"Belongs on the shelf of any serious
Jones loves the myth and
the magic but he also knows and respects
the man. He has gone back through his own
archives and shaped his prodigious body
of writing into a coherent text beginning
in the days when nobody on these shores
had even heard of Dario Argento, critic
Alan Jones was a solitary cheerleader for
the maestro's work. A thrilling, anecdote-laden
insight into one of horror's few living
THIS BOOK and prepare yourself for a lively,
elegant and exceptional escape to Argento
ARROW IN THE HEAD
has managed to put together one of the best
books ever written to give fans an idea
of what Argento is like as an artist"
I hear any groaning at the prospect of yet
another book on Italian film director Dario
Argento (no less the second from FAB Press
itself), I would like to remind you why
this particular one is deserving of your
It is written by Alan Jones.
Alan Jones was a writer I first began to
notice in the pages of the early Starburst
magazine circa early 1980s (although his
published work dates back several years
before this). He was one of the few critics
to tackle gore and slasher movies, and give
them their due if they warranted it. A number
of the films he covered were unlikely to
be released in an uncut form back then,
and some to this day have failed to secure
a legitimate release in Britain. In the
libertarian lockdown days of the Video Recordings
Act (1984), when the country was shifting
into high gears of Political Correctness,
it was his review of a new film by Lucio
Fulci that had me believe that we - horror
and sleaze film fans - had an ally in the
ranks of publisherdom. One of the very few
that actually knew jack about the movies
themselves. More so, he was a fan.
The review in question was for Fulci's ultra
violent, woman hacking New York Ripper (1982).
Jones opened it with a statement of intent
in which he not only refused to defend the
film against criticisms of misogyny (even
Fulci fans were at loggerheads over New
York Ripper, many thinking that the director
had gone too far), he categorically refused
to even acknowledge the feminist argument.
I thought that took some balls.
Alan Jones' commentaries on movies have
appeared many times since then and in a
variety of publications. He is the long-standing
London correspondent for Cinefantastique,
travelling the globe and reporting back
from film sets.
His obsession - I don't think it's unfair
to use that word - with the work of Dario
Argento began in 1971, when Jones first
saw The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970).
Having written about the director for the
now defunct Cinema magazine, Jones has gone
on to become close friends with Argento
and his family, securing a privileged insider's
place when it comes to covering his movies.
Profondo Argento: The Man, the Myths &
the Magic discusses the films in chronological
order, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
through to Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005),
Argento's feature length contribution to
a planned Italian giallo TV series. Interspersed
with production information on each entry
are interviews, film reviews and profiles
of cast and crew.
The fact that the author is able to draw
on years of his own pre and postproduction
reportage, and original film reviews from
Starburst and Cinefantastique, brings to
Profondo Argento a vitality that other books
on the subject lack. Each film is discussed
with the freshness and excitement (and occasional
disappointment) that accompanies a new release,
written in an easy going manner that is
free of the over analysis and pontification
that many reviewers bring to the work of
the director known affectionately as the
This book reminds us why we once loved him.
That is why you should check it out".
all things Argento related on the darkdreams.org
Dario website run by Nick Dawe)