Inferno (1980)

Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Dario Argento
Written by: Dario Argento




Rose (Irene Miracle) is in New York looking for the legendary Mother Of Shadows, sister of the Mothers of Sighs and Tears. She learns a bit too much and starts to hear strange noises and feel strange feelings. She sends a note to her brother, Mark (Leigh McCloskey), in Rome. She thinks that his school is run by the Mother Of Tears. When a friend of his reads the letter before he gets a chance to, she is killed by a strange person with a melted hand. (Ok, it’s really director Dario Argento…the freak.)

And things just get worse from there.

The second in Argento’s Three Mothers Trilogy, Inferno is…well…not his best work. It’s still stylish as hell and brilliant in places (especially a really fucking painful looking beheading), but the story is just kind of all over the place. For that first 45 minutes, I really kind of didn’t know what the hell was going on. It basically involves Mark getting the letter, seeing a witch with a cat and getting sick. A couple of key people get killed. Mark goes to New York. This is seriously all that happens in the 45 minutes.

One thing it does have, though, is that ol’ Agrento flair. The murders are, of course, amazing and that first fright scene underwater is pretty much a killer. (She held her breath for, like, 10 minutes.)

And I also quite liked the Dr. Phibes character.

Just keep in mind that Argento’s strong point has never been dialogue. It’s probably for the best that this one doesn’t have a whole lot of it. It’s mostly the screams of his victims.

For the other two parts of the Mothers Trilogy, check out 1977’s Suspiria (one of the greatest horror movies ever made) and 2007’s Mother Of Tears (which I still haven’t seen, dammit).

Not nearly as frightening or cool as Suspiria, Inferno is still worth seeing for Argentophiles and definitely gory enough to be a real Nasty.

LOW POINT (besides Mark’s mustache): A woman being killed by flying cats. And I’m not even kidding. There’s also a couple bags of cats. Still not kidding.

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