Inferno (1980)

Italy, USA, 1979
83m (USA – theatrical, video), 100m (Italy – video), 101m 37s (UK – 2nd video release (1987)), 101m 48s (UK – 3rd video release (1993)), 102m (West Germany – theatrical), 102m 8s (UK – 1st video release), 106m (USA – DVD) 106m 16s (UK – theatrical), 107m (Italy – theatrical), 110m (France – theatrical)
35mm, Technovision, Technicolor, prints by DeLuxe, 1.85:1
recorded in Dolby Stereo, English

An Italian/American horror film directed by Dario Argento. Thanks largely to the inclusion of a few brief shots of a cat eating a mouse, the UK video was consigned to the “” list though the film was later released uncut. It was first released theatrically in Italy on 8 February .

Plot Summary

In New York, poet Rose Elliot learns from an old book that her apartment building may be one of the built by the legendary Three Mothers, a trio of malevolent . Her brother Mark returns from his studies in Rome to find that Rose has been murdered. While Mark tries to get to the truth behind his sister's death, back in Rome his classmate Sara discovers that the music college is being run by one of the witches, Mater Lacrimarum…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Dario Argento
© 1980 by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Salvatore Argento presents a film by Dario Argento. Produzioni Intersound (Rome) Released by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Produced by: Claudio Argento for Produzioni Intersound (Rome)
Story and Screenplay by: Dario Argento; Daria Nicolodi *
Director of Photography: Romano Albani
Film Editor: Franco Fraticelli
Music by: Keith Emerson
Soundman: Francesco Groppioni
Costumes: Massimo Lentini
Make-up: Pierantonio Mecacci
Hair Stylists: Luciana Maria Costanzi, Giancarlo De Leonardis
Special Effects: Germano Natali; Mario Bava *, Pino Leoni *
Art Director: Giuseppe Bassan

Eleanora Giorgi (Sara)
Gabriele Lavia (Carlo)
Veronica Lazar (nurse)
Leopold Mastelloni ([John the] butler)
Irene Miracle (Rose Elliott)
Daria Nicolodi (Countess Elise Delon-Benaddler)
Sacha Pitoeff (Kazanian)
Alida Valli (Carol)
Leigh McCloskey as Mark [Elliott]
Feodor Chaliapin (Varelli)
Ania Pieroni (musical student)
James Fleetwood (cook)
Rosario Rigutini (man)
Ryan Hilliard (shadow)
Paolo Paoloni (music teacher)
Fulvio Mingozzi (cabdriver)
Luigi Lodolo (bookbinder)
Rudolfo Lodi (old man)

Alternative Titles

Cehennem – Turkish title
Dario Argento's Inferno
Feuertanz der Zombies – West German advertising title
Flammendes Inferno – German title
Horror Infernal – West Germany
Inferno 80 – Finland
Infierno – Spain
A Mansão do Inferno – Brazil
Oi 3 pyles tis kolaseos – Greek title

Sequel to
Suspiria (1977)

La terza madre (2007)

Extracts included in
Dario Argento An Eye for Horror (2000)
Inferno 20th Anniversary (2000)
Il mondo dell'orrore di Dario Argento (1985)

See also
Last Night in Soho (2021)



  • Cinefantastique vol.11 no.2 (Autumn 1981) p.45 – illustrated review (by Alan Jones)
  • Cineforum no.192 (March 1980) pp.155-156 – review
  • Ciné-Revue no.16 (16 April 1987) p.12 – review
  • Delirium no.3 pp.23-25 – review
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.13 (1980) pp.64-65 – review
  • Empire November 1998 p.100 – review
  • Fangoria vol.7 no.66 (August 1987) pp.14-17, 65 – illustrated article (The Butchering of Argento by Tim Lucas)
  • Fangoria no.194 (July 2000) p.74 – illustrated DVD review (DVD dungeon by Michael Gingold and Matthew Kiernan)
  • Filmmaker vol.16 no.3 (Spring 2008) p.68-69 – illustrated interview with Dario Argento (Dark city by Travis Crawford)
  • Foreign Sales, Italian Movie Trade vol.5 no.7/8 (July/August 1979) p.13 – credits
  • Legend no.27 (1998) p.32 – soundtrack review (CD Reviews by Daniel Azevedo)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.47 no.561 (October 1980) p.196 – credits, synopsis, review
  • New Musical Express 11 October 1980 p.29 – review (Silver Screen by Cynthia Rose)
  • Screen International no.192 (2 June 1979) p.8 – note
  • Screen International no.223 (12-19 January 1980) p.8 – note (World news desk: Italy by Judith Slatin)
  • Screen International no.258 (13 September 1980) p.25 – review
  • Screen International no.254 (16-23 August 1980) p.4 – note (Films for registration)
  • Shivers no.39 p.18 – review
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.6 (June 1993) p.69 – note
  • Sight & Sound vol.20 n11 November 2010) p.87-88 – DVD review (Inferno by Kim Newman)
  • Spaghetti Cinema no.10 (March 1986) p.49-50 – review (Video Visions 1 by Craig Ledbetter)
  • Starburst no.29 (1980) p.14 – review
  • Vampir no.21 (1980) pp.26-27 – review
  • Variety 2 April 1980 p.24 – credits, review


  • Art of Darkness pp.161-171, 279, 297 – illustrated review (by Mitch Davis), credits, video data
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) pp.350-351
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.364-66, 370, 372, 393
  • Film Review 1981-1982 by F. Maurice Speed p.156-157
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.283
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.190
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.252
  • Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989 by Roberto Curti pp.18-30 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Italian Horror 1979-1984 by Jim Harper pp.122-124 – credits, review
  • The Seduction of the Gullible (2nd edition) – illustrated review, credits
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) p.97