When it comes to restoring and giving due to classic horror cult cinema, I doubt anyone can do better than the fine fiends over at
Synapse Films. Since the beginning of the DVD boom, they’ve been tackling proper special editions for some of the most well-known and notorious genre pictures ever produced. And as fans, themselves, the level of love and care that goes into each of their releases is a thing to marvel over.
In the last few months, we’ve been hit with stellar high def upgrades of things like BLOOD RAGE, THE MUTILATOR and PIECES. And while sometimes, it can get pricey to be a collector, there are certain titles you just can’t pass up. It’s time to put Dario Argento’s TENEBRAE at the top of your must-buy list. And here are 5 simple reasons why…
As with every Synapse release, this Blu features a brand new, razor-sharp, full color correction and restoration scanned from the original uncut elements, presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:85:1. The result? A truly jaw-dropping presentation. Seriously, one of the joys of picking up old movies I haven’t seen a while in the Blu-Ray format is that sometimes it feels like I’m watching them for the first time again because there’s so much more prominent picture information in each and every frame. TENEBRAE is no exception as you can see from the pic above (taken on my iPhone from my couch)! And if this is any sign of how good these Argento movies can look under the care of these guys, then we’re in for a real treat when they release PHENOMENA and SUSPIRIA on Blu later this year!
The Stellar Steelbook Packaging
This initial pressing is limited to 3000 units and presented in a collectible steelbook case, the same way that their previous releases of DEMONS and DEMONS 2 came. On top of the beautiful packaging, there’s also a pretty extensive booklet enclosed and the full contents span over 3 discs. There’s always a chance that a less expensive single disc might come out at some undisclosed point in the future, but I doubt it’ll come with the bevy of features and content provided here. Why wait?! You deserve some high def Argento now!
YELLOW FEVER: THE RISE & FALL OF THE GIALLO Documentary
Among the features is the excellent full length feature documentary, yet again helmed by Calum Waddell, titled YELLOW FEVER: THE RISE & FALL OF THE GIALLO! Now, while I’ve surely seen a lot of different types of horror films and consider myself pretty well versed in most of the sub-genres, “giallo” is one that I’ve only just scratched the surface on. I’ve always wanted a comprehensive look at this particular sub-genre and now here it is. Get a note pad handy while watching, or pull out the notes app on your phone. You’re going to be taking down a lot of movie titles over the course of the doc’s 90 minute running time. If you’ve seen any of Waddell’s previous docs, such as 42ND STREET MEMORIES from the PIECES Blu or EATEN ALIVE from the CANNIBAL FEROX Blu, then you’ll know that this covers the “giallo” as extensively as those previous efforts did.
19 Track Remastered Full Soundtrack CD!
Here’s a trend that I’m starting to absolutely love. The 3rd disc in the package is a bonus compact disc featuring the full motion picture soundtrack by Simonetti-Morante-Pignatelli (GOBLIN), complete with additional tracks and cues not on the original 1982 album, newly remastered. I’m a big soundtrack lover, so the inclusion of things like this makes me a happy camper.
It’s One Of Argento’s Best Films
Plain and simple, TENEBRAE is one of Dario Argento’s best films. I’ve always loved it, but seeing this Blu-Ray gave me a new-found appreciation for it. The tale of a writer working with the police to try to capture a killer that’s emulating the killer of his latest book is classic “giallo” at its finest, but this also plays as one of Dario’s most vibrant and mean-spirited slashers, not to mention it’s beautifully shot and has some of his most bat-shit crazy sequences, like a lengthy dog case through the park, a pretty suspenseful sequence in which John Saxon is attacked in a very open, public place and some really bizarre twists – some of which I’ve always questioned if they truly add up. But upon this latest viewing, they do. The highlight is one particular murder sequence that involves a geyser of blood gushing all over a perfectly pristine white wall. The sight of that alone is probably Argento’s finest horror moment. (And there are many top-notch ones to choose from!)
Simply put, if you’re a horror fan, and in particular a fan of Italian horror, this disc is a must-own for your collection. You can still find copies directly from Synapse Films via their
official website right here!