An old Gothic cathedral, built over a mass grave, develops strange powers which trap a number of people inside with ghosts from a 12th Century massacre seeking to resurrect an ancient demon from the bowels of the Earth.
Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
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No one can deny Dario Argento. Earning a place in horror as a pioneer while being as visually adept as Peter Jackson, John Woo or David Fincher. Unfortunately, his style over substance approach has limited his exposure to the European shores and to probing pesky horror fans. This could be the reason why 'Dario Argento's World of Horrors' comes off as more of a commercial than a documentary. It does have its meat, with behind the scenes footage and interviews but it also comes off somewhat contrived. The interviews, for instance, have him talking directly to the camera expressing thoughts and reasons on various projects. While this gives a somewhat intimate approach it also looks staged and heavy handed with Dario looking like he's just talking to himself. Once more the editing is just too abrupt and distracting making it look extremely amateurish with the result being uneven pacing between interviews and selected scenes. OK, this was Michele Soavi's first gig, but harsh cuts and uneven progression are something an editor is hired to fix. More importantly it never really fleshes out his many film contributions but instead seems content to be Argento's argument to the world that he is a valid director. Almost like propaganda. Yuck. It's too bad, because the proof is in the pudding. The more we discover about his films the more we see how inventive and influential his style is. The interesting info is just glanced over here and I wanted more. Such as his Technicolor filming of Suspiria, the makeup effects in Demons, or the fantastic production design for Tenebre. Footage was shown but never explained or commented on. I wanted to see more about his various styles of camera work that seems almost ripped off by contemporary films. Also you could have put aside an hour alone on his work with composer Ennio Morricone and the band Goblin. Now group this with the fact that it's somewhat dated (Miami vice music and all) and what you have is an interesting but uninspired 76 minutes.
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