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Film: Deep Red

Deep Red (or Profondo Rosso) is a Giallo movie from Dario Argento and, alongside Suspiria, considered his greatest work.

The story follows the main character, the music teacher Marcus Daly (Marc) who witnesses the brutal murder of a psychic medium, Helga Hulmann and, despite failing to rescue her, catches a glimpse of the killer. With the help of a reporter, Gianna, his best friend Carlo and Dr. Giordani, an associate of Helga, he tries to uncover this mysterious killer and stop him before he kills again.

The film was very popular not only in Italy, but also in Britain and America (whose version however is cut and shorter) and even in Japan, where it's known as "Suspiria 2".

Deep Red contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Carlo.
  • The Alleged Car: Gianna's car. It's amazing that it can still move, and in order to exit from it they must pass from the rooftop.
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Ax-Crazy: The killer. Bonus point for actually using a cleaver.
  • Axe Before Entering
  • Big Damn Heroes: Offscreen: when Marc is knocked senseless and left to die in the burning House of the Screaming Child, Daria brings him to safety.
  • Bowdlerised: The US version decided to cut all the romantic subplots, the funny scenes and also many bits from the murders. Of course, those cut were minimal, so the film is not too short.
  • Cat Scare: Or rather, Bird scare... and the poor things get Impaled with Extreme Prejudice to boot.
  • Creepy Child: Olga, the daughter of the abandoned house keeper. Among various things she has impaled a lizard with a needle, and the poor beastie is still alive
  • Dead Man Writing: The second victim, Amanda, manages to write the name of the killer on the humid walls, and later Dr. Giordani manages to read it.
  • Demonic Dummy: After Giordani hears the "Killer tune", a nightmarish mechanical puppet rushes into the room giggling. After a brief pause, he cracks its head open with the knife.
  • Designated Love Interest: Gianna to Marc.
  • The Ditz: Martha, Carlo's mother. Not So Harmless as she seems....
  • Dolled-Up Installment: In Japan, the film was released as "Suspiria 2", despite being unrelated (and filmed several years before Suspiria)
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Carlo's lover. If it weren't for his bare chest, he could have passed for a woman.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: It's actually possible to see the killer (and spoil the movie) if you're really careful. The second time you watch the movie you'll know why.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: The killer's threat to Marc is delivered in a raspy voice. But the killer's voice is normal when her identity is revealed.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: All the victims:
    • Helga is chopped and stabbed to death with a large knife.
    • Amanda is brutally beaten and drowned in a tub of hot water.
    • Giordani is brutally beaten to a pulp, has his teeth smashed against a corner of the piano and is stabbed in the neck.
    • Carlo. See also Humiliation Conga
  • Genre Savvy: When Marc hears the "killer tune" at the beginning he has the common sense to call for help and lock the doors. Also Giordani, who decides to pick up a large, curved dagger in order to protect himself. It doesn't work.
  • Genius Bruiser: Giordani, who keeps a curved dagger nearby, ready for use.
  • Giallo
  • Hand of Death
  • Haunted House: "The House of the Screaming Child". It's just old, abandoned and creepy though. Uh, and the killer and her family lived here, why do you ask?
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: At the beginning, Marc sees the face of the killer in a portrait/mirror. It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Giordani is finished off by his own knife and Martha is beheaded by her own necklace caught in a descending lift.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The film opens on Christmas.
  • Humiliation Conga: A tragic one: Carlo flees from the police, falls from a high wall, hurting his leg, then is hit and stunned by a truck's rearview mirror, gets caught in said truck, is dragged along the street, hit his head and finally, when it stops, he has his head squished by the wheel of a car.
  • I'll Kill You!: A creepy threat from the killer to Marc near the beginning.
    Killer:" You won't get away from me, I'll kill you sooner or later!"
  • Intrepid Reporter: Gianna.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: A major cause of Paranoia Fuel
  • Kill It with Fire: Carlo burns the House of The Screaming Child in order to cover the evidence of his father's death.
  • Knife Nut: The killer.
  • Momma's Boy: Carlo.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: First a wall picture and then a drawing From Carlo, representing the moment when his mother murdered her husband who was going to send her to a clinic.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Marta, but it doesn't cover intelligence but rather utter madness.
  • Off with His Head!: Marta's horrorific doom, complete with Gory Discretion Shot
  • Police Are Useless: Played with. One scene shows that a good portion of the police department is on strike, forcing Marc and Daria to investigate on their own!
  • Psychic Powers: The first victim had them.
  • Red Herring: Olga. Also Carlo.
  • Serial Killer
  • Stepford Smiler: Under that ditzy face and mannerism, Marta hides the twisted mind of a psychotic killer.
  • Tap on the Head: Used both on Marc and later Daria. While they both survive, they take some time to fully recover and the latter has to spend some time in a hospital.
  • They Know Too Much: The reason why so many people meet a gruesome end.
  • Walled Up Room Mystery: Inside the abandoned house. It's the room where Carlo's father was killed, complete with the rotting corpse.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Carlo's "friend" Massimo. And is probably one of the nicest people in this movie.

Dead ReckoningMystery And Detective FilmsDial M for Murder
ConquestItalian FilmsDivorce Italian Style
Death Race 2000Films of the 1970sThe Devil Within Her
Deep Blue SeaHorror FilmsDeliver Us from Evil

alternative title(s): Deep Red
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