Deep Red (1975)

deep red poster profondo rosso 1975 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Grueling death scenes

Story takes some weird, winding paths

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Deep Red

Studio:  Rizzoli Films/Seda Spettacoli

Genre(s):   Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):   March 7, 1975 (Italy)/June 9, 1976 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

deep red psychic murder macha meril david hemmings

Lesson learned…if you happen to run into Dario Argento, don’t stand near (or under) a window or anything glass

Helga Ulmann (Macha Méril) sees something while doing a demonstration of her psychic abilities…leading to her murder! Ulmann’s murder sets off a dangerous chain of killings as a musician Marcus Daley (David Hemmings) finds himself pulling into a web of mystery. The murderer knows who Marcus is and seems to be coming for him. Marcus finds himself teamed with a reporter named Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) in a race against time to find the murderer before the murderer finds him first.

Written and directed by Dario Argento (with additional scripting by Bernardio Zapponi), Deep Red (Profondo rosso) is sometimes called The Hatchet Murders and was briefly called The Sabre-Toothed Tiger in production to tie into Argento’s earlier animal theme films. The giallo-horror mystery was initially met with mixed reviews but has become a classic among fans of Argento and horror.

deep red creepy doll saw

Nope…nothing creepy about this guy

Argento is one of those directors that makes movies that you remember, and Deep Red is no different. The movie is filled with squeamish moments that sometimes look fake, but also hold a gross realism to them. Deep Red has some grueling and terrifying moments that make it a must for horror movie fanatics.

The movie’s plot is strangely wandering. It stars out with a bit of Psycho homage with the story appearing to be about a psychic that sees a crime…but then the psychic is murdered, and Marcus becomes the main character (thankfully he’s never the suspect…I hate movies like that). The movie provides red herring after red herring (with Gianna being the prime red herring), but it also has a classic “not the ending” moment where the person you think is the killer is exposed to be the ultimate red herring (who pays a really gross price).

The cast is strong. David Hemmings was always a rather interesting actor who started out strong and eventually fizzled. Daria Nicolodi was with Argento at the time of the film and does some overacting (but most of the cast has this high concept over-the-top acting in the film).

deep red murder kid bloody knife ending

Murder most foul!

Deep Red is all about the shocking deaths. It starts out with an implied murder and continues with ruthless deaths through the end and a severed head. Argento gets another murder-by-glass death with is one of his trademarks and there are added children’s toys like a hanging baby doll and an extremely creepy animated puppet toy. The most brutal death has to be the character dragged behind a truck…who then has his head run over for good measure.

Deep Red is a fun gialle and part of the reason that Dario Argento films are fun in general. The movie has an unnerving detachment to the story and that makes it scarier. It has a sort of dirtiness to it (like a lot of Italian horror). Argento was king of the medium and you can see how it evolved into movies like Saw. Check out Deep Red…it is a memorable horror adventure!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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