6.6/10
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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.

Director:

Dario Argento

Writer:

Dario Argento (story and screenplay)

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leigh McCloskey ... Mark Elliot
Irene Miracle ... Rose Elliot
Eleonora Giorgi ... Sara
Daria Nicolodi ... Elise De Longvalle Adler
Sacha Pitoëff ... Kazanian (as Sacha Pitoeff)
Alida Valli ... Carol, the caretaker
Veronica Lazar ... The Nurse / Mater Tenebrarum
Gabriele Lavia ... Carlo
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Professor Arnold / Dr. Varelli (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Leopoldo Mastelloni Leopoldo Mastelloni ... John, the Butler
Ania Pieroni ... Music Student
James Fleetwood James Fleetwood ... Cook
Rosario Rigutini Rosario Rigutini ... Man
Ryan Hilliard ... Shadow
Paolo Paoloni ... Music Teacher
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Storyline

Riddled with secret but horrid suspicion, the young American poet, Rose Elliot, writes to her brother and musicology student in Rome, Mark, about the startling findings in the dark and dank basement of her New York Art Deco apartment building. Pivoting around the cryptic knowledge hidden in the leather-bound book entitled "The Three Mothers", Rose is convinced that her aristocratic but damned abode is, in fact, an ancient coven for Mater Tenebrarum, the malevolent Mother of Darkness. Little by little, as the siblings delve deeper and deeper into the occult, a mysterious disappearance and an endless string of gruesome killings will bring Mark closer and closer to a surreal nightmare. Where do the long and shadowy corridors of Rose's building lead? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Frightened Journey Through the Macabre Corridors of Hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For some of the exterior location shoots in Italy footage of New York City, skyscrapers were superimposed in the background to make it appear like the film's New York City setting. See more »

Goofs

After finding the word 'MATER' written on the leather case, in the next scene Mark is unpacking books and placing them in piles on the desk. Poor editing makes it appear he is removing them from a case with the storage capacity of Felix the Cat's bag. See more »

Quotes

Kazanian: There are mysterious parts in that book, but the only true mystery is that our very lives are governed by dead people.
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Alternate Versions

For its UK cinema release cuts were made to shots of a cat eating a live mouse. The Fox video was cut by 20 secs with the same cinema cut plus an additional edit to a closeup of a cat's head being hit against a chair. The cuts were fully waived for the 2010 Arrow DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Mater Tenebrarum
Composed by Keith Emerson'
Keyboards by Keith Emerson'
Vocals performed by Linda Lee (uncredited)
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User Reviews

The Stuff Of Nightmares
29 May 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

This is a film about witches, ancient alchemy, and death. The atmosphere is Gothic and medieval. But the setting is modern. Most scenes take place in small, stylish interior spaces. For lighting, Argento uses the glow from indirect sources (mostly blue, red, and orange hues), and alternates this with darkness. In combination with the lighting, the film's sound effects, which alternate with silence, are appropriately spooky. And Keith Emerson's soundtrack, with all that organ music, contributes to the Gothic tone. One of the best parts of the entire film is the rock-opera opus from the chorus at the film's end, with that great beat, and lyrics that are indecipherable.

The nightmarish atmosphere, while maybe not quite as stunning as in "Suspiria", is more than adequate to induce suspense, anticipation, and a sense of danger. From out of the darkness and stillness comes "death", in all its horrific cruelty. As a "horror" film, "Inferno" is fairly pure, in that the plot is more or less self-contained. There are only brief references to the "real" world, outside the confines of the story.

The film's plot is indeed thin, and functions really as an excuse for the actors to move from one atmospheric set to the next. The script does not require great acting skills, mercifully, since great acting is nowhere to be found.

Of the various Argento films I have seen, "Inferno" is perhaps my least favorite. It does not have the conviction of Argento's other works. It seems more like a half-hearted sequel, an afterthought, to "Suspiria". Like most sequels, I find it less satisfying than the original, the soundtrack notwithstanding. Still, for Argento fans, "Inferno" is a must-see, if for no other reason than for purposes of comparison.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

2 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inferno See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (Dolby Stereo) (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)| 3 Channel Stereo (5.0 Surround Sound) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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