When I go on vacation I always like to check on the internet if there are any particular geek places worth checking out that are near the place or city that I am going to stay in. So when I found out that in Rome there is a horror-themed shop funded by Dario Argento, the giallo master himself, I was delighted. Then after looking out for more information I found out that in the basement area of the shop there was actually a Dario Argento themed museum. I was sold. I had to go and visit this bizarre location.
The Profondo Rosso Store, named after Argento’s 1975 classic film, was founded by Dario Argento himself in 1989 and has since then become a must-go place for fans of Italian genre cinema around the world. The place is run, believe it or not, by his longtime partner Luigi Cozzi director of such cult classics as The Black Cat, Starcrash or that Hercules movie with Lou Ferrigno.
I visited the store in April 2010 during my trip to Rome. That day we were pretty much alone in there. And that’s a good thing, because the store is crammed with tons and tons of books, figurines, movies and all kinds of merchandise. This really is heaven for fans of European genre cinema, in particular the Italian scene. You have books in there (a lot of them written by Luigi Cozzi) that you’ll probably never find anywhere else. Unfortunately most books and DVD’s sold in there are in Italian. But nevermind, there are so many cool and interesting articles in there that I dare you to go inside the store and not buy one single thing. If you’re a horror fan like myself, this is pretty much an impossible task. I went in there and could have spent a couple of hours just chilling and digging through all those hidden gems.
After spending a couple of bucks on movies, a Suspiria shirt and a Dawn of the Dead figurine me and my girlfriend bought tickets for the ”Museo degli Orrori di Dario Argento”. The price was set at 3 Euros which may seem a little overpriced considering the small size of the museum but then again its 3 freakin’ Euros. I’m not gonna pass on a Dario Argento museum for 3 lousy Euros.
This rather awesome museum has officially used props on display from such movies as Phenomena, The Church, Demons & The Stendhal Syndrome. It was pretty cool to look at those props knowing that they were used on-screen. But then they had random props that felt like they were placed in there just for the sake of filling up place (Darth Vader WTF?). And the dirt and the dust.. oh god. They need to clean that shit up. Some may say that this adds to the dungeon atmosphere the props were placed in, but no. It’s just dusty.
Nevertheless I would recommend to every horror fan to check out this charming shop/museum whenever they get the chance to visit the extraordinary city of Rome. I for one, will make sure that my first visit to Dario Argento’s ”Piccola Bottega degli Orrori” won’t remain the last.
PROFONDO ROSSO STORE
Via Dei Gracchi, 260
00192 Roma – Italy