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

Thursday, July 2, 2015


TENEBRAE (aka Tenebre/1982). Director: Dario Argento.

Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa), an American who writes bestselling crime thrillers, is in Rome on a tour when murders occur which seem to have something to do with his latest book. After several bloody killing of women, Neal gets the idea that he's figured out who the maniac is and pursues this lead, but things don't quite work out the way he intended. Tenebrae is another twisty psycho-shocker from Argento, with a clever plot and interesting ending, and even more gore than usual. Franciosa [Wild is the Wind] gives a good performance, as do John Saxon [Queen of Blood] as his agent, and Daria Nicolodi as Neal's secretary. Unlike Deep Red, Tenebrae is not especially stylish, and the murder sequences have little elan, but the picture is genuinely suspenseful. The murders seem to be of women who have somehow "sinned" in the eye of the conservative psycho, his targets being a shoplifter, a prostitute, gay/bi ladies, and so on. After awhile the killer starts targeting men as well as women, until near the climax there seems no one left who could be the murderer! But there's one final trick in store.

Verdict: Far-fetched and grisly fun. ***.

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