Stendhal Syndrome

Stendhal Syndrome

Well it took a while but they eventually got there. Troma's DVD release of Dario Argento's 'The Stendhal Syndrome' has been on the cards for some time, to the point of much frustration for Argento's many fans.

Asia Argento plays the role of police detective Anna Manni, who is on the track of a violent serial killer/rapist - whilst also having to contend with suffering from a rare phenomenon called 'Stendhal Syndrome' (a hallucogenic psychological reaction to works of art ?!!)

Ok, I already here some of you crying 'what the hell', but come on - it's an Argento movie, what else do you expect ! The plot is actually carried off very well. Reminiscent of the earlier european movies (like 'Autopsy'), it's not one of Argento' best films (in fact I'll confess I actually prefered 'Phantom' to this one) but it's still a solid enough thriller with the trademark dreamy Argento feel too it also.

The music by Ennio Morricone is simply gorgeous with a main theme that will stick with you for ages, and it's nicely enough carried by this discs stereo soundtrack. But it's also the disc itself that in the end let me down.

There are here lots of nice extras - three interviews with Argento as well as interviews with Stivalleti and Deodato. And although they are totally out of place there are loads of Troma extras too (as always), and being a fan of Troma's output I was pleased to see trailers for both Citizen Toxie and Terror Firmer.

But after all the delay, the one thing that wasn't up to scratch is the quality of the film print itself. Throughout the movie there are many scenes that are very grimy to view, looking like a VHS rather than a DVD. And word recently came through that the print has been matted from full screen to widescreen to appease the demand for a widescreen version. If this is true we can't blame Troma for this - several companys are doing this nowadays under pressure from customer demand for a widescreen version.

So, this one's for Argento completists only I'm afraid. Nice enough movie - shame about the print.

Directed by Dario Argento
Released by Troma
Running time - approx 113 mins
Region 0 - Not Rated
Ratio - Widescreen 1.66:1
Audio - Dolby Stereo Surround
Extras :
3 interviews with Dario Argento
Interviews with Sergio Stivaletti and Ruggero Deodato
Selection of Troma Trailers
Troma Intelligence Test & Film Bios