes to remove some violent content). While the transfer has held up well in terms of color and framing (there is more peripheral information than on the Arrow transfer), there are some moments of combing and the image has been edge-enhanced, the transfer does not feature the original mono tracks for the English or Italian mixes (the 2.0 tracks are surround-flagged downmixes of the 5.1 tracks). The English-language titles had also been recreated. In addition to the controversial freezing of the background image during the end credits (it stays in motion in the original Italian and English end credits), the new titles also credit Claudio Argento as "executive director" whereas the old English titles credited him as executive producer (or 'produttore esecutivo' in the Italian titles). Blue Underground ported over the Anchor Bay contents for their 2007 edition (HERE) but they have announced a BluRay and new DVD edition for March 2011.

While the transfer is not a massive improvement, the Arrow set is worth picking up for the Rostock commentary (both the SD and Blu-Ray editions may be cheaper to import than the Another World Entertainment set), new interviews, and native PAL (rather than NTSC-PAL) transfers.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(
Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT vs. Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

Subtitle sample


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Arrow Video (Director's Cut) - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Anchor Bay Entertainment (Director's Cut) - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Arrow Video (Export Version) - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Blue Underground (Director's Cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Blue Underground (Export Version) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

More DC Blu-ray Captures

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Arrow
Menu: Draw

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Anchor Bay Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Arrow Video
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE -
Blu-ray


 




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