Opera AKA Terror at the Opera

A new version of Verdi’s Macbeth is being staged but unfortunately the lead singer has been involved in a car accident.  Step forward her understudy Betty who has to jump straight into the new production at a moment’s notice.

Betty however has a fan who is rather devoted to her.  So devoted that during her debut performance he murders some poor stage hand and frightens the hell out of the audience when a light comes crashing down onto them.

The police get involved but the killer (who wears the obligatory black gloves) isn’t finished and begins to knock off various members of the production forcing Betty to watch their demise in a particularly twisted way.

It has been said that this is probably the last great Dario Argento film.  Argento did go on to make plenty of other films including his versions of Dracula and Phantom of the Opera as well as the superbly named Giallo amongst others.  Whilst his later stuff doesn’t compare to the likes of Suspiria and Deep Red, an average Argento film is usually a lot better than most of the tat masquerading as horror and Opera is certainly one of Argento’s most interesting and beautiful films.

It’s apparently one of his favourites and his adoration of opera shines through in many of the film’s sequences.  When a murder takes place the soundtrack is replaced by some serious thumping heavy metal which is effective and turns the movie upside down.  Ronnie Taylor’s photography is stunning with plenty of gliding widescreen shots which earlier Argento films are generally known for.  The Italian language version is fine and if you fancy a laugh the English dub is hysterical.  Prepared in London, some of the character’s voices are totally inappropriate and I especially liked the cockney neighbour who lives in Italy?!?

As with Dario’s very best, the movie is incredibly violent but stylish and has certainly stood the test of time (its over 30 years old).  Cult Film’s restoration is great and there is a short featurette showing the restoration on the disc along with the trailer and a bang up to date interview with the man himself.

A brutal piece of horror film making lovingly crafted by a cinematic genius, top notch entertainment.

  • Distributor Cult Films