Giallo Thrilling All’Italiana (Horror) [Book/Download]

This book came out in 2010, and are now long out-of-print. You will have to sell your sibling to get the money for it second hand … or at least pony-up about $100 for it. Okey, your sibling might have a higher (or lower) value than that, but you get the point. Further down on this page you can download a free pdf copy through dropbox.

For those unfamiliar to this genre, can take a quick look at the YouTube video here down below. But in short, giallo refers specifically to a particular Italian thriller-horror genre that has mystery or detective elements and often contains slasher, crime fiction, psychological thriller, psychological horror, sexploitation, psychedelic and, less frequently, supernatural horror elements. This particular style of Italian-produced murder mystery thriller-horror film usually blends the atmosphere and suspense of thriller fiction with elements of horror fiction (such as slasher violence) and eroticism (similar to the French fantastique genre), and often involves a mysterious killer whose identity is not revealed until the final act of the film. The genre developed in the mid-to-late 1960s, peaked in popularity during the 1970s, and subsequently declined over the next few decades. (Some examples continue to be produced). It has been considered to be a predecessor to, and significant influence on, the later American slasher film genre.

From the Giallo Fever Blog

This new book from Glittering Images by Antonio Bruschini and Stefano Piselli is somewhat reminiscent of Adrian Luther-Smith’s Blood and Black Lace in that it could be considered something of a viewer’s guide to the form. But while there are necessarily overlaps between the two books, they complement one another, such that the genre fan could do with having both on his or her bookshelf.

The book has four sections: An introductory overview, a filmography, a recent interview with Dario Argento, and a bibliography.

The interview and introduction don’t say anything particularly new, though in the latter case this is because there is only so much that can be said with the same basic facts. To wit: The literary giallo dates back to 1929 and the first publications by Mondadori. The giallo film, in the form we normally understand it, emerged 30 years later, with Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much and Blood and Black Lace. The form then reached its height of popularity in the early 1970s with Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and its successors.

The filmography section is the largest. Whereas Luther-Smith’s book is organised by title – a structure that sometimes causes difficulties with AKA titles – Giallo & Thrilling All’Italiana is arranged chronologically.

Films from the 1930s through to the 1950s are only given credits, likely reflecting difficulties in actually accessing them. Films from the 1960s onwards are also given a review/overview, ranging in length from a sentence to a paragraph, and two ratings, the first pertaining to the overall quality of the film as a giallo and the second to its sexy / kinky value.

The reader will likely disagree with some of the authors’ ratings, although they seem mostly fair and consistent. Blood and Black LaceThe Bird with the Crystal PlumageDeep Red and The House with the Windows that Laughed are among the five-star films, What Have You Done to Solange,Don’t Torture a Duckling and Who Saw Her Die the four-star films.

On balance, Luther-Smith’s book is probably the better one for those new to the giallo on account of featuring somewhat longer and more detailed discussions of the core group of films (those by Bava, Argento, Martino, Lenzi, Fulci etc.) with both synopsis and review and being originally written in English rather than translated, sometimes awkwardly, from the Italian.

Giallo & Thrilling All’Italiana, however, is probably the better for those venturing further afield, particularly into earlier, minor and crossover releases.

To give but one example, there is nothing about the 1960 film Chiamate 22-22 tenente Sheridan(the big-screen version of a then popular Italian TV detective series set in San Francisco) in Luther-Smith’s book.

The book is also superior when it comes to its bibliography, in that this includes giallo novels adapted for the screen along with fumetti and cineromanzi derived from films. (I had never realised before that Fernando Di Leo’s The Boys Who Killed and Duccio Tessari’s Death Occurred Last Night are adaptations of Giorgio Scerbanenco novels and feature the same detective character.)

Disappointingly the interior illustrations are only in monochrome. They are also somewhat awkwardly placed, usually with a gap of a few pages between the text and the images related to it. For instance, Bloody Pit of Horror is discussed on page 26 but the stills from it do not appear until page 32.

Giallo Fever Blog
20 Giallo Classics
DVD Beavers Guide to Giallo on Blu-Ray
Feminist Heroines of 1970s Giallo Movies

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