January Giallo

For the last several months, I’ve been honored to be part of the podcast Kicking the Seat, hosted by Ian Simmons, which he has been going through a bunch giallo films and discussing them with myself, as well as Dr. AC aka Aaron Christensen, and Bryan Martinez from The Giallo Room. The episodes are called Accademia Giallo and we’ve covered a wide range of titles from some familiar ones and some more obscure titles, so if you’re a fan, or want to learn more about this sub-genre, check these out.

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Giallo Canvas: Art, Excess and Horror Cinema

giallo canvasHere’s another volume for the library of giallo fans. Alexandra Heller-Nicholas has just released the cover of her newest book, The Giallo Canvas: Art Excess and Horror Cinema, which sounds to be much different look at this popular sub-genre of films. While most books on this sub-genre covers everything from the production and making of, sexual subtexts, and a huge focus on style, this title “explores an overlooked yet prevalent element in some of the best known gialli – an obsession with art and artists in creative production, with a particular focus on painting.” Sounds like a very interesting read, that is for sure. Plus, I love that this is something new to consider about these films, focusing on the art used in these movies. The author will be exploring art that is used by some of the masters of Italian giallo cinema, such as Mario and Lamberto Bava, Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, and Michele Soavi. 

This will be publised by McFarland, but there is no release date as of yet. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted.

George Hilton – Rest in Peace

George Hilton - RIPFans of Italian westerns and the giallo film have lost one of their own. George Hilton passed away yesterday at the age of 85. He started in films back in 1956, appearing in more than just a few westerns. But he also made a few giallo films, which when he did, they were pretty amazing, such as The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1970), which is one of my favorites in that sub-genre. Granted, it might have something more to do with Edwige Fenech… He also appeared in films like The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971) and All the Colors of the Dark (1972), another very important film in the giallo sub-genre. You can also see him in Lamberto Bava’s Dinner with a Vampire (1989) playing the century old vampire who just wants to die.

While he stopped appearing in films a decade ago, you could always see him show up in interviews on the latest giallo documentary or new Blu-ray release, speaking so fondly of his experiences in the industry. But as always, when the fans lose a great talent like this, we know that his memory will live on as long as there are fans of these films. And I have a strong feeling that will go on for quite some time.

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.

 

Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento

Fear Aregento AutobiographyFAB Press is now taking pre-orders for the Exclusive Collector’s Edition, limted to only 1000 individually numbered copies of the English edition of Argento’s autobiography, which will be shipping in September. This is a limited hardcover edition, which is priced at £20.00 (UK) / $30.00 (US). There will be a trade edition later on at some point, but they have not listed a date yet.

After many years and many books, we’ve been able to read about this master filmmaker, but now we have the chance to hear it from the maestro himself. According to FAB Press’ website, “With candor and honesty, Fear lifts the lid on the trials and tribulations of Argento’s glittering career during the sensational Golden Era of Cinecittà. From his childhood mixing with glamorous Italian movie stars thanks to his noted photographer mother and his film industry father to his start in the fledgling field of cinema criticism, Argento shares compelling anecdotes about his life growing up in La Dolce Vita Rome.”

The book was adapted from the Italian translation, edited and annotated by Argento expert/author Alan Jones, with plenty of rare photographs from his collection.

So if you want a hardcover edition of this book, don’t waste time and head over to the FAB Press website HERE and place your order.

So Deadly, So Perverse Volume 3 Now Available

So Deadly So Perverse vol 3The third and final volume in Troy Howarth’s must-own series on the giallo film is now out! So Deadly, So Perverse: Volume 3 – Giallo Inspired World Cinema continues Howarth’s quest to inform the world of all things giallo! This volume shows the influence of this Italian sub-genre that were felt around the world from Japan to England to definitely the US and their slasher films.

With an introduction by filmmaker Dante Tomaselli and published by Midnight Marquee, if this is half as good as the first two volumes, then it needs to be in everyone’s library. 

You can order this from Amazon right now, but the price is a bit steep at $60. But if you wait a little bit, you’ll be able to order it directly from Midnight Marquee for $40, which is much more reasonable. It may drop down in price on Amazon, but not sure if or when. Or, if you’re heading out to Monster Bash in a couple of weeks, you can pick up your copy right from Troy himself! I know that is what I’m going to do! Continue reading

Stelvio Cipriani – Rest in Peace

Stelvio Cipriani - RIPIf you are a fan of Italian cinema, whether it be westerns, giallo, or horror, then you’ve most likely heard the work of Stelvio Cipriani, who passed away on Monday, October 1st, at the age of 81. With a career that spanned over 50 years, composing scores for over 200 films, he has help make those movies even better with his music.

He started studying music at the age of 14 and composed his first score when he was 29, which was The Ugly Ones (1966). He would contribute scores for such films as A Bay of Blood (1971), The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire (1971), Death Walks on High Heels (1971), Baron Blood (1972), Tragic Ceremony (1972), Rabid Dogs (1974), Tentacles (1977), The Great Alligator (1979), Nightmare City (1980), and so many more.

Thankfully for us film score fans, a lot of his work has been released on CDs, which allows not only us, but newer fans to discover and continue to enjoy years to come. So that his work with always be with us, which means he will always be remembered. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Francesca Comes to Blu-Ray

Francesca release

If you are one of those that haven’t had the pleasure to witness one of the best giallo films to come out in the last couple of decades, and one that looks like it was made back in the heyday of the black gloved killers, then you need to see Francesca, created by the highly talented brothers, Luciano and Nicolas Onetti. Just check out the trailer below to see what I’m talking about.

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Movie Review: Suspicious Death of a Minor

SuspiciousDeath cover

Suspicious Death of a Minor (1975)
Directed by Sergio Martino
Starring Claudio Cassinelli, Mel Ferrer, Lia Tanzi, Barbara Magnolfi, Gianfranco Barra, Patrizia Castaldi, Adolfo Caruso, Roberto Posses

There were a few things that got my attention right away when this disc came in the mail. First and foremost, it is directed by Sergio Martino, who has made more than a few films that I have really enjoyed over the years. I mean, let’s face it…the man is a god when it comes to the giallo! Secondly, it would be the first of five times that Claudio Cassinelli would appear in one of Martino’s films, before dying in a tragic helicopter accident. My first introduction to Cassinelli’s work was in Martino’s Island of the Fishmen (1979), co-starring Richard Johnson and Barbara Bach. He always seemed to have fun playing the good guy and did it well. So he’s always a welcome site for me when he appears on screen.

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Bava Comes to Chicago!

Black Sabbath

Some time ago, we posted about a Mario Bava Film Festival that was being held in New York, and that since we’re in the Chicago area, it was just too far to even think of making it to it. But now Chicago fans don’t need to worry since those Bava titles are coming to the Gene Siskel Film Center, starting next weekend, on August 4th! If you have never had the chance to witness the wonder of Mario Bava on the big screen, I couldn’t recommend it enough, especially titles like Blood and Black Lace or Black Sabbath. The colors alone on these two will just blow your mind. But even the beautiful black and white cinematography in Bava’s directorial debut, Black Sunday, is just stunning to see. Seriously, if you are a fan of horror films, Italian horror, or cinema in general, do yourself a favor and make it out to some of these (if not all of them!).

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Texas Frightmare Weekend – Part 1: A Trip to Meet the Maestro

Back in the mid to late ’90s, I did something almost on a yearly basis that was one of those stupid things you do when you’re younger…driving from Chicago to New York for a convention, usually in the wintery month of January. I mean, when you have the opportunity to meet genre icons like Lucio Fulci or Paul Naschy, sensibilities tend not to come to the forefront of your thought process. Why pay $200 to $400 for a single plane ticket when I could get a bunch of like-minded horror fans in the car and make the 800+ mile drive there, stay a couple of days, and then make that same trip back. Granted, I was never dumb enough to do it alone, but the first few times we did this, it was in one straight shot. On the way there, we were so pumped full of excitement that the trip didn’t seem that bad. But for some reason the trip back seems sooo much longer. Sure, those long hours in the van were long, tedious, and sometime downright nerve racking. But it was an adventure, to say the least. Now I look back on those days with such fondness. Sure, maybe because I’m not behind the wheel at that moment, but those are still great memories.

Argento and Me

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