Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1969) review


This seems like a very fitting start for my Argento marathon, and not for the purpose of it being his debut. This film is creepy, stylized, well-thought out, and even terrifying to an extent.

PLOT:Sam (Tony Musante) is an American tourist in Italy with his girlfriend, Julia (Suzy Kendall). Things are going well until he witnesses a near-murder in a local art gallery. Trying to save the victim, he gets help. The cops later question him, and he tells them all he knows. He thinks that will be the end of the traumatic event, but he starts getting strange phone calls and murder attempts at him and his associates. Is the killer trying to get revenge? This spins him off deeper into the mystery of finding out more about the killer and his or her's motives. They find clues such as a painting that may be linked in, a voice persona, and even a strange clicking sound heard over the phone. Will Sam find the mystery out or die trying? It's a good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The acting in here kind of fluctuates depending on the character, but it was fairly good for the most part. Tony Musante played a very good and convincing part as Sam, the investigating victim. His personality really drew the film all together. The other shiners would be Suzy Kendall as Julia, Enrico Maria Salerno as Morosoni, and Dario Argento as the black-jacketed killer (without face shots). I believe Eva Renzi played a decent part as Monica, but only in certain spots. She can come off as overacting in parts, but brilliant in others.

SCORE:The score was very well done by Ennio Moricone. It was very creepy and mystical all at the same time. It truly enhanced the creepy feeling of the film.

EFFECTS:They say Argento is known for his effects as well as his editing and violent scenes. The effects aren't shown very much, but of what is shown, they are pretty good. The blood looks real in the scenes it's shown.

OTHER CONTENT:This is a very fitting start to my horror film marathon and my Argento marathon. It's creepy, well thought-out, and full of style. There are certain moments in the film that send shivers down my spine, whether it be the effects of the atmosphere or the facial expressions the characters give off. Argento really knew how to pull this off. He also thought the mystery he wrote into the film out with every detail leading back to something. I appreciate that shock. Argento's editing is something else as well. His stylized violence, clean-cut editing, and overall direction of it all just comes together to make something unique. However, this did have a flaw I noticed. Most of its imperfections worked with the film, but one didn't; that one was the fact that Argento wrote in some non-essential, comedy relief-like parts which, to me, kind of interrupted the flow of the film. A couple examples would be the scene with the transvestite in the pervert line and the odd diet of the artist. These kind of deter from the film's flow and throw it off balance for just a little while. Aside from this, it's a very great horror film.

OVERALL,an awesome Argento horror film with a greatly-executed plot, good acting, very well done score, realistic effects, creepy atmosphere, well thought-out mystery, and clean-cut editing, but some comedic scenes seem to throw the film off of its terrifying axis for a few moments.

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