Symphony In Blood Red was directed by Luigi Pastore, best known for Violent Shit: The Movie, and written by Antonio Tentori, who worked on A Cat In the Brain and Demonia for Fulci; Frankenstein 2000 for D’Amato; Segreti di donna, The Jail: The Women’s Hell, Island of the Living Dead and Zombies: The Beginning for Mattei; Dracula 3D for Argento and wrote modern Italian horror like Catacomba, Virus: Extreme Contamination and Flesh Contagium.
Not only do you get a Claudio Simonetti score, you also get him on stage with his band Daemonia. And you get to watch a serial killer unleash his hatred on men and women alike as they have a rampage fueled by the effects of Sergio Stivaletti. While so much has been made of its Argento inspiration, it feels more like a slasher film than an arty psychosexual thriller.
Then again — it does start with a quote right out of Tenebre.
When a patient is told that they must go back to a clinic instead of being allowed to be free, they murder their therapist and start killing anyone and everyone they can. We hear from the killer throughout the movie as they narrate the killings and explain the reasons why they kill. One of the issues I have with newer giallo is that they attempt to claim the influence, have a few shots that reference the old films and then forget the elements that make the finest examples work: a protagonist forced to investigate the killings, a murderer motivated by past trauma, artistic death scenes, gorgeous people and high fashion.
I dug the Greek chorus priest puppets and the film’s grubbiness, but I’d say this is for giallo obsessives only. And that’s fine — we always find what we’re looking for.