Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to the fifth & final instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" where, each week, I have been recommending something wonderfully wicked for you to watch EVERY WEDNESDAY !!
Having begun this series of posts with a look at George A. Romero's original "Trilogy of the Dead", comprised of "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), followed by "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) and then "Day of the Dead" (1985), for the first few episodes of "Wicked Watch Wednesday", I then threw in something of a curveball with "Dellamorte Dellamore" [aka "Cemetery Man"] (1994) by Michele Soavi... but, today, I plan to knock things right out of the park by sharing a film which, along with "Profondo Rosso" (or, "Deep Red", as some of you may know it), I consider to be the crowning glory for the film's director. First released to Italian audiences on 1st February 1977, here is one of the many varied movie posters (see below) which would have greeted cinema-goers:-
Directed by Dario Argento, and starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Eva Axén, Rudolf Schündler, Udo Kier and Alida Valli (amongst others) plus Joan Bennett, in what was to be her last ever movie, playing the role of 'Madame Blanc'. The film follows the exploits of a young American dancer, Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), who (as newcomer to an exclusive ballet school in Freiburg) soon realises the academy she has joined is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural which leads to a series of violent & grisly murders !! This was the first film in what was to become known as "The Three Mothers" trilogy (a reference used by Dario Argento, himself) and was followed firstly by "Inferno" (1980) and then "The Mother Of Tears" (2007). Anyway, for those of you who have yet to see this absolute gem of a 'giallo', a true horror mystery "cult classic", that is full of visual & stylistic flair (largely thanks to it's use of such vibrant colours) and which 'Rotten Tomatoes' describes as, "a giallo horror as grandiose and glossy as it is gory" here's a brief taster of what you can expect, courtesy of the original film trailer for the movie:-
If you'd like to know more there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Suspiria"(1977), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there is even more information to be had from the Wikipedia Page for "Suspiria", VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan as I am, you probably won't take too much persuading to watch it again !!
As with many of the films I've highlighted thus far, the best recommendation I can make as to which of the available Roku channels you could use to watch this movie is to suggest "YouTube" as your first port-of-call on account of the vast number of horror movies which, thanks to this channel and it's associated apps, are now readily available to stream via your Roku player(s) whenever you choose.
If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you'll find "YouTube" listed among the "Internet TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store and you can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' from the home screen and scrolling through the options until you see the (above) channel icon. It's completely FREE-TO-ADD as well as being FREE-TO-VIEW so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option & navigating the on-screen menu to play "Suspiria" on your Roku which, for the record, runs to 1h 32mins and can be found at:-
Meanwhile, for more of that cinematic experience, here's a few of the other posters movie-goers & home cinema viewers may have encountered depending on their particular location in the world:-
I really like how much the above posters differ while (for the most part) staying true to one unifying theme (aside from the title) but, more than that, I especially like how both the Argentinian DVD poster and (to a lesser extent) the Spanish poster have incorporated the ornamental peacock into the overall image, because I believe (as is widely regarded) that it was a subtle homage to "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage" which, if you weren't already aware, was the 1970 feature film debut for director, Dario Argento. Look out for one particular scene in "Suspiria", during which a glass feather (or plume) is plucked from the aforementioned ornament, for further "evidence" of the supposed homage and, in any event, the reason for the bird being featured in those two poster images. As with "Dellamorte Dellamore", there is a very "arty" side to this film, plus a fair amount of "blood & gore" but, once again, it's all done in that oh-so-stylish Italian fashion !!
Anyway, to round-off this fifth instalment of "Wicked Watch Wednesday" on 'Day Twenty-Nine' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', comes a few more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS for you... for example, did you know that Dario Argento was inspired to make this film by stories from (his then girlfriend) Daria Nicolodi's grandmother, who (herself) claimed to have once fled from a music academy in Germany due to the fact that "witchcraft" was secretly being practised there?! Or, that Daria Nicolodi who, as well as being Dario Argento's girlfriend at the time, also wrote the screenplay for "Suspiria" and was originally to have starred in the lead role until it was decided that a younger, American actress would "make the film more marketable" and, after seeing her debut acting role in Brian De Palma's "Phantom Of The Paradise" (1974), Dario Argento cast Jessica Harper as lead. Having said that, Daria Nicolodi did play a minor role in the movie and can be glimpsed during the film's opening sequence, where Suzy (Jessica Harper) is seen walking through the airport. Nicolodi also provided the "gravelly" voice for the character of 'Helena Markos' for whom the actual actress went uncredited but, according to Jessica Harper, was (in actual fact) a 90-year old "hooker" that Dario Argento apparently "found" on the streets of Rome !! Meanwhile, you may well have known that the creepy music for "Suspiria" was composed by Dario Argento, together with the band 'Goblin', but... were you aware that the director is said to have played the music at full bast "on set" to unnerve the actors and elicit a "truly scared" performance from them?! Another interesting tidbit of information to come from the filming of "Suspiria" is that it was one of the lines spoken by Dr. Frank Mandel (Udo Kier) which gave the Dario Argento biography, "Broken Mirrors, Broken Minds", it's title !! For more "frighteningly fun film facts" I recommend that you visit the dedicated webpage for 'TRIVIA' on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Suspiria" (1977), VIA THIS LINK, or the 'Wikipedia' page (see link above).
Still, that's all for today... but remember to come back in 24-hours on 'Day Thirty' for the penultimate instalment of "Another CreatureFeature Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next devilish drink for "Toxic Tipple Thursday", as we continue our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2014...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!