Saturday, November 14, 2015


Directed By: Luigi Pastore
Written By: Luigi Pastore, Antonio Tentori
Starring: Federico Amorosi, Sharon Alessandri, Nikol Brown
Color/80 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: November 10, 2015

The Film
After being told a stay in the mental hospital will do him some a man's madness comes to the surface and he goes on a vicious killing spree recording his actions on his own video camera.

SYMPHONY IN BLOOD RED is cold and without remorse for the audience. Filled with nudity, and numerous extremely bloody murder set pieces, skillfully made by Italy's special effects master Sergio Stivaletti. Blood is splattered from wall to wall and ceiling to floor time after time. The killer grows frustrated with his actions but doesn't have the ability to control himself which is the single thing the audience can latch on to otherwise it is basically just a string of murders.

A giallo this is not. Our killer is never revealed and his motives are kept mostly secretive. There's no investigation into the killer or red herrings to throw us off the trail of the killer's true identity. The film was obviously influenced by giallo films and perhaps more specifically the films of Dario Argento as the violence rivals Argento's gialli but the writing simply isn't up to snuff. The direction is something that is an obvious influence from Argento with extreme closeups of eyeballs, and room wide pans following a character along with the sexualization of certain murders.

Stylistically speaking SYMPHONY IN BLOOD RED has a lot going for it but that's about it as the story is paper thin. At only 80 minutes, including credits, it doesn't run long enough to wear out its welcome but any longer and this would have become a test of patience as it becomes a waiting game for the next kill to arrive. The movie is driven by a pounding original score from Claudio Simonetti, and even showcases his former band Daemonia in a concert scene. The score is great and is definitely one of the high points of the film.

A better script would have allowed director Luigi Pastore's visual flare to really mean something in the big picture but the style mostly goes to waste on the subpar story. Pastore shows a lot of promise in the director's chair and I hope to see more from him in the future.

The Audio & Video
Troma gives SYMPHONY IN BLOOD RED its long overdue North American debut on DVD with a respectable release. The anamorphic widescreen transfer is clean and seems true to the original photography which is quite colorful at times. The DVD doesn't let the colors shine as an HD presentation would but the disc doesn't look bad. The Italian audio is handled with a 2.0 stereo mix with forced English subtitles. The audio is crisp and mixed well letting the intense score shine through when it needs to. The subtitles are translated well aside from the occasional spelling error.

The Extras
-"Symphony In Blood Red: A Look At Italian Giallo" - A documentary on the making of the film clocking in at over 48 minutes. It is subtitled in English but instead of traditional subtitles these are scrolling along the bottom of the screen and change speeds as the speaker talks.
-"The Backstage" - A behind the scenes look at the creation of the film, including a lot of special effects work clocking in at about 6 minutes
-"The Sound Recording" - 55 glorious seconds spent watching the actors record their lines in a vocal booth
-Original Trailer
-"Tromatic Extras" including a clip of Dario Argento taken from Direct Your Own Damn Movie, Tromadance 2015 Highlights, a trailer for Lloyd Kaufman's new web series and a music video directed by Lloyd Kaufman called "Faggot".

The Bottom Line
Gore hounds will eat this one up and for good reason as the splatter is fast and furious and with style.


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