Paint the Walls Red: Quentin Tarantino Loves This Giallo Kill

Quentin Tarantino Tenebrae

Quentin Tarantino loves death. He loves other things, too (though the less said about that here, the better), but the famed filmmaker really loves to play around in a sandbox of wanton death and destruction. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ends with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton brandishing a flamethrower to mow down members of the Manson family, after all. Here at Dread Central, we’ve talked about his favorite deaths outside his filmography before, including a frozen face in everyone’s favorite sequel, Jason X. Tarantino’s tastes go beyond franchise entries, however, and one of his favorite kill scenes is from another master filmmaker, one Dario Argento. Let’s talk about Tenebrae.

Per Tubi:

Widely considered the masterpiece of his career, Dario Argento presents this thriller about a writer who gets entangled in a murder mystery.

I like everything Dario Argento does, though, unlike Quentin Tarantino, I’m not sure I’d rank Tenebrae among my favorites (sorry to you too, Tubi). It’s good. Very good. But it’s missing the Gothic excess of Opera or the propulsive procedural work of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (my personal favorite). While Argento’s work is sometimes frustratingly reduced to just its violence, Tenebrae does at least feature some of the director’s best work.

Quentin Tarantino is especially fond of Jane’s (Veronica Lario) death in Tenebrae. Occurring late in the film, Jane is seated alone at her kitchen table, gun in hand, anticipating the arrival of the film’s killer. He circumvents the front door and instead swings an axe through her window. Her arm is severed, and as she wails and falls back, a geyser of blood paints the wall red. Check it out for yourself below:

I’m with Quentin Tarantino there. While Tenebrae isn’t my favorite, it was Argento getting more metatextual than normal. Allegedly inspired by his own experience with an obsessive and threatening fan, Tenebrae regularly feels like Argento reconciling with the legacy of his own work. The deaths hit just a little harder because of that, and Jane’s is undoubtedly one of the grisliest he’s ever conceived of.

What do you think? Do you agree with Quentin Tarantino? More generally, which Dario Argento kill scene is your favorite? Let me know over on Twitter @Chadiscollins.



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