Dario Argento's World of Horror (1985)
By: David Michael Brown on August 25, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 71 minutes
The Movie
Director: Michele Soavi
Starring: Dario Argento, Jennifer Connelly, Karl Malden, Donald Pleasance
Screenplay: Michele Soavi
Tagline: "A blood soaked montage of murder"
Country: Italy
In the days when it was almost impossible to watch, let alone own, any films by Dario Argento uncut on video, the arrival of the documentary World of Horror was greeted with much applause by the director's legions of fans. Nowadays, when we can pop down to our local video store and pick up a pristine widescreen print of almost all of his films in their full-unexpurgated gory glory, with a host of extras, the necessity to own World of Horror seems to have diminished somewhat.

Saying that World of Horror is an interesting watch featuring a host of clips, interviews and behind the scenes shots from almost all of his films. The likes of Tom Savini, Daria Nicoldi, Michael Brandon and Jessica Harper all discuss working with the director with great enthusiasm and fondness. The film also covers some of his work as producer like Dawn of the Dead and Demons.

The behind the scenes footage is what makes the film worth a watch. Highlights include Argento working with Goblin scoring Suspiria, the tracking shot from Tenebrae and tieing a piece of wire onto a bee so they can guide where it flies in Phenomena. Argento, as always "gives good quote" and rambles on about that murder is a beautiful thing and the film finally answers the myth that every murderous hand in his films is the directors own.

Soavi puts World of Horror together with panache but the narration seems a bit dated. He should really stick to directing his own films, The Church, The Sect and in particular the wonderful Dellamorte Dellamore all show a young director with a great vision for the grotesque. The fact he appeared as an actor in the likes of City of the Living Dead, Demons and Caligula II: The Untold Story show an artist who doesn't pull any punches; it's a shame he hasn't made a film of his own since the Rupert Everett starring zombie filled epic.
Fairly average; the quality of the clips varies massively from film to film which I guess isn't too surprising considering the prints they were using at the time. As the films have pretty much all been released in much better condition since it can be difficult to watch at times.
As above; once again a 5.1 surround track is absent from the mix.
Extra Features
Bizarrely the main extra is another documentary (An Eye for Horror), one that will be very familiar to anyone who has been following Umbrella's Argento collection. Correct me if I'm wrong but this documentary has now appeared eight times as an extra. There must be some different Argento goodies we haven't seen that Umbrella could have dug up for us. The fact that the only other extra, a collection of Argento trailers that have also already appeared as extras means the release is all but superfluous to anyone with a well stocked Argento DVD collection.
The Verdict
Dario Argento's World of Horror will sate the appetite for the hard core Argento completist with its behind the scenes snippets but is pretty redundant for everyone else. We just aren't so desperate for badly transferred clips from his films now we can get his whole career on shiny DVD, Four Flies on Grey Velvet excepted.
Movie Score
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