Blu-Ray Review: Dario Argento Classics ‘Deep Red,’ ‘Cat O’ Nine Tails’

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CHICAGO – Every once in awhile there’s a relatively smaller studio that just does right by genre fans. It was Anchor Bay for a few years. Now it’s Blue Underground, who have been quietly releasing some horror classics. Two of their best releases hit this week and then again on May 31st in a pair of Dario Argento gems, “Deep Red” and “The Cat O’ Nine Tails.” If you call yourself a horror fan, you should own them both. Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0

“Deep Red (Profundo Rosso)” is easily the more well-known of the two as it’s widely recognized as one of Argento’s best. In fact, it’s the only film of his to hold 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and should definitely be in the conversation with “Suspiria,” “Inferno,” and maybe “Opera” when one discusses the best works of this true Master of Horror. The Blue Underground Blu-ray, now available, is a beauty, with possibly the best Underground HD transfer to date. The movie looks spectacular. Both the edited English version and longer Italian version are included. Pick your favorite.

Deep Red was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 17, 2011
Deep Red was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 17, 2011
Photo credit: Blue Underground

“Cat O’ Nine Tails” is less well-known, coming earlier in Argento’s career, but it’s still one of his stronger films. Once again, the HD restoration is crisp and the interviews included on the special features are worth a look. “Cat” hasn’t held up as well as Argento’s best but minor Dario is still something worth owning, especially for horror genre fans.

“Deep Red”

An English jazz pianist living in Rome witnesses the brutal hatchet murder of a renowned psychic and is quickly drawn into the savage crime. With the help of a tenacious female reporter, the pair track a twisted trail of deranged clues and relentless violence towards a shocking climax that has ripped screams from the throats of audiences for more than 35 years!

Deep Red stars David Hemmings (Gladiator, Blow-Up) and Daria Nicolodi (Phenomena, Shock), and is widely considered by both fans and critics alike to be Dario Argento’s true masterpiece. Now this classic shocker has been newly transferred in stunning High Definition from its original camera negative, and is presented in both the Uncensored English Version and Full-Length Italian Director’s Cut for the first time ever!

Cat O' Nine Tails was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 31, 2011
Cat O’ Nine Tails was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on May 31, 2011
Photo credit: Blue Underground

Special Features:
o Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Bernardino Zapponi and Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo)
o Theatrical Trailers
o Goblin Music Video - “Profondo Rosso” (2010)
o Daemonia Music Video “Profondo Rosso”

“The Cat O’ Nine Tails”

When a simple robbery at a research institute leads to a series of brutal murders, a blind puzzle maker (Karl Malden) and a tenacious reporter (James Franciscus) begin their own investigation of the crimes. With nine different clues to follow, they uncover a shocking web of twisted genetics and dark sexual secrets that will finally lead them to a shattering climax of violence and suspense.

Originally released in 1971, The Cat O’ Nine Tails secured the international reputation of director Dario Argento as ‘The Italian Hitchcock.’ This is the definitive version of Argento’s masterful second film, presented completely uncut and uncensored in a brand-new High Definition transfer from its original camera negative!

Special Features:
o Tales of the Cat — Interviews with Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti, and Composer Ennio Morricone
o Theatrical Trailers
o TV Spots
o Radio Spots
o Radio Interviews with Stars James Franciscus and Karl Malden

“Deep Red” and “The Cat O’ Nine Tails” were written and directed by Dario Argento. “Deep Red” was released on Blu-ray on May 17th, 2011 and “The Cat O’ Nine Tails” will be released on May 31st, 2011. Both were issued by Blue Underground. content director Brian Tallerico

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