To enjoy this film with your date:
Clothes: Black tux and formal wear with blood stains
Music: The Three Tenors vs. Iron Maiden
Some people feel superior when shoving “class” and “culture” down everyone else’s throats. They will turn off an amazing Ultimate Fighting match that their friend is watching, and flip on PBS. Or worse still, they will throw out their friend’s WWE Tickets, and replace them with tickets to the Opera.
You can get such people back at their own game. Give in and take them to a night at the opera. Dario Argento’s Giallo (Italian horror) film, “Opera” (not to be confused with his much weaker “Phantom of the Opera”). The Italian Giallo film is a combination of exquisite cinematography and music, combined with some of the most painstakingly executed gore you will ever see in your life.
The film will suck in any unsuspecting, pretentious viewer with its opening scenes of operatic glory: Bird’s eye view shots of the luscious opera house, and the singing voices that only opera fans love. As soon as Argento makes such a viewer feel calm and at peace, bloodcurdling screams will replace the opera singing!
“Opera” is the single most beautiful horror film you will ever see. When victims are killed, the gore does not end with their death. When the murderer drops an expensive jewel down a corpse’s throat, he slices open the victim’s esophagus and digs it out. And when people are being killed, crappy opera music is turned off, only to give way to a deafening heavy metal score by the one and only, Iron Maiden!
Argento’s visual style is hypnotic, and no one will be able to take their eyes off the gore. Indeed, characters in the film are forced to watch their friends die, as they are tied up, and have numerous razor blades taped to the bottom of their eyelids. Try and close your eyes, you wimpy opera fans, and your eyelids will be torn to shreds!
What Argento points out so well is that hypocrites who talk about culture and despise cult films forget that the word “cult” is a part of “culture.” Haters of horror film, gore, art or writing are part of the cult of closed-mindedness, and deserve to have some metaphorical eyelid slicing. Then they, too, will be forced to watch or read something that is challenging, outside of their usual frigid existences, to take their ballet with bullets, their musicals with machetes and their gallery’s with gore.
“Opera” is available in a limited edition 2 Disc DVD put out by Anchor Bay.
-The writer, Ranjan Chhibber, holds a Ph.D. in film studies and is a recepiant of the Bender Teaching Award.