Monday, February 23, 2009
AT LAST... "FLIES!"
If you LOVE DARIO ARGENTO as much as I do, then you're probably going crazy over the fact the FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, the long-missing Giallo classic, comes out this week on DVD.
Argento's 3rd movie, and the final chapter in his "animal trilogy" ("Bird with the Crystal Plummage" and "The Cat O'Nine Tails" are the first two, FLIES has NEVER been available anywhere. Not on import DVD. Not even on VHS... except in horribly bastardized forms. Just how bad was the old crappy VHS release? This is how bad -- the movie is in ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN. We're talking a full 2:35 to 1 aspect ratio, and the only known releases cropped the film to 1:66 to 1 and were so washed out, wobbly and out of focus, that you could barely even tell what was going on. They were all taken from the same crappy non-anamorphic, fading release print that made the horror festival circuit during the 90s. How do I know that?
Because I SAW that crappy print in 1994 when I met Dario himself at the American Cinematheque tribute to his work... then purchased the crappy VHS tape afterward and RECOGNIZED the exact flaws on the tape that I'd seen earlier on the big screen.
Well, this new disc is a GODSEND.
Perfect picture quality. Great sound. Trailers. Original cover art. At last, this lost horror gem can be seen as it was originally intended!
Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that FLIES is as good as the brilliant and groundbreaking BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMMAGE. That movie is a masterpiece of suspense & horror. However, I love FOUR FLIES more than CAT O' NINE TALES (probably because the lead character in the film is a rocker and so am I. Although, ironically enough... I love the SCORE of CAT O'NINE TALES more than the score for FLIES. Hmmm....)
Here's some trivia for you. The rock band in the film's opening? No it's not GOBLIN. Goblin didn't exist yet... But it was supposed to be DEEP PURPLE. (How awesome would that have been?!) But they didn't do it (for whatever reason). I'm not sure who the band in the movie is, but they ROCK.
Like all good Argento movies, the plot of this film is CRAZY. Seriously. When you finally find out what the secret behind the "four flies" actually is... you will LAUGH, then APPLAUDE... then probably be impressed that anyone had the audacity to actually make such a ridiculously crazy idea work so well! Talk about setting the imagination free...
And yes, I'm not telling... you'll just have to watch the movie.
As with all Argento films, FOUR FLIES is not for everyone. If you like BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMMAGE (or any Italian Gialli for that matter...) you're going to love it. If you love CRAZY SEVENTIES SUSPENSE MYSTERIES WITH A TOUCH OF CHEESY GORE, then you'll TOTALLY DIG this.
If you like traditional Hollywood fare, go rent CHARADE instead.
If you don't believe the picture above... TRUST ME, there's nothing wrong with a little Audrey Hepburn. And there's even some Gary Grant action for the ladies. But if you're looking for an insane time warp back to the Golden Age of Italian Thrillers, BUY OR NETFLIX this lost Argento gem NOW.
(WHAT?! You've never seen "Charade" either?!!!)
Oh, God... why do I even try...