Movie: Deep Red (1975)
Writer: Dario Argento and Bernardino Zapponi
In some ways, Dario Argento’s gory horror gem Deep Red was a precursor to the mommy-did-it ending of 1980’s slasher favorite Friday The 13th. Since Deep Red got there first, we have to show it some love here.
In typical Argento manners, the film’s unidentifiable killer offs his or her victims in outrageously gruesome ways, including an almost-decapitated woman’s neck getting severed clean off by broken window glass and another unfortunate lady’s face being dunked into a bathtub that’s filled to the brim with scalding water.
All signs point to distressed painter Carlo (Gabriele Lavia) being the culprit, with his blood-soaked drawings serving as the most damning of evidence. But it’s actually Carlo’s mother, Marta (Clara Calamai), who’s been doing all of the slaying. And, in even more typical Argento fashion, Marta’s ultimately killed off in a wonderfully overdone payoff: Her necklace gets caught in an elevator’s bars as the lift heads downward, causing the thin jewelry to dig into her neck and lop her noggin right off the neck.