Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Profondo Rosso

Your correspondent outside Profondo Rosso, 2008

Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) is the store owned by the father of Italian Horror Cinema, Dario Argento.

In this little store located in the Prati neighborhood you will find a large collection of any horror and scary items from limited DVD editions, action figures, Halloween and carnival costumes and tools, many objects, cards and books…all of them with a common theme. You will definitely breathe in a dark and scary atmosphere.

Sometimes special events are held such as the “Halloween night” where you have the opportunity to personally meet the famous director.

In the basement level there is also a museum dedicated to director most famous movies, but I did not enter so I really don’t have any idea of how the museum is (€ 3 ticket).
Ivan Marra 

Dario Argento might be famed for his atmospheric, blood-ridden horrors flicks, yet not many realise that he’s also the owner of Profondo Rosso – a small specialist store located in Prati, Rome.

The shop takes its name from Argento’s 1975 film (English translation 'Deep Red') and is packed full of grisly memorabilia: rubber masks, VHS tapes, movie posters, contorted living dolls. Its real treasure, however, lies in the basement, which recreates some of the most memorable scenes from Argento’s classics, including Phenomena, Opera and Deep Red.

There are crushed skulls, children’s toys and a woman tied to a stone awaiting a sacrifice. Exposed under red light and hidden under a thick layer of dust is the horrific child from Phenomena, a disheveled female corpse from Demons, and even the copy of Peter Breugel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, which once haunted Asia Argento in The Stendhal Syndrome.

A cross between a museum and ghoulish amusement park, it’s a must-see for any Argento fan – even if the dust and soundtrack of growling demons in the background are sometimes more questionable than they are scary.
Kasia Bobula

The store itself is nothing really special. There are lots of DVDs of Argento's films as well as many cool (and pricey) movie geek books on Italian horror films (with a small shelf of books in English). There are a handful of Argento movie posters and some badly screenprinted t-shirts (priced at 30 Euros each, yikes)! Most of the store is a disappointment -- lots of U.S. imported pre-packaged Walmart style Halloween costumes (so bizarre and super expensive). As movie geeks, the shop was the low point.

But as a movie fan, the horror museum in the basement is a must-do for 3 Euros. It's not a great museum by any means but if you are a fan of Argento's films, you have to go, if only for the museum's unintentionally hilarious narration tape (make sure you ask them to play it in English). "Please, do not to be scared of those things that make the noise in dark." HA HA, it is the best. We walked through the museum twice just so we could hear it again. The small museum has several rooms set up with original props from some of Argento's most popular movies ('Dracula,' 'Opera,' 'Deep Red' and more). The props are pretty freaking cool even if you have never seen any of the movies.
Louisa M.

The fun of visiting Profondo Rosso starts with the cordial and friendly attitude of Cozzi. Horror connoisseurs may recall that Cozzi was the director behind a few memorable Italian fantasy flicks such as Starcrash and Contamination. I enjoyed talking to Cozzi on a variety of topics regarding Italian horror cinema, from the upcoming remakes of Argento’s Suspiria and Deep Red, to the work of legendary Italian editor Franco Fraticelli. As well, I found very enlightening his explanation of the problems that surround the modern Italian cinema industry.

The main attraction of Profondo Rosso is the collection of props used on some of the movies directed or produced by Argento. Located in the basement of Profondo Rosso, the museum truly feels like an old dungeon. I have to confess that I was a bit apprehensive of going down the steps into that dark and sinister space. However, the creepy feelings invoked by this gloomy space are a consequence of the brilliant design of the museum. Indeed, it is only natural to expect that a horror museum should summon such gloomy feelings on those brave enough to enter.

The museum itself is designed as a long corridor with jail cells on both walls. Each of these cells contains a frightful sight from an Argento movie. Among these we find creatures from Demons and Demons 2, the little evil monster from Phenomena, the hanged woman from Suspiria, the killer from Opera, a decomposed corpse from Two Evil Eyes, a victim from The Church, and a reproduction of the bizarre painting from Deep Red. A recorded voice (in English) leads the visitor through the museum.

On the ground level, the Profondo Rosso store offers a variety of masks, shirts, costumes, DVDs, CDs, toys, and books. Most probably, the selection of toys and masks will not surprise the US fans that have had the opportunity to attend horror shows such as Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors or the Chiller Theatre Expo.
Marco Lanzagorta

1 comment:

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