Trauma (1992)

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To the Left: UK Lion's Gate DVD edition; To the right: the old US 2005 Anchor Bay edition

Text below written 2020-08-11


Only 16-17 year old Asia Argento plays the role of Aura Petrescu, a Roumanian girl suffering from anorexia and bulimia on the run from the
Minneapolis Farraday Clinic where she got treated by the quirky Dr. Judd (Frederic Forrest). Her ditto strange mother Adriana Petrescu (played
by the always great Piper Laurie) is a medium and together with her husband arrange seances. And at the same time a Headhunter killer is on
the loose, a disgusting murderer who cut off his/her's victims heads with a Tom Savini constructed Noose-O-Matic.

Trauma is for sure not one of Dario's masterpieces, but this slightly americanized but still quite original Giallo horror (and 2020 when writing this)
are the best Argento horror Anno AO, that is after his probably last masterpiece the 1987 Opera. Trauma is OK, and slightly better than Stendahl
Syndrome, but that latter film had a fantastic opening scene with Asia fainting in the Uffici Gallery in Florence, falling into an old painting, down
through the water and finally kissing a big ugly fish, afflicted by the Stendahl Syndrome. The last truly inspired cinematic Argento moment ?

UK DVD

Asia, at this time only 16-17 years old, had already acted in some films with a Dario Argento connection as in Lamberto Bava's Demons 2 in
1986 and in Michele Soavi's 1989 La Chiesa (The Church), and also in a couple of Italian 1980's artmovies. Later in the 1990's she was about
to act in some more of her father's badly declining in quality horror pictures but also direct her first short film "Prospettive" in 1994.
Also later in the 90's she acted in a bunch of international productions as i.a. "Queen Margot" in 94 and "B Monkey" in 98. In 2000 she directed her
hailed feature film directing debut "Scarlet Diva", and she has continued acting in international films and also in Dario's nowadays awful efforts.

Aura at the Clinic

In the intro a poor afro-american chiropractor gets her head taken off by the black-gloved Noose-O-Matic killer, and i thought that to be un-
comfortably nasty, yuck! A young man, David (Christopher Rydell) hinders young Aura (Asia) to jump from a bridge, and then she's taken to
her parents house by Social authority guys. Her parents arrange a seance that ends in chaos and with them both being Noose-O-Mati-sized.
The Killer, called The Headhunter by the media, now stalks Aura thinking that she could be a witness able to point him/her out.
David is smittened by the (too) young Aura and takes care of her and also starts sleuthing around for clues as any real Gialli hero would do.

I thought Trauma was better this time watching it, 15 years after the last time. It's at times suspenseful with the killer all dressed in black and
with that nasty Noose-O-Matic making a threatening, scary perp. I liked the red berry trippin' out scene at the Farraday Clinic and the quirky
acting from Frederic Forrest as Dr. Judd, also the scene with the crazies walking around loose at the Clinic. Trauma for sure had it's moments.
Negative were: I found the solution to the murder mystery to be unsatisfying, the plot hole regarding the murdered neighbour woman that
the useless Minneapolis police wouldn't look any closer at, and the "funny" bad effect with Brad Dourif's head falling in the shaft of the lift.

Yes, i almost forgot, young Asia shows her (highly impressive natural wonders) too. A good or bad thing, depending on how the fact that
Dario is her father and she was only 16 or 17 is to be considered, creepy ?

The UK Lion's gate DVD edition presents the film in anamorphic wide 2.35:1 with english DD 2.0 stereo, region 2. No extras

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(The old US Anchor Bay DVD also in anamorphic widescreen and in english 5.1 audio. Region 1. Extras a 18 minutes documentary "Love,
Death and Trauma interview with Dario Argento, a commentary audio track by Alan Jones, Behind the scenes: On the set with Tom Savini
8 minutes and deleted scenes)