Four Flies On Grey Velvet Blu-ray Review

The surge to get Argento’s work on Blu-ray continues in 2012 with the Shameless release of Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Like Argento’s previous two films The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Cat O’Nine Tails (the first two parts of his Animal Trilogy), Four Flies has an unlikely protagonist drawn into a web of paranoia and murder.

Here we have David Brandon (Hello Dempsey & Makepeace) as Roberto, living with his wife and spending time as a drummer in a band. From the off we see that a mysterious figure is watching him. Roberto picks up on his stalker and decides one evening to confront the man; upon doing so he causes a tussle and Roberto inadvertently kills the man. On top of that, he is photographed by a third party. This is all just the beginning as Roberto starts receiving items at home that push him into taking an active role to find out who this person is.

Being Argento, there are plenty of murders along the way. Often we get the point of view of the killer as they prepare and implement their attacks which are often quite brutal (well, for 1971 they look brutal and painful).

Argento was clearly on the rise at this point in his career. He was also taking a lot more care to set up his shots and provide the right lighting that seems to be so absent from his recent work. The streets at night shimmer in this new Blu-ray transfer. I also want to point out that the sound quality is of high quality. You may find that you want to actually turn the volume down!

Extras are fairly sparse. There is a long interview with Luigi Cozzi who worked on the film, but sadly no-one else. The disc does come with a branching version of the film that includes some deleted footage. But it is less than a minute of footage, in very poor quality and is not anything you are likely to miss.

Your money then, is going on an early Argento classic which looks and sounds better than ever. Four Flies sits happily alongside the other parts of the Animal Trilogy in terms of entertainment and quality.

Steven Hurst

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