Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

From among the Video Nasties If you were to know only the title of the film Tenebrae, you might think- actually, you would probably have no clue. Before I saw it the first time, I think I had some vague sense that it might have something to do with the spinal column, because of -brae. […]

1982’s The New York Ripper is a very, very, very special motion picture: it represents the exact moment at which the great Italian horror master Lucio Fulci transformed into the hacky Italian schlockmeister Lucio Fulci. The transition was achieved very cleanly: outside of two scenes which could stand along any giallo of the ’70s for […]

There’s nothing as fascinating as an utterly inexplicable mash-up, of the sort we get with The Perfume of the Lady in Black from 1974: basically, what we have here is Roman Polanski’s Repulsion filtered through the heavy stylistic lens of the gialli, Italy’s genre of gorgeous, atmospheric, usually inscrutable murder mysteries from the ’60s and […]

Part of the Italian Horror Blogathon at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies There’s an argument to be made that Lucio Fulci had the most varied career of any director in history. Certainly, among those filmmakers chiefly known for their contributions to the Italian genre machine, I can think of no-one who directed films in such wildly […]

Part of the Italian Horror Blogathon at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies As is true of so many gialli – the violent, stylised murder mysteries made in Italy during the ’60s and ’70s that were the first real flowering of horror in that country’s redoubtable genre filmmaking trenches – the best part about 1972’s Your Vice […]

Kevin Olson made his donation to the Carry On Campaign a long time ago, but only recently made up his mind what review he wanted. Given our shared love of Italian horror, it’s no surprise he went that direction; but I owe him a debt of gratitude for introducing me not just to a movie […]

The golden age of the gialli was not all that long; it can be conveniently be bracketed by two Dario Argento films, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage in 1970 and Deep Red in 1975. Though examples would occasionally creep out after then – Argento himself has never truly abandoned the giallo style, up to […]

We now welcome a new director to the Summer of Blood, though not to the site: Mr. Lucio Fulci, whose last appearance in these pages was in regard to a pair of movies he made at either end of the great Italian zombie boom. One of these, Zombi 2, is quite probably the best Italian […]

From among the Video Nasties As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, director Mario Bava – ex-cinematographer, one of the great color stylists of the ’60s and ’70s, and Italy’s best disciple of Alfred Hitchcock – largely invented all the rules of the giallo with 1963’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much and 1964’s Blood and Black Lace, […]

If there’s one important thing to understand about the Italian giallo as a genre, it is that the “rules” of gialli are not prescriptive, like they are in the similar American slasher genre. You can pluck just about any slasher film out of a box, and describe in fairly close detail how the plot is […]

If Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much can be identified as the first giallo, it’s mostly because of hindsight: it is ground zero for the form, the earliest ending point for most of the tropes that came to define the subgenre. But at the same time, it’s notable as much for the ways […]

At the risk of repeating myself, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed everything. Everything. American movies had been inching towards more violence, more sex, more “grown-up” material, if that’s the word for it, for quite a while; but Hitch is the one who gave the whole industry a firm shove off the cliff, back in 1960. Now, […]