I really wanted to write a lot about Suspiria, the movie that introduced me to Italian Horror and still one of my favorites. Then I was going to do this clever transition into Inferno, the second in Dario Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy. At the end I was maybe going to mention The Mother of Tears, the final if disappointing entry.
And then it got to be twenty til midnight.
Not that tonight was a waste. I maybe just spent tonight having a wonderful three hour conversation about horror movies with two of my favorite people ever. Yes, I will be sharing it with you. No, not tonight.
So instead of going into detail, I will talk briefly about this seminal film, Suspiria. There will also be more about Suspiria in the coming days with another super special guest post. I promise.
Suspiria holds a special place in my heart and I feel like that place is well deserved. When I first saw it, I knew nothing about Italian horror. Up until that point my exposure to it had been a few brief, confused glimpses of Rupert Everett fighting zombies bookended by the terrible commercials that used to air on USA network at night. I had no idea what I was seeing and it took me nearly ten years to figure out that those bits were in fact scenes from Cemetery Man, Dellemorte Dellamore, aka one of me favorite zombie movies ever. At the time, I didn’t even know it was Italian.
Skip forward a few years.
My freshman year of college, I decided it would be really fun to spend St. Patrick’s Day visiting my good friend in New York. I took the Greyhound up from Williamsburg to spend the long weekend. Virginia, not Brooklyn. It was my first real trip to NYC as an adult and it was wonderful. We explored, I got a hat, we hung out in Washington Square Park, and my friend showed me a movie that would become one of the key movie experiences of my life.
As we were sitting in his cramped New School dorm room, a little chilly, probably drunk, he asked if I had ever heard of Goblin or seen this crazy movie they made the music for. I had not. Well shit, the soundtrack to this thing is brilliant. You have to watch it!
So we put in his DVD and I prepared myself to be scared. I kind of thought I maybe knew what I was getting into? I had no idea! But what happened was amazing.
There were colors, there was this crazy music, there were shadows and blood and maggots. There was gruesome death and stylized terror. There was mystery. There were witches. And when it was all over I knew I had just seen something special.
That was my introduction to Italian horror. That was my introduction to Dario Argento. That was Suspiria.
Still I love this movie.
When I watched it again for this 31 days, it had actually been awhile. I thought it would be nice to revisit it. And really, watching it again, it just brought back all of the happy feelings. Again, while some movies have not held up, Suspiria is still magnificent. Even now being more familiar with the genre I can see where this movie is so good. Some bits are over the top but they’re over the top in a good way.
Most of it is just wonderful.
If you are unfamiliar with Italian Giallo horror, Suspiria is a wonderful place to begin. I’m sorry I’m not going into more detail and I’m completely failing at talking about the rest of the Three Mothers thing, but really this one movie is what it’s all about. It’s what makes me happy.