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GIALLO

ITALIAN THRILLERS

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THE SILK WORM (1973)-In Italian with English subs, letterboxed print . Rare Giallo starring George Hilton, Nadja Tiller and Evi Miranda, and Guy Madison. Esmeralda (Nadja Tiller), is obviously a temperamental lady. Before the credits have rolled she is shown harassing an ex-lover, Didier (George Hilton), who is busily in an embrace with a scantily clad lady-friend. A French singer living beside the Italian coastline, she has a taste for younger men, and makes a habit of picking up Lotharios in local nightclubs (her preferred choice obviously being those with the most appalling dance technique). This proves to be unwise when her latest conquest, a student and gigolo called Costas Mikeilis (Carlos de Castro), seemingly pilfers her valuable stash of jewelry. However, could it be that someone is using him as a convenient scapegoat; he's nowhere to be found, and the only clue as to his whereabouts is a jumper with a bullet-hole in its back? Besides this, there are plenty of other likely suspects. In fact, as well as the aforementioned Didier, virtually all of Esmerelda's regular contacts seem to be of a distinctly untrustworthy bent. They include: her sister, Yvonne (Evi Marandi), a dolly-bird with a taste for the high life; Planget (Mario Feliciani), a lawyer who's simply too dour to be true; Marcelle (Evi Rigano), her homely secretary; and, last but not least, Robert (Guy Madison), a charismatic old flame whose has made an unlikely 'chance' reappearance.

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A RATHER COMPLICATED GIRL (1971)-In Italian with eng subs, letterboxed. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF AWESOME EUROTRASH! Not quite a giallo, not quite a sexploitation film, more of a psychological thriller. Damiano Damiani’s film is loosely based on Alberto Moravia’s La Marchia Dietro. It stars Catherine Spaak, Florinda Bolkan and Jean Sorel. The last two would be reunited in Lucio Fulci’s Lizard in a Woman’s Skin two years later. Sorel overhears an erotic phone call between two women and fantasizes about what they might look like. He meets the younger of the two (Spaak), then her stepmother (Bolkan) and becomes involved in their tangled relationship. Spaak, who carries a loaded revolver in her handbag, also has a stalker who spies on her. The couple play games, imagining the perfect crime and filming their love making. But what is a game and what is reality.

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INTRIGUE IN LOS ANGELES (1964)-In Italian with english subs. Two FBI agents are investigating on the disappearance of doctor Weiss, who vanished after the discovery of a formula against atomic radiation. Following the death of two dancers, the two agents decide to search on George, their manager, and they will discover a dark secret..This italian spy movie, also features some early traits of the Giallo genre. Directed by Romano ferrari.

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HYENA IN CASSAFORTE (1969)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENG SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Very stylish Giallo from Cesare Canevari. Four notorious bank robbers - Klaus from Germany, Albert from France, Juan from Spain and Carina from Tangiers meet up in an isolated Castle to divide a large number of diamonds hidden there by their former, deceased boss Boris whose Italian wife Anna is hosting the party. Unfortunately, the stones are kept in a massive safe and only all of the five keys distributed by Boris among his fellow collaborators, can open it. Albert, the French guy, upsets the bunch not only by not producing his key but also by bringing his attractive Girlfriend Jeanine along. Soon, greed, betrayal and mistrust are setting the criminal weekend party on fire...

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GIALLO (1934)-In Italian with english subs. Talk about a rarity! An italian thriller called GIALLO from the thirties?! This movie publicly stated, in 1934, the success of the so called "giallo" series of books published by Mondadori in Italy, who introduced the yellow covers from which the name "giallo" comes from (giallo means yellow in italian, as many of you already know). This is the first time that a murder-mystery-movie so directly refers to the term "giallo", so you can guess how important it is, starting from its title. It is filled anyway with a vague comedy style, as it was usual in those early italian mysteries, but claims its story originates from some Edgar Wallace novel...Director Camerini later on also did two or three other comedies with a little thriller vein, but this remains his most important effort on the genre.

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SADISTIC HALLUCINATIONS (1969)-In French with english subs. A strange mix of giallo, arthouse and whodunit the film follows Clara, the mistress of Charles as she suffers from various hallucinations about Anne the wife of her lover. The film begins to swirl into strange territory as the tale unfolds into a bizarre murder mystery. Stars daniel gelin and Anouk Ferjac star.

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TOTO DIABOLICUS (1962)-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. The marquis Galeazzo di Torre Alta is murdered by a mysterious killer who calls himself Diabolicus. His heirs are his three brothers and a sister, but all of them, with the exception of Monsignor Antonino di Torre Alta, are killed by Diabolicus. The police are unable to solve the case, but when Antonino gives his inheritance to Pasquale Bonocore, illegitimate son of his father and Pasquale is in prison and therefore can't be the killer, all the clues are in the hand of the police. Great parody of the Italian Giallo/thriller genre  directed by Steno. The model is "Kind Hearts and Coronets", revitalized by an injection of black humor, in which Totò retrieves a yet unexplored sadistic potential. His caricatures of the General, the personified satire of fascism, of the old noblewoman obsessed with youth and beauty, and of the tic-laden surgeon as blind as a bat, are something to behold.

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ORDERS SIGNED IN WHITE (1974)-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. Extremely rare Giallo! Director Gianni Manera (also the maker of WOODEN OVERCOAT/THE OVERLORDS) stars as mafioso Luca Albanese. Along with his gas-masked men he robs a bank and then hides at a remote mountainous region. Soon his men start being killed by an unknown black-gloved figure! Not to mention the killer likes to paint the victims' faces white! Originally titled ORDINE FIRMATO IN BIANCO, this unbelievable creation shouldn't be missed by any giallo fan!

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GOLDEN NIGHTS (1976)-In French with english subs. Awesome horror film with Klaus Kinski! Director:Serge Moati, Bernard Blier ... Commissaire Pidoux, Klaus Kinski ... Michel Fournier, Marie Dubois ... Véronique. A man thought to be dead comes back and wants to take his revenge. This French-German co-production tells the story of a maniac who survives a suicide attempt and tries to kill his relatives one after another to take his revenge. The story is vicious, but the settings, the photography and the colors are great. The backgrounds consist of dark old houses in Paris, streets at night and surreal colored interiors, like a mixture of the German Edgar Wallace movies in the sixties and Dario Argento's Italian giallos. There are also some really shocking scenes, like a bound, gagged and hanged schoolgirl in a kitchen room or an old Lady with heavy make-up humiliating a dwarf - scenes like from a Bunuel or Fellini movie. Check out this rather unknown surreal thriller with a fanatic and possessed Klaus Kinski!

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A LIFE FOR A LONG DAY (1973)-In Italian with english subs. Director: Ferdinando Baldi, Cast:Mino Reitano ... Andrea Rispoli, Ewa Aulin ... Anna Andersson, Luciano Catenacci ... Spyros, Franco Ressel ... The Doctor, also co-starring Eva Czmerys and Philippe Leroy. An unsual thriller with gialloesque themes Andrea Rispoli a desperately poor Genoese sailor, Anna, the sick wife (Ewa Aulin) needs an expensive treatment to escape death. The only way 'exit for the poor Andrea is yielding to the proposal of a rich and bored businessman played by Philippe Leroy which suggests under lavish compensation of victims to participate as a fierce fighter all' man from the hills to the port of Genoa where a group of ruthless killer hinder him in every way.

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HIGH TENSION (1972)-In Spanish with english subs, letterboxed print. Marissa Mell, Gabriele Ferzetti, and Helga line star in this most excellent (and up to now, rare!) erotic Giallo. José, a young mechanic, arrives in Madrid to make it big, After being conned he loses his savings, and is took in by Elisa, a photographer. She  introduces him to Pablo and Laura.  Laura makes him an offer he can't refuse and then his troubles really begin. Directed by Julio Buchs.

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KILLER WITHOUT A FACE (1968)-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. Extremely obscure Italian Giallo that unfortunately is not that great quality wise. It was shot in Black and White so that helps. Still, it's probably the only way we're going to see it. A series of murders happen in an old Italian castle. The unknown killer dispatches his victims by shooting them to death with a pistol. Barbara, the unhinged owner is the chief suspect. But not everything is quite as it seems...The film is set in the Balsorano Castle and is shot in expressionistic black-and-white. Directed by Angelo Dorigo and starring American Lawrence Tierney, director of THE BEAST IN HEAT Luigi Batzella, and Anita Tedesco.

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NIGHT OF THE SCORPIONS (1972)-Letterboxed print. Starring Daniela Giordano, Teresa Gimpera and super hottie Nuria Torrey, this is a terrific Spanish Giallo directed by Julio Buchs. This Spanish-Italian co-production tells the story of a man who feels deep guilt for the death of his wife: He, an alcoholic, is convinced that he accidentally caused her lethal fall in their villa while he was drunk. He finds a new wife, but he's incapable of coping with his first wife's death. Moreover, the maid and his sister don't seem to accept the new woman in the household. After some time, suddenly bodies are piling up ... and the tomb of the man's first wife is empty! Runs 5 minutes longer than the Spanish print.

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SQUILLO (1996)-Letterboxed print. Directed by: Carlo Vanzina, Starring: Jennifer Driver, Raz Degan, Paul Freeman, Bianca Koedam, Pia Klover, Antonio Ballerio. Eleven years after NOTHING UNDERNEATH (SOTTO IL VESTITO NIENTE), the team of the Vanzina brothers and veteran giallo screenwriter Franco Ferrini return to the genre with a film that’s practically a remake of their previous collaboration, this time set in the world of high class prostitution. Suspension of disbelief is a major requisite here (too many improbabilities - check out the rear view mirror ‘solution’) but the set-up is satisfyingly kinky, the camerawork fluid, the surroundings appropriately lush, and most importantly, the girls are gorgeous.

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MOZART IS A MURDERER (1999)-In Italian with english subs, letterboxed print. The wrong note at a recital given by Professor Baraldi's most gifted music majors sets the stage for serial murder...Director Sergio Martino returns to form with a good old fashioned giallo that benefits from a clever premise, good acting, a generous budget, and the sure hand of an old pro. All the tropes are there: a black-gloved killer, a bizarre motive, a busy stiletto, taunting telephone calls, POV stalking, a troubled detective, unsavory suspects, red herrings, a decent body count, an intriguing title that figures into the plot, and a major cliché near the half-way point that'll telegraph the killer to any slasher film aficionado. The set piece slaying isn't as ostentatious as the ones in Golden Age gialli and more gore would have been a definite asset but the director's distinctive flair is still there and the movie delivers its genre's goods in an entertaining manner. Recommended.

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YOUR HANDS ON MY BODY (1970)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Directed by: Brunello Rondi and Stars: Lino Capolicchio, Erna Schurer, Colette Descombes. A young neurotic dedicates his life to harassing others, especially his father and stepmother. Not even an encounter with a girl manages to keep him away from his world of macabre fantasies. It stars Lino Capolicchio who will be familiar to giallo fans for his turns in two excellent entries in that sub-genre – The House with Laughing Windows (1976) and The Bloodstained Shadow (1978). He does play awkward very well and this acting style suited his roles in those gialli very well.  Colette Descombes played the nymphet predator/lesbian in Lenzi's ORGASMO.

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DEATH CARRIES A CANE (1973)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Maurizio Pradeaux, Stars: Robert Hoffmann, Nieves Navarro (aka Susan Scott), George Martin. Susan Scott of "Death walks at midnight" and "Orgasmo Nero" fame stars in this fairly remarkable entry into the giallo genre directed by Maurizio Pradeaux. She witnesses the murder of girl through the telescope(just don't ask, see it for yourself), but fails to see the face of a killer(who's dressed in typical giallo fashion: black hat, black coat, black leather gloves n' stuff). With the help of her boyfriend (Robert Hoffman from Lenzi's "Spasmo") she starts her investigation, while the killer proceeds to cut the witnesses throats with a straight razor. You've got all the usual stuff here: violent murders, weird characters,crazy plot twists.

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24 HOURS OF TERROR (1964)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Gastone Grandi, Cast: Paul Janning, Stephen Mason, Laurent Madison, Dean Moor, Rex Robertson, Sterling Roland, Annie Stuart, Joseph Warrender, A. V. Belfast. 24 Ore di Terrore" mixes elements of proto-giallo and gangster cinema.The action takes place in a mysterious castle in France. One gangster is transported to it.During a stop in a motel he is attacked by another crook, who takes his identity. The French castle is a hideout for the group of drug pushers. But there is also an unknown killer who begins to murder the members of the gang.

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SNAPSHOT OF A CRIME (1975)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Rare Giallo with a great cast! Director: Mario Imperoli, Stars: Erna Schurer, Monica Strebel, Luis La Torre. A gigolo (LaTorre) breaks up with his wealthy, married(?) girlfriend (Schurer). He consoles himself by taking his boat out to resort island where he meets a pair of beautiful models (Strebel and Guerreri). He starts an affair with one of the women (Guerreri), and they go out to a remote island where they decide to take some kinky pictures of themselves with the man apparently raping and strangling the woman. The man quickly finds himself in trouble though when both the woman and the "incriminating" roll of film mysteriously disappear. Before long he finds himself being blackmailed by a mysterious woman. In a nice touch, the film leaves it a little ambiguous whether the man is actually guilty of the crime or is just a Hitchcockian innocent; the problem is the guy is such a complete douchebag he doesn't manage to be either sinister or sympathetic, let alone both. Meanwhile, the other woman (Strebel) inexplicably falls in love with this dipstick, even though he may be responsible for the disappearance of her long-time friend.

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ENIGMA ROSSO (1978)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Much improved over previous versions available. Director: Alberto Negrin, Stars: Fabio Testi, Christine Kaufmann, Ivan Desny. Naughty schoolgirls, perverted killers and unorthodox police officers… What more could you possibly hope to see in a late 70's Italian Giallo, apart from perhaps some large portions of graphic nudity and gritty bloodshed? Well, ENIGMA ROSSO has ALL of this (and more…). Massimo Dallamano was all set to direct this third film in his schoolgirls are being murdered series but unfortunately died before that could happen. The film is an overall amusing Giallo because the story contains so many odd & unusual sub plots. For example, the inspector's girlfriend is a notorious shoplifter and his own interrogation techniques are rather ingenious, to say the least. He invades the boarding school in the middle of the night to question the scarcely dressed teachers and even drags his main suspect onto a wild roller coaster to force him to testify.

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MADNESS-EYES OF THE MOON (1971)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Cesare Rau, Stars:Thomas Hunter, Benjamin Lev, Francesca Romana Coluzzi. Madness - Gli occhi della is a spy thriller directed by Cesare Rau, former assistant director on the spaghetti western-1966 Three guns against Caesar, and written by his wife. Therefore it is not true, as believed by some, that Cesare Rau was the pseudonym of the film's producer, Alfredo Lupo. Considered a real B-Movie, it could also be interpreted as a Giallo, with soft shades Sex and psychedelica. Three men escape from a mental hospital overnight. One is recaptured, another ends up accidentally killed by a car and dies, but the third manages to cover his tracks and takes refuge in a country farmhouse. The next day, a group of boys comes to the cottage for a party: the man meanwhile hids upstairs, and makes sure to stay hidden. The party, however, soon degenerates when the boys take LSD. They wake up and they discover that a girl lying on the ground lifeless ...WTF?!

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WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT HER (1969)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. INCREDIBLY RARE GIALLO WITH A GREAT SCORE BY MORRICONE!! Director: Luigi Comencini Stars: Philippe Leroy, Paola Pitagora, Sara Franchetti. When Maria Mancuso dies suddenly before the expiration of her life-insurance policy, the insurance company sends lawyer Nanni Brà (Philippe Leroy) to investigate. He seduces Cinzia (Paola Pitagora), one of the late woman's daughters, in order to obtain more information. When he falls in love with the girl, he confesses to her his original intentions and she tries to take her own life. Nanni discovers that Maria Mancuso was murdered; before he ends up solving the crime, but a very high price!

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A SUITCASE FOR A CORPSE (1970)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Alfonso Brescia, Stars: George Ardisson, Françoise Prévost, Eduardo Fajardo. OK Giallo fans, here's yet another obscure rarity finally making an appearance on out TV screens. A middle-aged, hen-pecked husband (George Ardisson) repeatedly fantasizes about killing his wife. Then he finally does kill his wife. He manages to dispose of the body and cover up the crime except for a very incriminating suitcase that accidentally ends up in the hands of an innocent young woman (Orchidea de Santis), which he has to get back. Ardisson is good as a kind of homicidal Walter Mitty turned actual murderer. Francoise Provost is also good in a smaller role as his shrewish wife. Heterosexual men everywhere will no doubt regret that Brescia does not find an excuse to undress the voluptuous Orchidea DeSantis in his typical fashion (and in HER typical fashion),but she is still quite appealing as a naive beauty.

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