The Bird With the Crystal Plumage

Jan 1, 2010: It’s been a good night.  Italian horror impresario Dario Argento’s debut film, one that would help shape the giallo genre started, arguably, by Mario Bava nearly a decade before.  Tony Musante plays an American in Italy, who becomes embroiled in a series of gruesome murders.  Argento, one of the great masters of shot composition, directs in the high style that would soon become his trademark: tracking, crane shots, vibrant colors, the black-gloved-killer and elaborately-staged murder sequences.  Bird is less violent than the movies that would eventually gain Argento notoriety (SuspiriaOpera), relying here on suspense, rather than shock.  A terrific thriller, worth checking out.  (Be warned that the movie is dubbed into English–badly.)

1970; starring Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall; directed by Dario Argento; 96 min; Not Rated (for mature audiences); English dubbed.

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