“<Evil chuckle> When I realized Christiano Berti was the killer… and it didn’t take me long to realize that. <Evil chuckle> The rest, Mr Germani, was like writing a book. A Book!” Book ’em, Dan-o! Wait. Wrong media. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a cue from the 70s Grue Crew and take in some Giallo, Dario Argento-style with Tenebrae (1982).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 234 – Tenebrae (1982)
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American author Peter Neal, who – while in Rome promoting his latest murder-mystery novel – becomes embroiled in the search for a serial killer who may have been inspired to kill by his novel.
- Writer/Director: Dario Argento
- Produced by: Claudio Argento (producer), Salvatore Argento (executive producer), Allan Scott (producer: English version)
- Music by: Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli, Claudio Simonetti (as Simonetti-Morante-Pigatelli)
- Cinematography by: Luciano Tovolin (director of photography)
- Film Editing by: Franco Fraticelli
- First Assistant Director: Lamberto Bava
- Second Assistant Director: Michele Soavi
- Special Effects by: Giovanni Corridori (special effects)
- Production Services – New York: William Lustig (uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Anthony Franciosa as Peter Neal
- John Saxon as Bullmer
- Daria Nicolodi as Anne
- Giuliano Gemma as Detective Germani
- Christian Borromeo as Gianni
- Mirella D’Angelo as Tilde
- Veronica Lario as Jane McKerrow
- Ania Pieroni as Elsa Manni
- Eva Robins as Girl on Beach
- Carola Stagnaro as Detective Altieri
- John Steiner as Christiano Berti
- Lara Wendel as Maria Alboretto
- Isabella Amadeo as Bullmer’s secretary
- Mirella Banti as Marion
- Lamberto Bava as Elevator Repairman #1 (uncredited)
It’s time for another 1980s feature from director Dario Argento with a return to the Giallo sub-genre. The film is Tenebrae – or Tenebre (original title) or Ténèbres (French) – and features Anthony Franciosa, John Saxon, and Daria Nicolodi. Argento was inspired by a series of incidents that saw an obsessed fan telephone the director to criticize him for the damaging psychological effects of his previous work. The telephone calls culminated in death threats towards Argento, who channeled the experience into the writing of Tenebrae with a double helix of a plot.
At the time of this writing, Tenebrae is available to stream from Wicked Horror TV, Shudder, Kanopy, and Plex. It is also available on Blu-Ray and 4K Ultra HD from Synapse Films.
This is the Decades of Horror Grue Crews’ xth encounter with Argento. Here are their other Argento episodes if you care to check them out.
- THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970) – Episode 190 – Decades of Horror 1970s
- THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS (1971) – Episode 149 – Decades of Horror 1970s
- DEEP RED (1975) — Episode 77 — Decades of Horror 1970s
- SUSPIRIA (1977) — Episode 58 — Decades of Horror 1970s
- PHENOMENA (1985) – Episode 168 – Decades of Horror 1980s
- DARK GLASSES (2022, SHUDDER) – Gruesome Magazine #369
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be George Romero’s Monkey Shines (1988). Oh yeah. We love monkeys with sharp utensils!
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