After finally purchasing Suspiria on DVD I was thrilled to get the chance to shoot some spectacular screen shots of my favorite film. Unfortunately, brand new packaging and all would not prevent a tiny piece of whatever it was that got stuck inside the lens during manufacturing. It would not play past the "WARNING" message on my laptop, but would play just fine in my regular DVD player. In a desperate attempt to win back the ability to take screen shots, I ordered the movie from Netflix. LameFlix however does not have the two disc restored edition and the picture quality was absolutely dreadful. This made me want to cry- but then as I continued to watch I became suddenly interested in something I had heard about but never investigated. The occurrence of a strange "ghost" reflection that happens in the taxi cab with Suzy, at the onset of the film. After careful shot by shot analysis, I finally found the ghost face and my blood instantly froze. Then upon even further investigation I found MORE hidden surprises, each of which filled me with more fear and an even greater sense of appreciation.
The Ghost in the Taxicab
I first came across this after reading the viewer comments on Suspiria part one on Youtube. In it, someone exclaimed that they were freaked out after seeing what was described as a ghost face that "WAS NOT SUZY". The viewer gave a time point of 3:28. I frantically played the clip over and over again and was pissed that I could not see the damned thing. This more recent viewing of the film however, I was determined to find this ghost.
The key to seeing it, is to look at the back of the driver's neck, and I would also suggest looking closer to 3:31. The first thing I saw was the teeth of the girl, and once I found that I was terrified. It's very clearly the face of a woman. Some even say this face resembles that of the scream on one of the covers of Suspiria.
What it is has never been explained, but one thing remains true--when you find it, it instantly sends shivers down your spine.
Shadow on the Tree
I've always wondered what that random shadow in the woods could be. I've searched message boards far and wide to try to come up with a plausible explanation. I've heard--camera equipment visible, tree branch, even "quivering rabbit" but nothing seemed right. I was starting to get hopeless and began wondering if this shadow would turn out to be like the hanging munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. It would be nothing, a minor glitch in the larger schemes of things. But then someone suggested something that was so obvious, that I couldn't believe I didn't see it sooner.
The shadow, when looked at the right way is actually a razor blade. The same razor blade I think, that is later used to kill Sarah. This one actually works better if seen in actual video form (go to 5:05), because the shadow moves in such a way that it does look like someone is actually holding the razor blade. In the 2nd little burst of the shadow, you can just barely make out what even looks like someones knuckles. I'll admit this one may just be a describe that cloud kind of game--but you must admit a razor blade is the best argument we've got.
Pat's Shadow Chases Her
This one I came up with on my own and may very well be completely bogus--but I will maintain that there is something incredibly eerie and unnatural about the way Pat's shadow enters the scene. This is when we see Pat Hingle approaching the hotel/boardinghouse/ place whatever it is. We first see Pat approaching at a bit of a walk/run. At first it seems as though her shadow should be in the picture sooner than it actually appears. Then out of nowhere her shadow comes screaming (or flying?) in at about 7:20.
I realize this is probably not on purpose, or that it's just simply how her shadow would like according to scientific explanation--but you can't deny that there's something strange about it. It almost looks like her shadow is someone else chasing after her with their arms open- before joining her as her real shadow. I still maintain that it's one of the creepier things I've ever found.
A Witch in Pat's Blood
This is one that I definitely would not have noticed had it not been for the special features disc that thankfully did work in my disc drive. Apparently in the stunning red of Pat's blood is the picture of a stereotypical witch on a broomstick.
It's quite easy to see once it's spelled out but seriously, how cool is that? These are the kind of things that make me open my eyes in wonder at the film as a whole. If all these things can happen in the first 10 minutes or so--what else can we explore in the movie?
Unfortunately due to either laziness- or the impending doom at how awful the color was on this version, I couldn't find any other hidden trinkets. Perhaps there was only this small number in the film's first few minutes- or maybe the others take a much more trained eye to catch. In any case once I somehow claim a restored version that does play in the disc drive, you can guarantee that I'll be on the hunt. A witch hunt! Just kidding..
3:31 for the ghost in the cab.
5:05 for the razor blade shadow on the tree.
7:20 for the strange flying shadow of Pat