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:

Master of horror Dario Argento brings you terror that;s hotter than hell! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the ancient book by alchemist E. Varelli was "The Three Mothers". See more »

Goofs

When the girl and the man are shown talking behind the door and we see their silhouettes, their mouths clearly don't fit with the words spoken at the moment. See more »

Quotes

[Reading from "The Three Mothers", by E. Varelli]
Rose Elliot: I do not know what price I shall have to pay for breaking what we alchemists call Silentium, the life experiences of our colleagues should warn us not to upset laymen by imposing our knowledge upon them.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The movie was released on home video in the United States in 1985 by Key Video (owned by 20th Century Fox) completely uncut with the running time of 107 minutes. However, the box featured a typo that listed the running time for the video to be 83 minutes. This error has led to the urban myth that Fox cut 25 minutes from the film for its American release. The Anchor Bay DVD release of Inferno is likewise the complete version of the film but with a new re-mastered widescreen transfer. See more »

Connections

References Last Year at Marienbad (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Mater Tenebrarum
Composed by Keith Emerson'
Keyboards by Keith Emerson'
Vocals performed by Linda Lee (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

A Story of Three Mothers?
24 November 2004 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Definitely a Dario Argento film here. No question about it. The film's plot concerns a young girl ,having read a book about three "mothers" who live in France, Germany, and her hotel in New York, investigating the place she lives in for a key. The girl contacts her brother going to school in Rome - anyone buy Leigh McCloskey as a student of musicology? - asking for help. The three mothers are...well, if you know you are a step ahead of me.

This Argento film is very problematic. On the one hand its genius cannot be denied when it comes to visual artistry and suspense building. Argento paints a scene like no other film maker I know, with the exception perhaps of Mario Bava(who worked on this film...his last). The vibrant colors used throughout the film are surreal, and some of the scenes are lessons in scene building. The underwater sequence is an awesome scene, yet its has virtually no place in the film's plot. Another scene involves a crippled man falling in water and slowly being devoured by rats. His cries reach a diner cook working late, who runs outside to stick a knife in the poor man's throat. His character or an explanation never come. How about the key? Never mentioned again. Visual brilliance cannot make this a good film, though it really works hard at it. I found myself not really understanding what was going on yet loving the scenery. As with most of Argento's work, we get plenty of bloody deaths, particularly young girls and crippled older men. Inferno is not a bad film nor is it a great film. It has many qualities found in Suspiria, but that film made a great deal more sense and had some actors that had a bit more talent than those involved with this. McCloskey's stage presence is akin to driftwood. He is a very poor lead. Alida Valli is back as a permed hotel manager. She gives a good performance though her part has almost no real significance in the film. I guess my gripe is that how can a director with so much obvious talent like Argento just cross the line too much between reality and imagination. If your audience doesn't have SOME guidance then how are they going to know what you are trying to achieve. Some reviewers say you need to watch this film many times to get its point. Balderdash! I could watch it ten more times and still would not be able to make the aforementioned connections in the plot. I could easily sit through the film again though, because of Argento's style of using film as a canvas. If Inferno had a better constructed plot, something along the lines of Suspiria, this very well could be a minor masterpiece. It is definitely worth a look; however, though it pales in comparison to Suspiria in every way.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Produzioni Intersound See more »
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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
See full technical specs »

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