FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Dec 6, 2007

boldly going

Earlier this week we whaled on another Film Club pick, which can only mean one thing: 'tis time to pick anew! It's indeed a joyous day. This month's pick has most likely been seen already by 99% of you, but...as much as it shames me to admit, it's new to me: Dario Argento's 1977 pas de death, Suspiria.

My forays into the world of gialli have been woefully few; truth be told, it's a subgenre I'm not all that crazy about- but I want to be crazy about it, so I'm gonna keep a-tryin'. Who knows, some day perhaps gialli and I will really hit it off. However, even if we never mesh, at least I can say I tried! Choosing Suspiria for the Film Club is like eating brussel sprouts simply because they're good for you, or maybe it's like going on a date with an ugly person who everybody says is nice. Fingers crossed!

At any rate, you can find Suspiria on Netflix by clicking here, if that's your bag.

The film: Suspiria
The due date: Monday, January 14

35 comments:

dreamrot said...

I'll be with you among those seeing this one for the first time.

Joanna said...

Woohoo! Phoenix for teh win!

And yes, I've been curious to see this film, too. Hmm, so how many films has Jessica Harper made where people want to kill her? Kinda seems like a motif in her career...

JA said...

Let me just get this out of the way: AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! YOU'VE NEVER SEEN SUSPIRIA????? OH MY GOD YOU CRETIN!!!

Ahem.

I know a lot of people choose Deep Red as their favorite Argento film, but I just looooooove Suspiria so very, very much. I hope you do too, Stacie. We can't have another Behind the Mask debacle on our hands! I couldn't take it!

Theron said...

"Suspiria" is my fave Argento flick. Nice choice, Ponder!

Anonymous said...

Stacie please give this movie a try. Susperia, with its rich colors, shock-horror ending and kill scenes, spooky music and original, solid plotline (the main story is solid, anyways) is honestly one of the very best movies ever made in any genre. Please please please like this movie, because if you don't like Susperia but you DO like the American version of The Ring... well, I love you and I'll still read your page, but it'll really throw me off my bike.
P.S. I hope you don't hate the movie just on principal now to be contrary <3

Bonnie said...

I also must jump on the "Suspiria is my favorite Argento flick" bandwagon; it was my first and opened me up to the world of batshit crazy Italian horror. Hope you love it, Final Girl!

Erin said...

Yikes! I'll have to sit this one out but I look forward to your take on it.

xox

Old Dark Housekeeper said...

It's a little late in the game, but between this and Deep Red, so much has been lifted over the years that it might look a little clich├ęd.

John Carpenter borrowed more than a few riffs himself for Halloween.

And good luck with the giallo style of acting... it takes some getting used to. Enthusiastic, to say the least.

Snarf said...

Technically speaking this isn't a giallo, but rather a straight up horror film.

A quick definition of giallo (in my book) is: some person (or persons) kill alot of beautiful women (and the occasional man) and any clue to who the killer is are very confusing, and it is always the person you absolutely don't think it is (even after you've been through the "the least probable killer is that guy, so I'm guessing it's him"). The motive for the killings is usually so twisted and far out that the final scene requires a psychologist to explain in layman's terms who did it and why. And if it's a successful giallo it STILL wont make any sense.

But the music is always nice, the women classy and interiors funky in that mellow 70's european way.

John Seal said...

I like Suspiria AND Brussels Sprouts! They're both delicious and good for you!

Anonymous said...

Snarf - exactly. Giallo is more like Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Susperia is not Giallo, and it is not a sub genre of anything, unless you want to call it a sub genre simply because it's Italian, which makes zero sense. Argento did make a Giallo, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage -- see this kind of thing irks me. People think all there is to horror is Friday the 13th movies and Final Destination. Susperia does the impossible - it's a kickass horror flick with blood guts and lots of creepy freaky crawly monsters, yet it's also a modern artistic masterpiece, which I guess is why so few people really understand it. (Let's face it, the average movie-going-audience ain't too big on quality - it Bores them!).

Steve Langton said...

I think Suspiria is a wonderful film, but probably not Dario's best. Hope you like it enough to check out the likes of Opera, Inferno and Deep Red. The latter is a classic, I'd say.

Stacie Ponder said...

Dear People,

I don't know much about Suspiria, so I wrongly assumed it was giallo. My bad. Thanks for setting me straight, Snarf!

Dear Anonymous #1,

Trust me, I don't hate anything on principle unless it involves Paul Reiser and it is not Aliens. I certainly wouldn't say I hated Suspiria just to be contrary or something. I'm not trying to prove anything to anybody, and I'm not trying to be "cool" here. I love horror films and I want to love all of them, so I try my best to give them all a fair shake. I'm not anticipating hating this film, but if in the end it's not to my tastes, I'm sure I'll have some reasons beyond "Everyone else likes it so I must hate it!".

Dear Anonymous #2,

"People think all there is to horror is Friday the 13th movies and Final Destination."

Yes, you clearly have me pegged. I'm a total horror xenophobe; I try to remain as narrow-minded as possible at all times, because I find that cynicism and a limited world-view serve me extremely well on my horror blog. I find they completely discourage discussion and discovery, which is really my aim.

Dear John Seal,

I myself am partial to broccoli, though it sure does stink up the house when you cook it.

Cinebeats said...

You're in for a real treat Stacy! As for the film being an official gialli title or not, I would say it is even if it contains supernatural elements. There are plenty of gialli films with supernatural elements besides Suspiria such as Short Night of the Glass Dolls, All the Colors of the Dark, etc.

Whatever you want to call it, this is one of my favorite movies from the '70s so I will try to participate in this months movie club!

Cinebeats said...

I just released I spelled your name wrong STACIE. If you can edit my lame comment please do!

Joseph Emmerth said...

NICE choice...

I remember seeing this movie for the first time, with that creepy soundtrack by Goblin, (shudder) I had to turn on the lights in my room....

Antaeus Feldspar said...

Cinebeats --

Well, Deep Red involves supernatural elements and you can hardly get more giallo than that. IMHO it's more about the framework of the movie -- I mean, a lot of people get killed in Final Destination, and in a slasher movie, lots of people get killed, but I wouldn't consider FD a slasher movie. Suspiria's good, though.

Chris said...

wow, what controversy is sparked by a foreign word such as "giallo." Anyway, I'm excited to revisit Suspiria. I've only seen it once about 5 years ago. I even bought the soundtrack on eBay after watching it. Enjoy the show! And I wonder what single word will ignite the comment box next...

Cinebeats said...

Lets see how many typos I can manage this time? Damn!

Antaeus - Who said anything about Deep Red not being a giallo film? As for framework - Suspiria contains typical gialli elements like a black gloved killed, knife murders, etc. and the framework or the way in which the story is played out is a hell of a lot like many gialli films which I mentioned above. There's also the pacing, style, etc. At a time when critics and viewers have no problem using the term "giallo" to describe a film like Fulci's Perversion Story I don't see any problem with Stacie using it to describe Suspiria and I frankly don't understand why some people got so bent out of shape over it.

As for Final Destination... that's a reach. We are talking about Italian horror films made in the '60s and '70s right? There's absolutely nothing in the Final Destination movies that remotely resembles any giallo I've seen.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Great choice!!!! I haven't seen this since back in my art school days. I am going to see can rustle up a re-viewing for this month!

spazmo said...

The "Three Mothers" Trilogy fascinates me more than anything in the whole world.

And it's not even a trilogy yet!

Stacie Ponder said...

"If you can edit my lame comment please do!"

Sorry, Kimberly, I can't edit comments. We'll just have to leave your error up there as a lesson to future generations! :)

"I wonder what single word will ignite the comment box next..."

Chris, just wait until I actually review this thing and start throwing around words and phrases like "affirmative action", "immigration", and "gun control". The comments box will be on FIRE, I tells ya!

Looks like this was a great choice...I'm looking forward to some Goblin goodness, for sure.

kindertrauma said...

You're gonna love this SP. It's one of the most gorgeous looking horror flicks ever and the soundtrack rules (play loud!) not to mention Jessica Harper makes a great final girl!

JA said...

Maggots!

Antaeus Feldspar said...

"Antaeus - Who said anything about Deep Red not being a giallo film?"

That's exactly my point -- merely having supernatural elements isn't going to disqualify a film from being a giallo. As for Suspiria, though... hmmm. I may be forgetting more of the film than I thought.

Bloody Mary said...

Hey, this was fourth down in my queue, I bumped it up to #1. Hopefully it arrives in time but this pick looks as though it's pretty popular!

I haven't seen it yet either. There are so many essential films and I'm wading through them waist-deep.

I'm really looking forward to the discussion! This is exciting! :)

Bloody Mary said...

"Anonymous", please don't be anonymous! I wanted to talk to you but you left no contact info. I hope you come back when we review this. Click on me and let me know who you are. :)

Queen Anthai said...

I first saw Suspira downloaded, in Italian, and yet I could still pretty much figure out what was going on. (Yes, I ended up buying it. I'm a lousy pirate.) That's a testament to the strength of this film's visuals as a storytelling medium.

It is gorgeous, it's actually pretty scary (two words: BARBED WIRE), and it's a freaking work of art. There's no way any horror aficionado should pass this one up.

Anonymous said...

spazmo... actually it is. Mother of Tears came out a few months ago.

JOE said...

Suspiria is fab. Giallo is very fab. Opera was terrible. However, I can see why people hate Giallo. I can see people not liking Suspiria. I prefer Bird With Crystal and Phenomena over Suspiria myself. Visually 'tis the best though. Giallo elements? Sure! Not really a Giallo film t'all for me. Though, its like when you see a movie in Blockbuster that sits in Drama, but is sort of funny. To each his own.

Gosh people are so whiny.

Stacie:
Take broccoli and spread out on a cookie sheet. Salt, pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil. Toss in oven for 20 mins on 375 and there you be. Tasty and no smell.

And since we are being pompous and opinionated... well.. I dont like Fulci! GASP!! There Ive said it. His brand of boring misogynistic gore is such a bore. Ive tried and tried.

spazmo said...

By golly you're right, anon.
Every time I checked this project on IMDB, it was listed as "in development" which often translates as "limbo".

And it's getting good reviews!
I always though Argento jumped the gun by not featuring the witches in ascending order of malevolence - Mother of Tears, then Mother of Sighs, and finally Mother of Darkness.

No biggie. If The Wizard of Oz taught me anything, it's that the last witch standing will always prove the most desperate and dangerous.

Bloody Mary said...

Amazing. It's already in the mail on its way to me. I'm impressed, NetFlix! I felt obligated to come back and say so since my previous comment may have cast unfair aspersions.

Spazmo: That witch angle is intriguing!

Joe: Does caramelization complement broccoli? I just saw some amateur cook suggest "roasted broccoli" on Rachael Ray and it didn't sound good.

JOE said...

I find it quite tasty. However, it is a wee amateur as I can not cook for my life. Just took a chance on a way to cook something quick without fuss. I dont let it get too overdone though. Just enough give it a good thorough heating and slight flavor crunch.

;)

Rural Juror said...

I adore Deep Red, like, a lot . . . so this is as good a time as any to start up with the film club

borehole said...

Getting ready to rewatch this in preparation for the big discussion--saw it for the first time a couple years ago, but all I can remember is staring slack-jawed at Jessica Harper. What a face.

So I checked around to see what else she was in, and I found out that OMFG Charles B. Pierce made a third faux-documentary horror film in addition to Legend of Boggy Creek and Town that Dreaded Sundown--it's called The Evictors, Jessica Harper's in it, and why am I still here talking instead of formulating a plan to acquire a copy?

Seriously, why Pierce isn't in the pantheon I'll never know. If Cloverfield turns out to be good, we've all got him to thank.

See y'all at the Suspiria Comment Derby...