As it should, the blood flows bright red in the Italian giallo movies that comprise Anchor Bay’s box set “5 Films by Dario Argento.” Known for his stylish eye behind the camera — not to mention the oft-traumatized eyes in front of the camera — Argento is one of the few directors worthy of the “master of horror” title.
Packed in a sleek tin, this DVD set contains two of his certifiable classics: 1982’s serial-killer sicko “Tenebre” and 1985’s “Phenomena,” starring a pre-fame Jennifer Connelly. If the sight of bugs makes you all creepy-crawly, this one’ll freak you out. There’s also the decent “Trauma,” from 1993, starring his own daughter, Asia Argento (“xXx”), whose nudity is more than a little uncomfortable, given the fact that dear ol’ Dad ‘s the one dictating it.
Two recent efforts prove that while Argento still has the touch as a director, he needs to hire better writers. The 2005 effort “Do You Like Hitchcock?” treads the same territory Brian De Palma has done to death, only with plodding results and a most unlikable lead. “The Card Player,” from one year earlier, is better, concerned with a murderer’s Internet-based killing spree, but Hollywood actually made the idea more palatable with the recent Diane Lane vehicle “Untraceable.”
All five discs look great with anamorphic transfers, and sport trailers for other Argento films, like his masterpiece, “Suspiria,” which gives me the shivers just thinking about it. —Rod Lott