AKA : Proffondo Rosso, The Hatchet Murders, Deep Red Hatchet Murders,
Dripping Deep Red, The Sabre Tooth Tiger, Suspiria 2

Deep RedPerhaps one of cult Italian director Dario Argento's most popular and critically acclaimed pictures was this interesting Gialli thriller starring David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi.

Set in Rome, Hemmings plays the role of an English jazz pianist named Marcus Daly who witnesses the brutal murder of a woman in his apartment block. It turns out that the woman was a renowned psychic medium, and had claimed to have sensed a murderous presence during a university lecture about her psychic abilities earlier that day.

Intrigued by the events that had led up to her death, and convinced that he saw something else in her apartment during the murder, he starts to do a bit of investigating himself and is soon helped by a nosey journalist named Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicoladi), who is basically there to get in the way and provide the movie with some lighter hearted moments.

He later discovers that the murder of the woman, and that of several others who have been killed since, are somehow linked to an old abandoned mansion house in the city, where it is claimed that the sound of a young boy screaming can often be heard at night. But what is it's significance, and why does the killer always insist on playing child's nursery rhyme music on a tape recorder when committing the murders?

With so many twists and turns in the storyline it really does make you wonder what's actually going on at times during the film, never mind who the killer might be. There's also some extremely bizarre moments, such as the first murder scene which oddly appears partway through the opening credits, and the killers reason for playing creepy children's songs whilst stalking his victims.

In some ways there is a striking similarity to Argento's later pic "Tenebrae", but don't let that bother you. If your a fan of Italian horror/thrillers this movie will not disappoint you and Argento fans will undoubtedly love it.

Overall Marks : 6/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • "Gialli", which literally translated is Italian for Yellow, is a sub-genre of film indigenous to Italian film industry. The name originates from a series of violent Italian crime thriller novels, which crossed murder mystery with elements of stalk and slash horror. As these books were published with Yellow covers, people referred to these as Gialli thrillers.

  • Daria Nicolodi was actually Dario Argento's girlfriend at the time, and went onto star in his other pictures Inferno, Tenebre , Phenomena and Opera. Although they never actually married, they were together for a long time and was the mother of Argento's daughter Asia.

  • David Hemmings had a very long distinguished career in the movie industry, having acted in or worked on over 60 films and TV movies in a career that started during the 1950's and continued right up until his untimely death in 2003 at the age of 62. His credits ranging from "Barbarella - Queen of the Galaxies" (1968) to "Gladiator" (2000) and "Gangs of New York" (2002). He has also appeared in numerous US shows, such as "Airwolf", "LA Law" and even "Tales from the Crypt".

  • Gabriele Lavia who plays Marcus's friend Carlos also starred in Dario Argento's "Inferno" playing a character of the same name (though obviously not the same character).

  • The original Italian version was 120 minutes long. There have been numerous different releases worldwide, each one missing a few scene's, but gaining others. Until the 1999 US release by Anchor Bay, the only known fully uncut widescreen print was to be found in Australia, airing on both SBS-TV and its pay-TV channel World Movies.

  • The previous UK release by Redemption video (pictured above), which was in Italian with English subtitles, was almost the full uncut version. The BBFC removed a 4s shot showing two dogs fighting and a 7s shot of a squirming lizard being impaled with a pin. Despite these cuts and the fact that the film was "panned and scanned" this was at the time the most complete version to be released on video. Subsequent DVD releases are of this same cut version.

  • The Anchor Bay Region 1 US DVD release in 1999 was the full uncut version of the film, however the end title sequence was slightly different. In the original version we see David Hemmings face looking into a pool of dripping blood whilst the end credits play. However, in the Anchor Bay release the picture of Hemmings gazing into the blood pool is a freeze frame and not moving.

  • Previous US releases had removed 22 minutes worth of footage, including most of the graphic violence, the humorous scenes, the romantic scenes between David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi and part of the subplot regarding the house of the screaming child. A previous widescreen US laserdisc release in dubbed English was cut by director Argento himself by about 12 minutes.

  • It is interesting to note however that portions of the English soundtrack were either lost or never recorded, which may account for the cuts in the laserdisc. The English soundtrack in the Anchor Bay DVD bridges the gaps with the Italian dialogue, accompanied with English subtitles.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.



Video Clips.
MP4 format.

Theatrical trailer. (7.61MB)

Italian theatrical trailer. (4.97MB)

Buy Online.

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