Deep Red – original title: Profondo rosso; also known as The Hatchet Murders – is a 1975 Italian giallo horror thriller film, directed by Dario Argento and co-written by Argento and Bernardino Zapponi. It was produced by Claudio and Salvatore Argento, and the film’s score was composed and performed by prog rock band Goblin.
Music teacher Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) investigates the violent murder of psychic medium Helga Ulmann (Macha Meril), a violent act he witnesses in an apartment building. Other major characters are introduced early, including Daly’s friend Carlo (Gabriele Lavia), Ulmann’s associate Dr. Giordani (Glauco Mauri) and reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi).
After his attempt to rescue the medium fails, Daly realizes he has seen a certain painting among a group of portraits on the wall of the victim’s apartment, but it seems to have disappeared when the police arrive. Later in the film, he also initially overlooks another clue that causes him to discover a mouldering corpse walled up in a derelict house.
One murder leads to a series of others as Daly’s obsession with this vital clue that he fails to understand endangers his life and that of everyone with whom he comes into contact…
On 25 January 2016, Deep Red was issued in the UK as a 4k remastered Blu-ray and soundtrack CD by Arrow Video. This release sold out immediately and is now only available from resellers.
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of two versions of the film
- Fully illustrated packaging by Gilles Vranckx
- Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
- Soundtrack CD
Deep Red: The Director’s Cut (Blu-ray disc 1)
- Brand new restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative, supervised by cinematographer Luciano Tovoli (Suspiria, Tenebrae) and approved by Dario Argento [127 mins]
- English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- Audio Commentary with Argento expert Thomas Rostock
- Introduction to the film by Claudio Simonetti of Goblin
- Profondo Giallo An in-depth look at Dario Argento’s early films and the road to Deep Red
- Rosso Recollections: Dario Argento’s Deep Genius the Deep Red director on the creation of a giallo masterpiece
- Lady in Red Daria Nicolodi Remembers Profondo Rosso
- Music to Murder For! Claudio Simonetti on Deep Red
- Rosso From Celluloid to Shop a Tour of the Profondo Rosso shop in Rome with long time Argento collaborator Luigi Cozzi
- Italian Trailer
Deep Red: The International Theatrical Cut (Blu-ray disc 2)
- High Definition Blu-Ray (1080p) presentation of the International Version [105 mins]
- US Theatrical Trailer
Profondo rosso: The Complete International Sound Recording (CD disc 3)
- 28-track CD featuring the entire film score from Italian progressive rock band Goblin and composer Giorgio Gaslini, exclusive to this edition
The film has a soundtrack that hammers away relentlessly (it’s Goblin at full prog rock flow) and the visuals – looking wonderful here – often match, with weird angles, tight close-ups and vivid colours bleeding out of the screen.
The violence is intense – the killings still seem pretty hardcore even today – and the plot, while unlikely to stand up to detailed scrutiny, will keep you guessing, as Argento piles on the misleading hints and red herrings leading up to the revelation as to whom is the unlikely killer.
David Flint, HORRORPEDIA
“Deep Red gets an amazing hi-def release by Arrow Video on not just one, but two Blu-rays in a set that is comprised of the two official cuts of the film (both hi-def) and a slew of documentaries and interviews. On top of this, I’d have to say that this is hands-down the best looking Argento transfer I’ve had the pleasure of watching from Arrow Video. Very highly recommended.” Video Tape Swap Shop
“Though there’s some clunker dialogue (“There’s somebody in the house…g…uh… a-absolutely trying to kill me, ya know?”) and it lags a bit here and there, it more than makes up for that with impressive horror / suspense set pieces, which are stylish, imaginatively shot, sometimes pretty startling (two words: creepy doll) and range from good to downright brilliant.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
Cast and characters:
- David Hemmings as Marcus Daly
- Daria Nicolodi as Gianna Brezzi
- Gabriele Lavia as Carlo
- Macha Méril as Helga Ulmann
- Eros Pagni as Supt. Calcabrini
- Giuliana Calandra as Amanda Righetti
- Piero Mazzinghi as Bardi
- Glauco Mauri as Prof. Giordani
- Clara Calamai as Martha (originally credited as playing “Carlo’s mother”)
- Aldo Bonamano as Carlo’s father
- Liana Del Balzo as Elvira
- Vittorio Fanfoni as Cop taking notes
- Dante Fioretti as Police photographer
- Geraldine Hooper as Massimo Ricci
- Jacopo Mariani as Young Carlo (as Iacopo Mariani)
- Nicoletta Elmi as Olga