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By Mariko McDonald | April 21, 2004

Now, it may come as a surprise to some of you gentle readers, frankly I’m surprised myself, but neither my boyfriend nor myself had ever seen an Argento film before. It’s not like we’ve been avoiding it for some kind of political reason, and it certainly isn’t because we don’t watch horror movies. In fact, I’m not really sure how this happened, for god’s sake we both work at the largest alternative video store in Western Canada. But being that we are in charge of our own mini film festival I decided to take Tuesday as an opportunity to rectify this. I also decided to get off my butt and revive the weekly email reminder since I’d been slacking off lately and our attendance reflected this. I was blaming school and hockey (stupid winning local team), but decided to accept some responsibility myself, and our attendance this week reflected this with 8 people showing up, including 1 newbie (fresh meat!). Since we were new to Argento we decided to be predictable and start with the classics: “Suspiria” and “Bird With The Crystal Plumage”.

Because it was still sunny out we decided to start with “Bird With the Crystal Plumage” since it’s really more of a murder mystery than a straight horror movie. The plot itself is standard giallo formula: guy sees woman get stabbed by man in black gloves, guy decides (for no particularly good reason) to play detective, we see the killer from their perspective kill a whole bunch of chicks in flimsy negligées, then there’s a big plot twist and the movie ends, happily ever after. But what makes it different, and ultimately very watchable, is Argento’s filmmaking style. The fluidity of the camera, the skill in composition… blah, blah, blah. Again, there are entire textbooks on the guy, so I’ll just stick to what the peanut gallery thought. We lucked out and only had one person in attendance who had seen it before. Luckily he kept his mouth shut and let the rest of us grasp at all the red herrings right up until the end. Most of the comments had to do with the lack of logic displayed by the main characters. I understand the guy wasn’t allowed to leave the country and must have been pretty bored, but was deciding to track down the killer by himself really such a hot idea? I mean, he’s a writer, not a “cop on the edge”. And what was with the police helping him? He starts off as the main suspect, and then they give him a full tour of the police station (including enormous forensics computers) and a personal guard. Maybe this was all explained while I was apologizing (again) for subjecting my friends to “The Twins Effect” a couple of months ago (it seemed like a good idea at the time, perhaps more booze would have helped), I don’t know.

Time for “Suspiria” in part two of ENTER THE DEN OF SIN: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT ARGENTO>>>


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