World of Horror (Dario Argento's) (1985)

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Released 17-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Featurette-'An Eye For Horror' Documentary
Filmographies-Dario Argento
Trailer-Argento Trailer Collection
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 70:46
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Michele Soavi
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Michele Soavi
Romano Albani
Dario Argento
Fiore Argento
Urbano Barberini
Patrick Bauchau
Michael Brandon
Flavio Bucci
Clara Calamai
Stefania Casini
Jennifer Connelly
Mirella D'Angelo
Keith Emerson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Simon Boswell
Keith Emerson
Goblin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    "Murder is most important in my films. It is also very beautiful." - Dario Argento

    This twenty year old documentary directed by Michele Soavi (Dellamorte Dellamore, The Church) consists of a great deal of behind the scenes footage collected throughout Argento's filmmaking career and goes even further by analysing technical aspects, such as the metaphorical use of colour in his films, specific camerawork techniques and his preferred cranes and dollies which gave unique angles. We follow Argento as he visits the warehouse where he sources all the equipment he uses, from cameras and lighting to his favourite steadycam which he likes to use from the point of view of the murderer.

    This feature was compiled around the time of production of Phenomena (Creepers), so doesn't touch upon the filmmaker's more recent work such as Phantom of the Opera, Sleepless or Stendhal Syndrome. The Eye for Horror documentary included in this disc's extras is a more recent production (and much more coherent in my opinion) so a more definitive overview of his career can be found there.

    World of Horror follows Argento's journey as an artist and touches on his troubled childhood. Many of his collaborators contribute, including musician Keith Emerson who composed the score for Inferno. A large portion of this feature is spent on Phenomena with behind the scenes footage and interviews.

    Although the quality and structure of this documentary is rather flawed, there are many insights here that fans won't find anywhere else. Others are likely to find it confusing, as lengthy excerpts from his films are edited together and presented without introduction, making the structure very hard to follow.

    We're lucky to have quite a few of Argento's films available to buy in Region 4. Firstly, Phenomena and its butchered equivalent, Creepers. Simitar imported a number of the Region 0 NTSC releases from Anchor Bay and these can still be found in stores if you look hard. These include Opera, Suspiria and Two Evil Eyes.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer contains examples of almost every video artefact imaginable. The documentary was initially made on film, which was not in particularly good condition when it was transferred to analogue video. The analogue video master has poor resolution and to make matters worse has been the subject of an NTSC to PAL conversion. The result: a pretty ordinary presentation on DVD.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is likely to be the intended framing. Excerpts from Argento's films are panned and scanned.

    As I established above, the level of detail and sharpness is very poor. Colours are washed out and the film's darker moments contain little depth.

    MPEG artefacting was difficult to detect among the complex soup of other issues. Film artefacts were the dominant issue, ranging from dust and dirt to scratches and fully damaged frames. Analogue videotape errors can be seen now and then, the worst of which are at 65:42.

    English subtitles are burned into the video stream to translate the Italian dialogue spoken by Dario Argento and other contributors. The titles are part of the old analogue video master, are often difficult to read and are poorly timed.

    This disc is dual layered, however there is no layer transition present during either the feature or the extra material.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only one soundtrack included, a Dolby Digital 2.0 stream encoded at 192Kb/s.

    The quality of this soundtrack matches the video transfer. There are plenty of pops and crackles, while depth and resolution are minimal. The dialogue is audible and the English voiceovers are fairly easy to understand. Audio sync is all over the place, however. The interviews conducted for the documentary seem to be in sync, but the clips taken from various trailers and dated prints are often not. This would be particularly annoying for someone who is familiar with the films.

    Although there are two channels present, I didn't note any panning or activity to indicate that this is a stereo soundtrack.

    The music in this feature is taken from various soundtracks throughout Argento's career and includes artists such as Keith Emerson, Goblin and Iron Maiden to name but a few.

    There was absolutely no subwoofer spill or activity to speak of.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu page is static and not 16x9 enhanced. A clip from the Suspiria theme by Goblin loops in the background.

Featurette- An Eye for Horror (56:48)

    This is a well made and far superior documentary to the feature, following the life and career of Argento from his childhood, through his work as a movie critic and into his early work in the industry as a script writer for Sergio Leone. Each of his major feature films are touched upon, as well as a number of his more obscure projects and collaborations. An array of recognisable celebrities lend themselves to this biography, including filmmakers John Carpenter and George Romero, actor Michael Brandon, his ex-wife and former muse Daria Nicolodi, actress Jessica Harper and horror fan Alice Cooper. Members of his family also offer their thoughts on his visual style, enduring popularity and work ethic, most notably his brother Claudio and daughters Asia and Fiore. This doco is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The same documentary is included on most other Umbrella/Argento titles, but in the case of Phenomena it was not 16x9 enhanced.

Dario Argento Filmography

    A simple page listing Argento's output as director from 1969 to 1998. The page is only active for 38 seconds, then defaults back to the main menu without warning.

Dario Argento Trailers

    A good cross section of trailers for Argento's films are presented here. Only the Suspiria trailers are 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Dario Argento's World of Horror and An Eye For Horror were released separately in Region 1, but in Region 4 we have them on one disc! Region 4 is clearly the best value.

Summary

    Dario Argento's World of Horror is likely to be appreciated most by hardcore devotees of the Italian filmmaker. It's a below average documentary, but has some unique insights to offer fans. Approach with caution.

    The video transfer is plain awful.

    The audio transfer is similarly dated.

    The extras contain the far superior documentary An Eye For Horror and an interesting collection of trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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