Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Thriller > Giallo > The Stendhal Syndrome: Limited Edition (1996/Blue Underground Blu-ray/2-DVD Set)

The Stendhal Syndrome: Limited Edition (1996/Blue Underground Blu-ray/2-DVD Set)

Picture: B+/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: B Film: B

Director Dario Argento makes a different kind of murder-mystery in the dark and at times Hitchcockian thriller The Stendhal Syndrome (1996). Blue Underground has released a fantastic reissue of the film with this collectible 3-disc set, packed with extras, a new 2K HD restoration, and fantastic packaging putting this far head of previous releases of the film on disc.

Starring his beautiful daughter Asia Argento, the film explores the psychological state of a Police Inspector named Anna Manni who is hot on the trail of a rapist and killer, but ends up getting what is known as ''Stendhal Syndrome'', a hallucinatory state where she is overcome by gorgeous works of art at a museum while visiting Florence.

When she comes to with temporary amnesia, Anna finds herself being stalked by a young man (Thomas Kretschman) who witnessed her incident at the museum and turns out to be the killer that she was sent to look for. Making her his victim, she gets raped and nearly killed and is left traumatized by the incident. However, this isn't her only encounter with him. Soon, Anna starts having a transformative experience while the killer keeps his sights set on her and she she decides to take her revenge and gain her life back.

Straying away from giallo for this outing, Argento tells a psychological thriller that aims to put you directly into Anna Manni's mind and psychological state. The opening ten minutes of the film is gorgeous with no dialogue and pure visuals told alongside an outstanding score by Ennio Morricone. In some ways, this film was a bit ahead of its time in terms of visual effects, as many of said sequences care a bit dated.

Asia is a great and convincing lead, even though in the bonus material she admits being close to her ''killer'' (Thomas Kretschman) in real life, as the two dated. In the film, she effectively seems terrified by him, including one incredibly disturbing sequence during their first encounter and a later one where she is tied to a bed.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (also on the disc are tracks in English: Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0) making this a fantastic sounding presentation. When you compare what this film looks liked on discs before and after this release, the results are clear as day as the image is much brighter and has richer colors than before. Also included is a standard definition DVD of the film with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The film doesn't look bad on DVD but not as pristine as the Blu, especially this one.

Special Features...

NEW audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse

NEW "Three Shades of Asia": Interview with star Asia Argento

NEW "Prisoner of Art": Interview with co-writer Franco Ferrini

NEW "Sharp as a Razor": Interview with special makeup artist Franco Casagni

Interview with director Dario Argento

Interview with psychological consultant Graziella Magherini

Interview with special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti

Interview with assistant director Luigi Cozzi

Interview with production designer Massimo Antonello Geleng

Theatrical trailer

Poster and still gallery

Bonus collectible booklet featuring new writing by author Michael Gingold

For hardcore fans of Argento, you may want to order the disc directly from the Blue Underground website, as there is a collectible slipcase cover with awesome art.

This has been a great year for Dario Argento films being released on Blu-ray with the Arrow Bird With A Crystal Plumage Special Edition (reviewed elsewhere on this site and highly recommended), the Synapse version of Phenomena and now this. If you're a fan of The Stendhal Syndrome, this is definitely worth the upgrade.

To understand how much better this new Blu-ray edition, here's our coverage of the older Blue Underground Blu-ray at this link...


- James Lockhart



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com