John Steiner is another name that most might not know, but if you’re a fan of Italian cinema, then you will know his work. With a man close to 100 credits to his name in less than 25 years is pretty impressive. But also add the fact that he worked with many talented people and directors, including 4 iconic names in the Italian film industry. He worked with Lucio Fulci several times, in the early ’70s, such as in both of the White Fang films, Mario Bava in his last film, Shock (1977), Dario Argento’s Tenebrae (1982), and Ruggero Deodato’s Cut and Run (1984). Hell, he was even the main bad guy in Yor: Hunter from the Future (1983)!!! Needless to say, he is in a lot of our favorite films.
Unfortunately, it was reported that Steiner died in a car accident on Sunday, July 31st. As the years go by, the longer you have been a fan of cinema, we see more and more leave this part of their journey. But because we are fans, we know that because of their film legacy, they will live on and on, each time we bust out one of their titles. So now is the time to do just that. Break out Tenebrae or even Yor, sit back and enjoy Steiner’s work with a smile and remember.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.
From the producers of the In Search of Darkness documentaries comes a new one that looks to be just amazing! Nightmare Industry is a new documentary coming out soon that is going to cover the Italian horror film industry. With Phillip Escott and Eugenio Ercolani as the co-directors and producers, I have a great feeling that this is going to be essential viewing. According to Escott, they want to “tell the ultimate story about Italian horror cinema.” He also states that their goal for this project is for fans to learn something, which has my support right there! Escott said “I want them to be entertained. I want them to have fun, because that’s what Italian horror cinema is all about. But I also want them to walk away enlightened. I want them to learn. A lot about what went into making these incredible movies.”
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.
Just in case you might be late to the party, next weekend, Aug. 27th & 28th, at the Skyline Drive-in, they are holding their 10th annual Super Monster Movie Fest, with the theme this year of The Devil Made Us Do It, featuring 10 films dealing all things with the devil! We’ve been coming out to this event pretty much every year since 2012, and once again, we’re excited as hell to head out there next weekend as well!
Here is the final lineup and times for this year’s features:
How would you like to be able to see 8 classic Italian giallo films over two nights on the big screen? Then start making your plans to go to this fall’s Drive-In Super Monster-Rama on Sept. 17th & 18th for their Giallopalooza, taking place at the Riverside Drive-in in Vandergrift, PA. The titles have have announced are some of the best of the sub-genre and are going to give fans a wide range of entertainment, from the over-the-top exploitation style of Sergio Martino (Torso & Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key) or classic giallo like masters like Dario Argento (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat O’Nine Tails & Deep Red), Mario Bava’s (Blood and Black Lace), and Lucio Fulci (Lizard in a Woman’s Skin).
These posts are always tough to do. It is with great sadness that we have found out that Daria Nicolodi has passed away today, age the age of 70. One cannot be a fan of Italian cinema and not know of her work, both in front of and behind the camera. From her appearance in Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975), Tenebre (1982), to Opera (1987), as well as co-writing Suspiria (1977), one of the best horror films ever committed to film, she has definitely made her mark.
Thankfully, we know that her memory will not fade away, because she will still remain alive in our minds and hearts, every time we break out one of these movies. Her talent and beauty will be alive on screen every time we push play, and we can continue to be grateful that she has left us such gifts.
Our deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends in this most difficult time. Riposa in pace, Daria.
This Friday, we’re going to talk about one of the most amazing Italian directors in our movie history. One that truly painted the screen with color, even if it was in black and white. Today, we celebrate the birthday of the late, great Mario Bava. Even before he was “officially” directing, he gave us incredible looking films, such as I, Vampiri (1957) and Caltiki, The Immortal Monster (1959). When he finally took the director’s chair, we were even more of a treat, with a stunning debut with Black Sunday (1960), then giving the world the first real giallo film with The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963). When he moved to color films, he showed them like we’d never seen before, with some much style, with Blood and Black Lace (1964) being a perfect example. Even in Planet of the Vampires (1965), which may seem a bit cheesy now, the look of it is incredible, not to mention giving a little blueprint for the future creators of Alien (1979). Continue reading
Here’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.
As this year goes on, we continue to lose more and more of some iconic faces in our movie world. You couldn’t grow up in the ’70s and ’80s and not recognize John Saxon’s face, mainly because he appeared in so many cult features over the decades. It didn’t matter if you were into the Italian giallo (Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much, 1963 & Dario Argento’s Tenebre, 1984), schlocky sci-fi films (Blood Beast from Outer Space, 1965 & Queen of Blood, 1966), martial arts film (Enter the Dragon, 1973), or the countless exploitation titles he appeared in, you would see his face in there somewhere. Not to mention appearing as a cop in more than a few of these films, like Blood Beach (1980), the Nightmare on Elm Street films, and even Nightmare Beach (1989).
We had the opportunity to meet him while at the Flashback Weekend back in 2007 where his table was set up right next to ours. So we were chatting throughout the weekend and he was such a nice guy. So even though the internet has already flooded with tributes and announcements of his passing, I wanted to add my condolences as well. No matter what the film was, even lesser quality productions like Blood Salvage (1990) or Hellmaster (1992), he always delivered a strong performance. His last appearance in a horror title was with his friend Dario Argento in Pelts (2006), in his episode for the second season of The Masters of Horror.
Knowing that his work in all these wonderful films will keep his memory alive and well for generations to come. And that really is all that we can ask in life, to be remembered fondly. And Mr. Saxon, you definitely will. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family in this difficult time.
Directed by Mario Caiano
Starring Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift,
Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia
In 1960, Barbara Steele starred in Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, which set her on her path of being a horror icon. Over the next few years, she starred in many gothic horror films in Italy. When she appeared in Mario Caiano’s first entry into this sub-genre, it wasn’t her first rodeo. Before that point, Caiano’s work mainly consisted in the westerns and peplum (sword & sandal) genre. It is pretty surprising that he and co-writer Fabio De Agostini came up with such a great story, with plenty of strange angles, and filled the picture with so much atmosphere that I’m surprised that the fog doesn’t just ooze out of your television when you’re watching it. The original title is Amanti d’oltretomba, but it has been released under the titles The Faceless Monster and Night of the Doomed. But now, thanks to Severin, you can get the uncut and original version under Nightmare Castle.