As previously mentioned, Rome has gone insane and it's all because of a dagger and three little statues dug up by a priest in some back-country cemetery. These troublesome artifacts find their way to a young art historian named Sarah (Ms. Argento) and her friend Giselle. As Sarah goes to fetch the cleaning supplies, Giselle gets her mouth split open and gets strangled by her large intestine before being consumed by three demons and their screaming pet monkey. As regular citizens begin to take to random acts of violence, Sarah is suspected of involvement by a detective (Cristian Solimeno) while she hides away with Michael (Adam James), the head curator of the museum.
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A tumultuous thunderstorm of drumming, both primitive and achingly familiar, the gurgled throbbing of a bass line and sinister voices chanting and howling as a young woman races through a night forest in the midst of a deluge. Lightning flashes revealing snatches of something in the woods running along side her. The music crescendos, lightening hypnotically strobes, the colors are supersaturated deep reds and blues and screaming fills the cool night air.
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With Sleepless (a direct-to-video feature), Argento somehow convinced Max von Sydow to appear in this story about a decades-old killer who appears to have come back from the dead. Or is it a copycat killer? Von Sydow plays an old Italian(!) police detective who solved a 1983 serial killing spree in Turin. Long since retired, he is called upon once again when the same M.O. turns up in a rash of murders in the present. Argento spikes this derivative plot idea with some curious (to say the least) plot details. The original killer was a dwarf -- and the police round up the entire Turin dwarf population in the present-day investigation. And some of the murders are nothing short of bizarre -- most notably when one poor girl gets repeatedly impaled through the face with a clarinet, shown in graphic detail. Argento's usual touches -- plenty of gore in extreme close-up -- are readily found.
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