(Dario Argento, 1980)
Inferno, the second installment in the Three sisters trilogy, is one of Dario Argento's most unique and hallucinatory films. It somehow manages to out-weird Suspiria despite the usual budgetary restraints. The oversaturated color scheme from Suspiria is let loose here, and bright red, blue, and magenta light provide some very appealing visuals. Keith Emersons soundtrack, with its brooding piano and orchestral cues, is a treat for the ears. Especially jarring is the wacky synth tune playing while Sara is in the cab.
As with Suspiria, and really any Argento film, the story comes second to the visuals. In this instance, the story is VERY loosely patched together. I actually had to watch it three times before I could figure out just what was going on! Inferno is about a music student named Mark, who travels to New York to find his sister Rose after she goes missing. Rose had discovered that the apartment she lived in was home to a powerful witch, the Mother of Shadows.
I don't want to tell you the entire story, as I would prefer that anyone who hasn't seen Inferno should just do so. There are so many twists and turns and random instances in this movie that it truly does play out like a nightmare on film. It's as if Dario decided to throw logic out the window altogether here, and it works in his favor. There are some extremely gory set-pieces, and if one simply stops trying to make sense of it and goes along for the ride, it is quite a delightful experience.
The only downside to Inferno is the atrocious dubbing (which we've come to expect), the bad acting (Irene Miracle looks distant and awkward in most of her scenes), and a few cheesy gore effects. Some might also moan about the scene with a mouse being eaten by a cat, but I would be more concerned about the treatment the CATS were getting! Mario Bava helped with some of the visual effects, including the unforgettable and mind-boggling underwater room scene. I should also mention that this features the lovely Daria Nicolodi, Scream Queen of Italy! Ten out of Ten!
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