Combustible Celluloid
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With: Cristina Marsillach, Ian Charleson, Urbano Barberini, Daria Nicolodi, Coralina Cataldi Tassoni
Written by: Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini
Directed by: Dario Argento
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Italian, dubbed into English
Running Time: 107
Date: 12/19/1987

Opera (1987)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Of Thee I Sing

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Dario Argento comes from Italy's rich horror film school led by Mario Bava and including Lucio Fulci. Two new difficult-to-find Argento titles have recently debuted on DVD. Considered one of his greatest films, Opera (1987, Anchor Bay Entertainment, $24.98) follows a pretty standard serial-killer plot, but with one difference. Apprentice opera singer (Cristina Marsillach) finds herself the object of a crazy killer's obsession when he keeps killing the people around her while forcing her to watch by taping needles to her face to keep her eyes open. Argento's masterful use of colors and music keep help to keep the film feeling fresh, and Anchor Bay's beautiful disc comes with an in-depth making-of documentary that interviews the creepy-looking Argento in person.

In addition, Argento's newest film Sleepless (2001, Artisan, $24.98) has been released, but Artisan has butchered the director's compositions by mastering the disc in pan-and-scan only. The great Max von Sydow stars in another serial killer story, but it's just not worth watching unless one can find the letterbox version.

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