Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 9th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2010
Director: Luigi Pastore
Writers: Luigi Pastore, Antonio Tentori
Cast: Sharon Alessandri, Federico Amorosi, Nikol Brown, Federica Carpico, Tony Cimarosa, Claudio Simonetti
DVD Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Approximate Running Time: 78 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
Subtitles: English (Non-Removable)
DVD Release: Troma Entertainment
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A psychiatrist accidentally turns her patient into a psychopath, when one of her suggestions unlocks a traumatic memory from the patients past.
Key collaborators on Symphony in Blood Red include, screenwriter Antonio Tentori (A Cat in the Brain), special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti (Demons, Cemetery Man) and composer Claudio Simonetti (Opera). Also music from Dario Argento’s Opera appears in this film.
Content wise, this film wears proudly it’s inspirations, 1970’s Italian thrillers and more specifically Italian thrillers that were directed by Dario Argento. This also extends to many of staples which has since become synonymous to the Italian thrillers. And when it comes to weapons, the killer often uses weapons of opportunity. With that being said, there is one area where this film goes against the grain and that is its protagonist. Where most Italian thrillers narratives are told via amateur sleuths or law enforcement, this film is told form the viewpoint of the killer.
Another area where this film once again pay homage is its visuals and there are even a few moments in the film which have been appropriated from other Italian thrillers. Also when it comes to the film’s visuals they take advantage of the killers’ POV by integrating footage shot by killer. Of course this film is at its best during moments of carnage and two of its standout moments in this regard include a scene where stripper performing her routine in middle of a crowd is killed by the killer. Another standout moment includes a scene where the killer adducts a reporter and tortures him. This moment takes on an added level of sadism as it is presented though the lens of killers’ camera.
A few areas where this film could have been better include, more back-story regards to the killer and a stronger finale. Fortunately, there are more things that this film gets right then wrong and the end result it a highly entertaining film does very good job capturing the essence of the film’s it is paying tribute too.
Symphony in Blood Red is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended aspect ratio. The image looks clean, the image remains stable and brighter scenes look crisp. Also there are no issues with compression and the darker scenes lack the same clarity as the aforementioned brighter scenes.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Italian. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are non-removable English subtitles and there are a few spelling errors.
Extras for this release include an introduction before the film with Lloyd Kaufman, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 18 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles), two production related featurettes – the first one featurette titled ‘The Backstage’ (6 minutes 20 seconds) which contains onset footage and the second featurette titled ‘The Sound Recording’ (58 seconds) which contains excerpts of the cast rerecording dialog.
Other extras include an insightful documentary titled ‘Symphony in Blood Red: A Look at Italian Giallo’ (47 minutes 59 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles). Besides cast & crew discussing their roles in the making of this film. There are also some very interesting comments from filmmakers Dario Argento, Luigi Cozzi and Lamberto Bava, actress Daria Nicolodi, special effects Sergio Stivaletti and composer Claudio Simonetti.
The remaining extras can be found under the banner Tromatic extras and they included, a music video directed by Lloyd Kaufman, a trailer for Troma’s latest web series ‘Kabukiman’s Cocktail Corner’, a segment titled ‘Tromadance 2015 highlights’ and a three minute clip with Dario Argento titled ‘A Minute with Dario Argento! A Make Your Own Movie! Lesson’. Overall Symphony in Blood Red gets a strong release from Troma Entertainment.