Jul 162017
 

The Stendhal Syndrome may not be perfect, but with Dario Argento’s amazing direction and unsettling atmosphere, in conjunction with hauntingly creepy performances by his daughter, Asia Argento, and Thomas Kretschmann, it does make for an effective horror-thriller, some aspects truly disturbing.

 

 

The Stendhal Syndrome
— Limited Edition —

(1996)

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Blue Underground | NR – 120 min. – $39.98 | July 25, 2017

Date Published: 07/16/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Dario Argento
Writer(s): Dario Argento & Franco Ferrini (story), Dario Argento (screenplay)
Cast: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Marco Leonardi, Luigi Diberti, Paolo Bonaccelli
DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentary, Interviews, Theatrical Trailer, Gallery
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 3
Audio: Italian (DTS-HD MA 7.1), Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), Italian (DTS-HD MA 2.0), English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 39.6 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 

THE MOVIE — 3.25/5


Plot Synopsis: When beautiful police detective Anna Manni (ASIA ARGENTO) follows the bloody trail of a sophisticated serial murderer/rapist (THOMAS KRETSCHMANN) through the streets of Italy, the young woman falls victim to the bizarre “Stendhal Syndrome” – a hallucinatory phenomenon which causes her to lose her mind and memory in the presence of powerful works of art. Trapped in this twilight realm, Anna plunges deeper and deeper into sexual psychosis, until she comes to know the killer’s madness more intimately than she ever imagined.

Quick Hit Review: If you didn’t see Dario Argento’s name over the opening credits, or on the front cover of the Blu-ray for that matter, one would think The Stendhal Syndrome was a film directed by Brian De Palma with the camera work, angles, an off-kilter plot and even great thriller score from Ennio Morricone. There are certainly Argento-isms especially with the brutal horror elements, not to mention is stars his beautiful daughter, Asia Argento, who does turn in a genuinely powerful performance, rising above a rather predictable story, the third act especially and Thomas Kretschmann is utterly creepy as all hell.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5


This “3-Disc Limited Edition” comes with a nice and embossed slip cover. The interior cover is different from the slip and even has a reversible cover revealing an additional third artwork. Inside is a 20-Page booklet.

Audio Commentary – Author Troy Haywarth (‘So Deadly, So Perverse’). It’s a professorial kind of track as Haywarth discusses the works of Dario Argento and giallo filmmaking.

Interviews (TRT 43:40):

  • Three Shades of Asia (20:01; HD) – Asia Argento
  • Prisoner of Art (13:36; HD) – Co-Writer Franco Ferrini
  • Sharp as a Razor (10:03; HD) – Special Make-Up Artist Franco Casagni

Theatrical Trailer (1:03; HD)

Poster & Still Gallery

The third disc in this set has bonus features from 2007 includes interviews with Writer/Director Dario Argento (20:02), Psychological Consultant Graziella Magherini (20:39), Special Effects Sergio Stivaletti (15:47), Assistant Director Luigi Cozzi (21:50) and Production Designer Massimo Antonello Geleng (22:39).

Total runtime of these comes to 1:40:57.

 


VIDEO – 3.25/5


The Stendhal Syndrome debuts on Blu-ray through Blue Underground and given a 1080p high-definition transfer culled from a 2K restoration from the original camera negative. Considering the films 20 year ago, this didn’t look half bad as detail was pretty good and relatively sharp, close-ups especially, with some softness for some of the more distant shots; and the film appeared clean, free of any obvious signs of artifacts, aliasing, dust, scratches, etc.

Edit: Upon further examination, I closely inspecting the screen captures, there are some compression issues. I don’t know if this was a mistake by the software or something to do with the original negative, but I have to hesitate whether or not to recommend this. As a fan of the Argentos, I think at the right price, it very well may be worth it, but YMMV. If you are a hardcore videophile, this is something you probably could not ignore.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The disc comes with a plethora of options: Italian and English language versions of DTS-HD MA 7.1 (Italian version is the default), Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and DTS-HD MA 2.0; of these I would say the former is the best not just because of the number of channels, but I noticed less hissing noises compared to the DD5.1 track. Dialogue levels sound clear enough however where these really come to life is with Ennio Morricone music which does sound fantastic, as well as some of the more dramatic scenes which helps give these tracks a bit of depth.

 


OVERALL – 3.0/5


Overall, The Stendhal Syndrome may not be perfect, but with Dario Argento’s amazing direction and unsettling atmosphere, in conjunction with hauntingly creepy performances by his daughter, Asia Argento, and Thomas Kretschmann, it does make for an effective horror-thriller, some aspects truly disturbing. This Limited Edition Blu-ray release from Blue Underground offers a flawed video, good audio transfers and a fine selection of interviews with Asia Argento and members of the crew.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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