The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of this film are the first 92.
Year of Release: 1977
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 98 minutes (1:38)
Director: Dario Argento
Jessica Harper ... Suzy Bannion
Stefania Casini ... Sara
Alida Valli ... Miss Tanner
Joan Bennett ... Madame Blanc
Flavio Bucci ... Daniel
Miguel Bose ... Mark
Barbara Magnolfi ... Olga
Susanna Javicoli ... Sonia
Rudolf Schundler ... Prof. Milius
Udo Kier ... Dr. Frank Mandel
Eva Axen ... Pat Hingle
Giuseppe Transocchi ... Pavlo
Dario Argento ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Suzy Bannion, a young American girl has enrolled at a German dance academy to continue her studies. Upon her arrival it is apparent that this place is like no other - she soon comes to realize that the dance academy is a front for a coven of witches. The roller coaster through hell begins as she is thrust into a dreamlike world - full of nightmares and flamboyant murders, among the bloodiest and wildest to date in horror history.
Suspiria, remindin' us that a maggot in the comb is worth two in the bangs. Hopefully nobody in this flick was sleepin' nekkid, cause even one of those in the bush is likely to result in an unflattering nickname that'll follow you for the rest of your life. Sides that, you really don't want those things dribblin' out all over the dance floor anyway, cause one slight squish an a loss of footing while the guy's hoistin' ya overhead locked in a position even the Kama Sutra considers dangerous could result in permanent brain damage and/or loss of sex drive.
An speakin' of people flexible enough to fit their entire foot in their mouth, we've officially pushed into October an... God help us, it's Sage Maze preparation time again at the Hernandez ranch. I guess if I'm bein' honest, our annual State of the Maze address went better'n usual, cause I'm pretty sure this is the first one we ever had where no punches were thrown. Anyway, Skunky opened up the meetin' by informin' us (us bein' the usual crew: me, Billy Hilliard, Tetnis, Juanita, an Sadie Bonebreak) that: "Cozins be here thees week to keel rattlesnakes, feel badgare holes, peek up last last year's condoms, usual stuff. Aftare that, Juanita an Heelyar' set up props. An Heelyar', no makeen skeletons hump thees year; I tired of getting P.O.'d lettares from church about one way teekit to Hell."
Billy nodded but you could already see the gears turnin' in his head tryin' to think of somethin' even more offensive to put on display an Skunky continued; "Sadie, you ain Tetnis on scary mask/security detail. Geev kids candy an pound troublemakers, but for Cripe sake make sure troublemakers is ADULTS thees time. Parents was very upset last year, Sadie."
Sadie took Skunky's constructive criticism pretty well, didn't give 'im an atomic wedgie or anything, though she did fire back with "He snapped my bra, Hernandez, he's lucky he learned that lesson before his teeth were permanent."
Skunky just waved 'er off an muttered "Whatavar, jus' don't do again. That covare everything, we start next week, be here 6AM."
Course, nobody but Skunky got up to leave cause that sure's hell *did not* cover everything an we all knew it, so after a few seconds I blurted out: "I think maybe you're forgettin' somethin' Skunky, like, the fact that The Lost Boys're still out there in that maze of yours. Remember? The guys with Portland hipster beards who went feral back in 2014, got captured an shipped off to psycho-therapy in 2015, an then relapsed an vanished in there last year? The guys who tear open jackrabbits with their molars an violated Sadie's girlfriend's pant leg? Remember?!"
Naturally, Skunky handled this with the same dismissive attitude he always takes when the stuff's about a millimeter away from the fan, an said: "They prolly die last weenter, beeg snow last year, no way they survive."
By this point I was startin' to lose my cool a little, an countered with: "So you're worried about Sadie protectin' her honor from preteen perverts, but not Abominable Sagemen with teeth like wood-handled steak knives?"
He just shrugged a little an said: "Leesin pendejo, I try explain to you: people LIKE crazy wildmen. Eet part of fun eef they show up. Make theengs more eentaresting."
"And the doctors in Seattle? Don't they want these guys back?"
"Trump cut funding, ees our problem now."
"Well, can't you put some coyote snares out there an see if they'll strangle themselves or somethin'? I'm tellin' ya Skunky, this's gonna come back to bite you, prolly literally."
"Oh cheel out seesee boy, eef weirdos show up an cause problem Tetnis bash een heads with pipe, everything fine."
So I just stopped arguin' with 'im. Tetnis an Sadie are as tough as they come, but these guys're *fast*, an unpredictable as a crackhead scoopin' coins out of a wishin' well. But maybe I just worry too much, I mean, it's not like there's gonna be dozens of people with concealed carry permits roamin' around in there, what's the worst that could happen? I'll tell ya somethin' else too: we're dealin' with one sorry state of affairs when *I* am the voice of reason.
Butcha know what? I'm not even gonna think about it. Mostly cause if I *do* think about it I'm gonna end up out there with a chainsaw flattenin' the whole Maze an ruinin' Halloween for everybody, but also because it's the second week of our October classics lineup, an I'm gonna need every last spark of intelligence I got to make sure nobody misses out on understandin' the subtle differences between just stabbin' somebody over an over at a cursed summer camp, an stabbin' somebody over an over inside beautifully lit sets that're practically burstin' at the seams with deep psychological undertones an what not. It's really all very technical, but we'll get into that soon enough, an in the meantime I've plucked out a few of the more fascinatin' tidbits to keep you informed an occupied while I try sortin' out the reasons why anyone'd spend thousands of dollars on oversized multi-colored light bulbs just to project menace. First, if witches can tell when you're gossipin' in the pool, you'd damn sure better not be peein' in there. Second, when your seeing-eye dog starts chompin' on your throat, it technically becomes what's known as a "disservice animal," an is no longer exempt from lease agreements that forbid pets. An third - you can dance if you wannu, but they'll cleave your friend's behind, an if your friends get lanced an piss in their pants, well then, you're next in line.
On a more positive note - I can't help but admire the old fashioned work ethic on display in this flick. Really, in this day an age, it's nice to see an enterprisin' group of evil crones doin' things the honest way. I mean, after all, the old witch historian in the movie spent all that time talkin' about how witches are evil an out to acquire vast sums of wealth for themselves, an yet, rather'n just find out who won the latest Mega Millions jackpot drawing an abscond with their winnins after turnin' 'em into a whoopie cushion, they build their fortune slowly via tuition checks from yuppie parents enrollin' their kids in ballet school. Most folks wouldn't go through all that trouble. They'd be like: "alright turkey, hand over your pension an nobody hasta go through life with their face an ass transposed," an that'd be the end of it. Most witches'd be sippin' fizzy drinks on the beach in Fiji, but not these gals; they've got *integrity*. I gotta confess, if I had these kinda gnarly powers I'd prolly spend mosta my time recreatin' old Bewitched episodes an all but give up on makin' somethin' outta myself. I ain't proud of it, it's just the way God made me, an that's why I wanted to take a minute to draw attention to these classy, hardworkin' broads; so ladies, I'd just like to let it be known, loudly an clearly: you're all better men than I am.
The movie begins with our plucky little heroine (Suzy) landin' at Munich International an bein' shunned by a buncha sour, taxi cab drivin' krauts who're obviously still P.O.'d at America for kickin' their lederhosen clad hineys two world wars in a row. One does finally stop an drives 'er to this fancy dance academy that looks like it doubles as the local firehouse, only when she rings the bell they won't let 'er in cause 'er scholarship check bounced or somethin' an pretty quick some hysterical broad (Pat) comes boltin' outta there an takes off runnin' through the woods like a mule deer that just backed into an electrified fence. Pat hauls butt over to a nearby bed & bratwurst to escape the rain, but it ain't long before this big hairy arm busts out 'er window an smooshes 'er face up against the glass til she looks like the little herpes monster in Mac & Me when he gets hit by the car, an next thing you know she's gettin' stabbed like a hobo who tried washin' Katie Quackenbush's windshield an ends up gettin' lynched by a possessed electrical wire when the stained glass sunroof she collapses on shatters like a Rolling Rock bottle launched from a pigeon slinger. The next mornin', Suzy heads back to das Schule where she meets Madame Blanc an this hardass dance instructor with dual hair buns that look like they're concealin' ram horns (Miss Tanner) who spring a buncha hidden fees on 'er like a coupla desk clerks workin' the Southwest Airlines ticket counter. Then Frau Zedong takes 'er to the locker room an introduces 'er to the cutthroat bitches who'll be vying for all the same jobs as her, an it don't take too long for 'er to get a good idea of what she's up against when this curly redheaded girl (Sara) goes nose to nose with a pissy broad named Olga who proceed to snipe at each other like a coupla 10-year-olds in the backseat of an AC-free station wagon on a family vacation to Winnemucca. Course, Suzy needs a place to crash, so she goes home with Olga an plays hard to get with this Italian Ashton Kutcher who carries 'er luggage for 'er until it's time for class, an when they get there Madame Blanc tells 'er a room's opened up for 'er an starts actin' like a debutante who just got asked out by the janitor when Suzy says she'd rather stay at Olga's place.
Then Suzy goes walkin' down the hallway towards the dance studio an gets vertigized by this fat old babushka lady who flashes a 10,000 watt prism thing directly in 'er face, which somehow saps all 'er natural grace an causes 'er to flail around like a house cat tryin' to escape the clutches of a sadistic toddler til she collapses on the floor. When she wakes up she finds 'erself in the room Madame Blanca tried givin' 'er, gettin' shot up with pirouette enhancing drugs an bein' told to get plenty of rest an to suck down a coupla Tanis root smoothies everyday. Easier said than done though, cause next thing you know the whole damn school's totally inundated with maggots like somebody forgot to close the lid on their Ecuadorian barbecue supplies, until Instructor Eva Brawn finds the source in a trunk in the attic. Fortunately, the maggot defense league managed to hold the line on the second floor, so they rig the dance hall into a Vietnam field hospital so nobody'll get tapeworms, an once everyone goes to sleep Sara starts hearin' this train whistle snore comin' from outside the privacy curtain an tells Suzy she's pretty sure it belongs to the "directress," who's apparently had the insides of 'er nostrils outfitted with tiny kazoos. Tryin' to sleep with her around's about like workin' the graveyard shift while livin' next door to a clown college. But anyway, the next mornin' the blind pianist (Daniel) ties his guide dog to the bike rack like any other day, only a coupla minutes into his first medley, Commandant Heilberg bursts in on the dance session an bellows at the guy about how his dog just turned Cujo an took a bite outta the creepy kid who looks like Damian with a butterscotch dye-job an threatens to send 'im to the Russian front if he doesn't get his sightless hinder outta there. So later that evenin', Daniel's out at some off-off-off Broadway Theater listenin' to a buncha guys dressed like the waitstaff at Oktoberfest doin' the Mamushka in some whacked out Der Wienerschnitzel: The Musical adaptation, only when he an his dog head for home the dog starts gettin' agitated, an pretty quick we see a buncha shadows bein' cast down on the buildings in the background just before the dog turns heel an tears his throat out like a Playboy centerfold in the clutches of a prepubescent punk. We then rejoin Suzy at the Danse Macabre where Sara's tellin' 'er about how she an Pat used to be besties before she went bungee jumpin' feet first, an that the voice on the other end of the intercom tellin' 'er to leave the night she first showed up was actually her.
Apparently Pat'd been spyin' on the instructors tryin' to figure out where they're havin' their lesbian swinger parties to secure a passin' grade just before fleein' the scene, only somebody keeps spikin' Suzy's wine with NyQuil, so while Sara's tellin' 'er all this she ends up fallin' asleep like a narcoleptic in an opera house balcony. Then Sara goes nosin' around in the attic an ends up gettin' chased into a room that seems like it oughta have a kid standin' in every corner waitin' to become witches' brew, til she hasta crawl out a little bitty window an ends up fallin' into the world's biggest uncoiled Slinky an gets 'er throat slit while she's tryin' to free 'erself. The next mornin', Ilsa: She Wolf of the Sus-Sous comes into Suzy's room an tells 'er Sara's done flown the coup with mosta their chicken wire, but Suzy ain't buyin' it, an so she goes to talk to Sara's psychiatrist an finds out that the school was founded by some old hag who got P.O.'d when a house fell on 'er sister an started teachin' occult studies to impressionable young students, before mysteriously dyin' in a fire that just happened to be extinguished by a firetruck whose hydrant'd been blessed by the clergy. Then she starts talkin' to this whackadoo old man who throws around a buncha old man bigotry about witches bein' evil harpies out to get rich at the expense of anyone who's handy, an how they'll change events, cause illness, an even kill people for trivial crap like scratchin' their brooms while pullin' into the adjacent parkin' spot. Needless to say, by the time she gets back to school, Suzy's just a teensy bit on edge an wants nothin' better than to reclaim her tuition check an get the heck outta there before the Bitches of Yeastclit figure out what she's up to an go all hocus chokus on 'er like Darth Vader. Fortunately, she's finally able to piece together in 'er head what Pat said to 'er as she bolted out the front door that first night, an uses that information to locate a hidden passageway decorated with Latin etchings and an endless Wiccan Fuzzy Poster depicting a Sylvan Glade. Prolly don't need to tell ya the hags're down there, an they're supremely P.O.'d about havin' to refund the tuition fees of all the bimbos they've hadda wipe from their registry over the course of the last week, so we're gonna cut off the description here before I go an spoil the best part.
Alrighty, well, despite being almost universally hailed as the greatest Italian horror flick of all time (and if you relegate the criteria solely to production values, I think that's probably true), it should be noted that Suspiria is structured very similarly to a Giallo film, and has a distinctive Mystery feel about it. What that means is that it's heavy on psychology, and light on gore; so for that reason, I'd suggest anyone currently contemplating seeing it for the first time determine whether that is going to be acceptable to them. That said, it's pretty obvious that its emphasis on suspense over violence and tense atmosphere over jump scares is what earned it its impressive 7.5 rating on the IMDB, because when you're able to combine the elements of a psychological thriller with a small number of spectacular and/or shocking scenes, it works flawlessly in attracting a mainstream audience that thinks it's seeing something truly horrifying. You don't get a 7.5 for a Horror film without appealing to the mainstream, and Argento manages to do just that without completely sacrificing the less tasteful aspects that tend to draw in your traditional genre fans. As for my personal assessment, I believe his approach yielded the best possible return, because while I find it a little slow, it has three fantastic scenes that provide just enough excitement to keep it enjoyable. Based upon the IMDB reviews I skimmed through, that seems to be unusual, as most of the people who've seen fit to voice their opinions either love it or hate it (yes, there are quite a few 1/10 reviews on there), and the only explanation I have is that the overwhelming majority of genre fans who love it have built up so much hype around it that some folks find it disappointing. Obviously, a 1/10 score for Suspiria is absolutely asinine, as it's one of the best *crafted* Horror flicks of all time, but I can completely understand how fans who cut their teeth on Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead (as I did) would find it slow. Suspiria is far closer stylistically to Psycho than it is to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and that's something that you need to have firmly established in your mind before you see it, because if you're expecting a mindless gorefest, you're gonna be pretty P.O.'d when the credits roll. I can't fault Argento's methods, because anything he could have done differently that would have made the movie appeal more to me personally would have cost him ten (or more) other admirers who loved the flick *because* of its cerebral nature and, really, how many Horror films are there that're as nearly unanimously beloved as Suspiria anyway? Between its fantastic use of vibrant colors, superb cinematography (the sequence where Pat is running through the woods and the camera is driving down the road is really cool), and tense atmosphere, it is definitely the most visually impressive of all the Italian Horror films, there's just no contest.
Anyhow, prolly about time to ladle up a bowl fulla this witches' brew to find out if the newt eyes are well balanced against the tang of the bat wings. The plot is fairly simplistic, with a premise that's perhaps a little bit questionable. Maybe it's just me, but I don't recall ever seeing another flick (or reading any books) involving witches where wealth was a motivating factor. Seems to me like running the dance academy strictly as a cover would be explanation enough, but then I don't claim to be an expert on all things supernatural. Something else you might notice while watching is that the dialog seems a little odd for girls in their late teens and early twenties, and the reason is Argento had originally written the script with 12-year-old girls in mind (which is also no doubt why there aren't any nude scenes). His content was ultimately considered too violent for a cast of children, so he ended up adjusting the age of the cast, but never altered the script, which is why the scene early on with the two 18-year-olds sticking their tongues out and hissing at each other like snakes is so amusingly out of place. In general, the plot is still pretty good, but it has some eccentricities that do tend to weigh it down a little bit. The acting is very good, and features a few faded stars accompanying the primarily youthful cast consisting almost entirely of women. For my money, Alida Valli gives the best performance as the ultra-bitch Miss Tanner, but there's not a single cast member who brings down the production in any way. It also features what I'd have to say is the best dubbing of any Italian flick I've ever seen, as all the folks doing voice overs not only convey the appropriate type and level of emotion for any given situation, but also deliver their lines smoothly and with accents appropriate to their character (the school is in Germany, but you've got students from all over the world attending). That's not to denigrate Jessica Harper who plays Suzy by any means, as she's very talented and sympathetic, I just think Alida Valli is the gal who makes it all click.
Here's who matters and why (less Dario Argento): Jessica Harper (Phantom of the Paradise), Stefania Casini (Blood for Dracula), Flavio Bucci (Last Stop on the Night Train), Miguel Bose (Star Knight), Barbara Magnolfi (The Sister of Ursula, Cut and Run, Blood on Melies Moon, Violent Shit: The Movie, Disciples), Rudolf Schundler (The Exorcist), Udo Kier (The Editor 2014, Night of the Templar, The Lords of Salem, The Theatre Bizarre, Melancholia, Mother of Tears, Halloween 2007, Fall Down Dead, Pray for Morning, Bloodrayne, Headspace, Evil Eyes, Dracula 3000, One Point O, Feardotcom, Shadow of the Vampire, End of Days, Besat, Killer Deal, Blade, Armageddon, Modern Vampires, Johnny Mnemonic, Blackest Heart, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne, Flesh for Frankenstein, Spermula, Trauma 1976, Blood for Dracula, Mark of the Devil), Alida Valli (Eyes Without a Face, Fatal Frames, Inferno, The Killer Nun, The House of Exorcism, The Antichrist, Tender Dracula or Confessions of a Blood Drinker, Lisa and the Devil), Joan Bennett (This House Possessed), Margherita Horowitz (Nazi Love Camp 27, Autopsy, The Cat 'O Nine Tails), Fulvio Mengozzi (Eyes Behind the Stars, Deep Red, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Phenomena, Warriors of the Wasteland, Tenebre, The Scorpion with Two Tails, Inferno, Eyeball, Frankenstein '80, Seven Blood-Stained Orchids, Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Cat 'O Nine Tails, Flashman), Renato Scarpa (Don't Look Now), Giuseppe Transocchi (Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory), Geoffrey Copleston (The Pit and the Pendulum 1991, Frankenstein Unbound, Robot Jox, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, The Black Cat 1981, Nightmare City, Eaten Alive! 1980, The Pumaman, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Cannibal Holocaust, Don't Torture a Duckling), Carolyn De Fonseca (The Fishmen and their Queen, Killer Crocodile 2, Alien from the Deep, Il giustiziere del Bronx, Demons 6: De Profundis, Phenomena, The Scorpion with Two Tails, Pieces, The New York Ripper, Piranha II, Absurd, The House by the Cemetery, Murder Syndrome, Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper, Hell of the Living Dead, Macabre, Beyond the Darkness, Torso, Don't Torture a Duckling, Seven Blood-Stained Orchids, Blade of the Ripper, The Last Man on Earth, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, Monster Dog), William Kiehl (Jungle Holocaust), Daria Nicolodi (Deep Red, Phenomena, Tenebre, Opera, Mother of Tears, The Devil's Daughter 1991, School of Fear, Paganini Horror, Delirium, Beyond the Door II).
Additionally: Ted Rusoff (Acting: Absurd, Lost Souls, Riddler's Moon, The Eighteenth Angel. Dubbing: Eternal 2004, In the Land of the Cannibals, Mondo Cannibal, Fatal Frames - Fotogrammi mortali, Cy Warrior, Sinbad of the Seven Seas, Zombi 3, Catacombs, Hands of Steel, Cut and Run, Rats: Night of Terror, The Final Executioner, Escape from the Bronx, Piranha II, The House by the Cemetery, Cannibal Ferox, Nightmare City, Cannibal Apocalypse, Beyond the Darkness, Monster Dog, Voyage Into Space, Destroy All Monsters, Yongary Monster from the Deep), Gregory Snegoff (Acting: Misery. Dubbing: Flight to Hell, The Blade Master, Godzilla 1985, Endgame: Bronx lotta finale, Yor the Hunter from the Future, The House by the Cemetery, Cannibal Ferox, Nightmare City, Hell of the Living Dead, Zombie Holocaust, Cannibal Holocaust, Pieces), Frank von Kuegelgen (Cannibal Holocaust, Cemetery Man, Revenge of the Dead, The Tomb, Fatal Frames - Fotogrammi mortali, Killer Crocodile, Alien from the Deep, Hands of Steel, Formula for a Murder, Cut and Run, The Last Executioner, Extra Terrestrial Visitors, The Raiders of Atlantis, Endgame: Bronx lotta finale, Rush, Escape from the Bronx, A Blade in the Dark, Warriors of the Wasteland, Ironmaster, Manhattan Baby, The New York Ripper, 2020 Freedom Fighters, The House by the Cemetery, Cannibal Ferox, Murder Syndrome, Hell of the Living Dead, House on the Edge of the Park, City of the Living Dead, Hunter of the Apocalypse, Eaten Alive! 1980, Terror Express, Don't Torture a Duckling).
Not too surprisingly, because Dario Argento generally managed to scrape together a respectable budget, we've got a few actors who'd had fairly successful careers (most of which were at the tail end of them), so I'll now submit to you the cast members for whom Suspiria was a career highlight, but not the only one: Jessica Harper was Daisy in Stardust Memories, Flavio Bucci played Franco Evangelisti in Il Divo, Alida Valli portrayed Anna Schmidton in The Third Man, and the most successful member of the cast, Joan Bennett, had previously starred as Kitty March in Scarlet Street, Ellie Banks in Father of the Bride (1950), and appeared in nearly 400 episodes of Dark Shadows, as virtually every female character with the last name "Collins."
The special effects are, for the most part, just okay, and some of that score actually comes down to the execution of the stunts in the movie. Take the first death of the film for example, where you've got the stained glass skylight shattering and falling to the floor below while the victim is falling along with it until the cable around her torso eventually cinches up around her neck and hangs her - it's damned impressive. That said, there isn't a whole lot in the way of gore: there's the heart stabbing (heart is decent, blood is way too bright and a bit thick), a slashed throat (really obvious latex tearing), the throat biting (the gooey crud the dog is eating looks good, but again, the blood is that '70s stuff that looks like paint or Hunt's Spaghetti sauce depending on the take), and two more that I won't mention as they come at the conclusion. One is fantastic, and the other is kinda bad, so it's basically a wash after my description ends. The primary shooting location is perfect, although to be clear, the dance academy was a set modeled (very accurately) after a real building in Freiburg, Germany, called "Haus Zum Walfisch," or the "House of the Whale." The interiors are amazingly detailed to the point that, if they weren't colored in such a vibrant, unconventional way you'd swear it wasn't a set at all. Another excellent scene (the one involving Daniel's dog tearing out his throat) takes place in front of the Staatliche Antikensammlung, which houses a huge collection of antiquities. This is the real deal, and takes place directly in front of the historic building, thus, this location too goes a long way towards cementing the flick's European authenticity for its foreign fans. You've also got the German beer hall that appears briefly before the scene in front of the museum (which is also excellent), and another short scene that takes place in front of the BMW Tower in Munich, so it's almost bordering on a sight-seeing tour of Germany. A perfect 10 on the shooting locations. The soundtrack is... well, it's Goblin, so if you've seen Dawn of the Dead, The Church, Phenomena, Hell of the Living Dead, Beyond the Darkness, Deep Red, or any number of Italian Horror titles, you probably know what you're in for. Goblin soundtracks aren't known for their subtlety, and this one features individual tracks that start out kinda tinkly and atmospheric, but ultimately morph into something akin to a bearing goin' out in an industrial laundromat dryer. You've got drums that sound like they're about to break into Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing," and a bizarre little guitar section that seems as though it's leading towards the title track from Footloose, so all in all, it's really goddamned weird. Personally, I think it's a little ostentatious, and that the movie would have benefited more from a quieter soundtrack, but somehow it still manages to coalesce... in a bizarre, surreal way that I can't really explain. Overall, it's a bit slow in the pacing department, but if that is of little to no concern to you, you're almost certain to love it. Pretty much required viewing for fans of Italian Horror titles, so check it out if you haven't yet gotten around to it.