Lest you think cult movies are all campiness and laughs, here’s a great reminder of the stylistic treasures to be found off the well-beaten cinemaplex path. Dario Argento’s 1970 directorial debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, showing tonight and tomorrow at Logue's Black Raven Emporium in East Nashville, is a triumph of style, suspense and — since this is an Italian giallo thriller — completely illogical plot elements.
As with many film critics turned directors, Argento’s influences — Lang, Hitchcock, Antonioni and others — are easy to spot. But even in his first film, he was able to go far beyond imitation and establish the visual style that would lead to classics like Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977). And with its cold, sloping concrete floors and deep red lighting, there is no more perfect place to see this symphony of menace and violence than in the Cult Fiction Underground, the projected-DVD grindhouse cinema located in the basement of Logue's at 2915 Gallatin Road. But have no fear — unless the door suddenly locks and you hear the music of Ennio Morricone rising behind you.