6.7/10
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122 user 158 critic

Inferno (1980)

R | | Horror | 2 April 1980 (USA)
An American college student in Rome and his sister in New York investigate a series of killings in both locations where their resident addresses are the domain of two covens of witches.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Kazanian (as Sacha Pitoeff)
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Carol, the caretaker
Veronica Lazar ...
...
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Professor Arnold / Dr. Varelli (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Leopoldo Mastelloni ...
John, the Butler
...
Musical Student
James Fleetwood ...
Cook
Rosario Rigutini ...
Man
...
Shadow
...
Music Teacher
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Storyline

Young poetess Rose Elliot buys a book from a local antique dealer, a diary in Latin of an architect, E. Varelli. She learns of the Three Mothers, and believes her apartment building is one of their houses. She pleads her brother Mark, who is studying musicology in Rome, to come, because she is afraid. Mark's friend Sara reads her letter, which he left behind in class, and discovers the school is run by the Mater Lacrimarum, and is murdered for this knowledge. The house of Mater Suspiriorum has already been destroyed, and by the time Mark arrives in New York City, he is investigating his sister's murder. Written by Scott Hutchins <scottandrewh@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror that's hotter than hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

2 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inferno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)| (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava assisted with the making of the special effects on this film. Bava passed away shortly before its release. See more »

Goofs

Towards the beginning, when the character played by Irene Miracle is swimming through the lost cellar room, she clearly is not wearing a bra; however, a few minutes later, after surfacing and returning to the building lobby, you can see that a bra has magically appeared under her dress. See more »

Quotes

Sara: Have you ever heard of the Three Sisters?
Carlo: You mean those black singers?
Sara: No, I'm talking about mythology.
Carlo: Hold on, if you're talking about spooks and stuff, I don't believe in any of that.
Sara: How can you be so sure?
Carlo: I don't believe in such things, that's all, and without any philosophical discussion.
Sara: Then what do you believe in?
Carlo: In whatever I can see and touch.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cronos (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Mater Tenebrarum
Composed by Keith Emerson'
Keyboards by Keith Emerson'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The most beautiful of horror movies
12 February 2001 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Inferno is Dario Argento's masterpiece. For once, he abandoned the idea of a coherent storyline altogether and made a movie that is simply a series of beautifully made setpieces. Many people have criticized Inferno's plot; such people are completely missing the point. Inferno is no more concerned with plot than Luis Bunuel was with movies such as The Phantom of Liberty; where Bunuel was concentrating on images and ideas, Argento is concentrating on images and emotion, specifically fear.

Each scene features a character or characters running afoul of the Three Mothers, entities introduced obliquely in Argento's previous movie, Suspiria, and developed considerably here. The third movie in the Three Mothers trilogy remains unmade. Each scene is carefully coded by judicious use of colour and sound. All the best setpieces in the movie feature no dialogue whatsoever (most notably the scenes in the underwater chamber and the lecture theatre). Much of the most significant dialogue is whispered offscreen by unseen persons.

Inferno is that rarest of breeds: pure cinema. Not only could it not have succeeded in any other medium, it cannot be adequately described in words. Anyone who is seriously concerned with artistic cinema must see this movie, as should most horror fans. Anyone who has trouble getting their head around movies that push beyond the conventional three-act storyline will almost certainly hate it.


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