I’m currently researching the literary and filmic genre from Italy ‘Giallo‘.  Literally meaning ‘yellow’ (so-called due to the yellow paperback murder mystery novels which started the genre) its roots are in the mid-60’s onwards – ‘from 1980 onward there was a very fine line between gialli and slasher films, some might argue no line at all’.  Characterised by ‘thrills, chills and lots of cleavage’ and ‘bloody slayings’, these gory psycho thrillers will provide the starting-point for a project I am about to embark on with an online magazine that I’ve been admiring since its beginnings a few months ago.

Here, some visual inspiration from two of the genre’s best-known/-loved directors…

Sergio Martino

Torso (1973)

Your Vice is a Closed Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)

‘YOUR VICE IS A CLOSED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY is rife with essential 70s cinema elements: substance abuse, gratuitous sex, infidelity, incest, hippie love communes, dirtbike racing… and homicidal murder, Italian-style.’

Edwige Fenech in All The Colours of The Dark (1972) in which she plays ‘a woman who falls in with a Satanic cult while suffering from delusions related to a recent trauma in her life.’

I love this shot, like a shattered mirror..

All the Colours of the Dark (1972)

Mario Bava

Mario Bava’s ‘cult 60’s thriller’ Blood and Black Lace (1964)

(I love the design of this poster!)

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963)

The Girl Who Knew Too Much augments Hitchcockian suspense with a sly satire of murder-mystery conventions, brilliant photography and a campy, light-hearted love story.’

(Another fabulous poster! – Plus check out the fabulous blog I found it at: HERE – there’s plenty of gorgeous typography and poster artwork)

If you’re interested to get watching I recommend The Celluloid Highway’s ‘Giallo timeline’ – a chronological ‘what to watch': HERE which I’m certain I’ll be working through in the near future.  In the meantime dip a toe in with the original trailor for Bavo’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much: