Strip Nude for Your Killer

Strip Nude for Your Killer (Nude per l’assassino) may be scummy, but it wastes no time letting you know exactly where you stand. The first shot is a full frontal nude shot of a woman in a doctor’s office, legs spread in medical stirrups, with a doctor’s face firmly planted between her thighs. If thisContinue reading “Strip Nude for Your Killer”

The Sister of Ursula

By 1978, the giallo cycle was pretty much over. Beginning more or less with Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) and Blood and Black Lace (1964), then hitting a crescendo with Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and Deep Red (1975), the lurid blend of style, old fashioned whodunit, sex, and violenceContinue reading “The Sister of Ursula”

The Case of the Bloody Iris

The joke is often made (or it has been here, at any rate) that giallo are populated by people who are, to put it mildly, not of the best quality. The kind of people who will make love and then roll over and engage pillow talk like, “I can’t believe my sister was raped andContinue reading “The Case of the Bloody Iris”

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

In the wake of Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Much (1963) and Blood and Black Lace (1964), the two films that are rightfully credit with launching the giallo genre or style (however you may define it), several movies were made that more or less fit within the giallo wheelhouse, either by conforming to theContinue reading “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”

The Bloodstained Butterfly

Coming to prominence around the same time and often revolving around similar subject matter, there was frequent crossover between the giallo and poliziotteschi genres. Poliziotteschi were Eurocrime films focusing on determined cops struggling to make a difference in a corrupt system, and like giallo the formative examples of the genre emerged in the 1960s, butContinue reading “The Bloodstained Butterfly”

All the Colors of the Dark

Sergio Martino worked in every genre, as just about every Italian director of the 1970s and ’80s did, drifting from one to the next depending on what was popular at the time. His films were generally a cut or two above the rest. A little more care put into the script. A little more attentionContinue reading “All the Colors of the Dark”

Who Saw Her Die?

The violence in an average giallo film can evoke a host of reactions: a thrill, repulsion, disapproval, disbelief, incredulity, excitement, and even a sort of “oh, so it’s the straight razor again then, is it?” boredom, depending on your particular disposition. Rarely does the violence inspire anything approaching emotional sympathy or distress. This isn’t aContinue reading “Who Saw Her Die?”

Slaughter Hotel

Working in the tough-as-nails poliziotteschi genre that sprung into action in the early 1970s, Fernando Di Leo directed several very good films and at least one great film, possibly more. He cut his teeth during the 1960s as a screenwriter, collaborating with a team of scripters — as was common for Italian films — onContinue reading “Slaughter Hotel”