Suspiria title

Tag Line : The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 5 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 90

SuspiriaAnother Argento murder/mystery, this time one that works in elements of supernatural evil, stars Jessica Harper as a young American dance student named Suzy Banyon who enlists at an exclusive European dance school in Germany, only to do battle with a vicious murderer and an unholy evil influence.

The problems start when she first arrives at the academy late one night. As she goes to call at the front door, she sees one of the students running out of the building and into the pouring rain in a state of distress. Then when Suzy tries to gain access to the building, the women on the door intercom refuses to let her in.

She manages to get in the following morning, where she meets one of the instructors Miss Tanner (played by Allidi Valli), a portly woman with all the charm and charisma (and indeed dress sense) of an SS officer. It is then she finds that the girl she saw last night was brutally murdered shortly after returning to her college dorm. Jessica tries to put this disturbing news behind her and settle in at the school, but unfortunately when students start disappearing at an alarming rate she realises their is much more going on than meets the eye.

Investigating the strange noises she's been hearing in the night leads her to discover that something a lot more sinister than a simple killer on the loose is afoot at the school, and that there is much more than meets the eye with the schools directress.

Whilst the film does have something of a surreal feel to it, made by the garish scene colours, elaborate set designs, weird music (courtesy of Argento regulars the "Goblins") and a plot that flys off at tangents all over the place, this is still a highly enjoyable horror flick, although one that I would really recommend to Eurohorror fans.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line, "Once You've Seen It, You Will Never Again Feel Safe In The Dark".

  • Suspiria was the first of what was to be a trilogy of films about a sinister coven known as "The Three Mothers". "Suspiria" (1977) dealt with the first of these, Mater Suspiriorum (the mother of sighs). "Inferno" (1980) dealt with Mater Tenebrarum (the mother of darkness). The third film "Mothers of Tears", eventually came out in 2007, some thirty years after the original, and dealt with the third mother Mater Lachrymarum.

  • The UK cinema version suffered 2 cuts totalling 15s. This removed a 2s close up of Sara's (Stefania Casini) throat being cut in the room of wires and trimmed 13 seconds from the scene showing the blind man getting his throat torn out by his guide dog (mainly the close ups). The pre-VRA video by Thorn EMI was initially uncut, but they replaced it with the BBFC cinema version when the "video nasties" furore started (Although the video was never directly targeted by the nasty campaigners). The post VRA release by Entertainment in Video suffered an additional 34s of BBFC cuts, which removed a few shots of a knife plunging into the chest and then showing the beating heart. The blind man getting his throat torn out by his own guide dog was almost completely missing in that release (These additional cuts are not listed in official BBFC documentation though). The film was eventually passed uncut in 1998.

  • There are two versions of the opening titles. In one, the movie's title card is presented in a stylish printed font. In the other version possibly the previous unrated American print (not the Anchor Bay version), the letters of the word "Suspiria" are made of weird pink flesh-like organs that pulsate and seem to breathe, sort of a cross between hearts and lungs. These pink formations actually appear on the American one-sheet movie poster and in the US theatrical trailer.

  • Udo Kier, who plays professor Mandel, is a prominent horror movie actor, his notable genre credits include Andy Warhol's arty shockers "Flesh for Frankenstein" and "Blood for Dracula", along with "Mark of the Devil", "Blade", "Shadow of the Vampire" and "End of Days".

  • Much of the movie was shot on outdated film stock in an attempt to save money. However this resulted in the set colours turning out overly bright in the finished print.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.




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