Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


DARIO ARGENTO'S TRAUMA/aka Trauma (1993). Director: Dario Argento. Screenplay by Argento and T.E.D. Klein.

In one of Argento's most ghoulish and intriguing horror films, a maniac called the Headhunter is decapitating people when it rains [the killer uses a kind of electric garrote.] There is a method to the murderer's madness, explained in a climactic flashback that can truly be called grotesque. David Parsons (Christopher Rydell) tries to help a traumatized young woman named Aura (Asia Argento) who saw her parents gruesomely murdered in the woods, then the two try to track down the killer and figure out his or her motives. Brad Dourif figures in one of the film's more bravura and macabre gore sequences. Others in the cast include Frederic Forrest as a doctor, and Piper Laurie in one of her more interesting roles since playing Carrie's mother. The film retreads a "gag" from Deep Red, but can be forgiven that as it is highly suspenseful and completely absorbing from start to finish. There's a creepy and exciting finale as well.

Verdict: Gruesome and fascinating; a modern horror classic. ***1/2.

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