Paolo Maria Scalondro

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Sleepless Review


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You've got to hand it to Dario Argento -- he might be a king of schlock, but he sure is inventive about it.

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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