Terror at the Opera title

AKA: Opera

Terror at the OperaAnother excellent Argento thriller, one which takes a new twist on the old "curse of MacBeth" legend. The film stars Christina Marsillach as a young Opera singer named Betty, who's just received her first big break in the theatre after being asked to fill in the leading role of the operatic version of MacBeth.

MacBeth has always been considered amongst actors as being an unlucky production, and Betty is no exception to that belief, which has been bolstered by the fact that she was only offered the part after her predecessor was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Her first performance goes well, but unfortunately she triggers the madness of a crazed fan who proceeds to pounce on her at random, then tie her up and force her to watch as he murders her closest friends.

Not only this, but the killer also attempts to sabotage the production, killing luckless stagehands, slaughtering the ravens used during the final act, destroying costumes and causing props to come crashing down during the show. The detective in charge of the case, Inspector Alan Santini (Urbano Barberini), believes the culprit is someone known to her, but as the bodies pile up it becomes increasingly like the killer is not who she first suspected.

This is definitely a must see for horror fans, especially those who are familiar with Argento's slick style of production. There are some beautifully choreographed death sequences featured within (the scene where Daria Nicoladi gets shot being particularly memorable) and as with his other works there's enough plot twists to keep you guessing who the killer is right up till the end.

Best line "Ladies and Gentlemen. The great Mara Chakova has been run down by a car"!!!!

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines used for the film, "Obsession. murder. madness", "A star is born tonight... will she live to see tomorrow?" and "The last note is a real killer".

  • This was the last film that Dario Argento worked on with his then partner Daria Nicoladi (who also appears in the film as Betty's agent Mira) as they split up around the time of the films release. Many also say that this film marked the end of his most prolific period.

  • Urbano Barberini, who plays Inspector Santini's, also starred in the cult Argento/Bava/Soavi collaboration "Demons", as well as starring alongside Caroline Monroe in the Luiggi Cozzi film "The Black Cat".

  • Antonella Vitali who plays "Marion", went onto star in the Argento produced film "The Church" (aka Cathedral of Demons").

  • The "Curse of MacBeth". There are a lot of people in the theater who believe that Macbeth is a cursed play. Some of this no doubt stems from the subject matter: witchcraft. Superstition holds that when you mess with the forces of evil, even in the arts, evil may decide to take some part. Whatever the reason, there are scores of stories about accidents happening to people involved with production of the play. To ward off evil many actors stopped calling it by its title and began referring to it as "The Scottish Play."

  • The UK cinema and initial video releases suffered 3 short cuts before being passed with an 18 certificate. These consisted of the removal of 4s zoom in to Inspector Alan Santini's (Urbano Barberini's) skewered tongue. 20s, were cut from the stabbing of Santini, and 9s were removed showing the killer forcing a pair of scissors into the wardrobe girl's mouth. The DVD released in the UK by Arrow films in 2002 was of the full uncut version.

  • The US release was heavily trimmed in order to obtain an R rating. The Anchor Bay release is the full uncut unrated version, containing all the gore and violence intact.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.


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