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Inferno (1980)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Inferno (1980) Dario Argento returns with a follow-up to SUSPIRIA in one of his most nonlinear outings ever. It took five years for this one to get distributed and was direct-to-VHS at that, even though 20th Century Fox co-financed it! Various individuals are investigating The Three Mothers, a trio of witches residing around the globe, and a woman feels that the old apartment building she lives in might be home base for one of them. As she reads books, investigates, and gets her brother involved with the quest for truth, various supernatural-inspired murders occur...and a black gloved maniac gets in on the action as well. Without the girl's school setting of SUSPIRIA and PHENOMENA, this one feels a bit routine at times. (Girl's schools are surely an entrancing, alien landscape for most of Argento's predominantly male viewers, I'd guess...adding more than a bit of enticement to his similarly-themed works.) There's some good setpieces in here, such as the underwater scene where the female investigator swims through a flooded ballroom from the past and a corpse assaults her, JAWS style. (Think ol' Ben Gardner!) Not to mention, the well-endowed actress sports a wet T-shirt that is very translucent, for those of us looking for such things. (Note: ME!!!) The witch's minions turn into cats in this outing, and there seems to be a few scenes where kitties were abused to get shots- honestly, I love cats and had to fast-forward through this atrocity. I sincerely hope no felines were harmed making this thing, otherwise I'd be super pissed, Argento or not. Ending feels rushed and almost a carbon copy of SUSPIRIA, not nearly as good. Music by Keith Emerson is decent but too subdued and wimpy compared to Goblin's outrageously overwhelming effort on SUSPIRA. Again, hard not to compare the two since the plots are so close, and ultimately INFERNO ends up being a pale imitation of SUSPRIA with some nightmarish good moments, but overall, a disappointment for this viewer.

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