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GIALLO

ITALIAN THRILLERS

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5 Women For The Killer

Stelvio Massi1974

Francis Matthews, Katia Christine, Howard Ross

In Italian only. A viscious Giallo starring British actor Francis Matthews as a widower who

discovers his dead wife fooled around on him. When those around him turn up dead the police

become suspicious. Katia Christine and Howard Ross co-star. Stelvio Massi directs this bloody

thriller. 

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A Dragonfly For Each Corpse

Leon Klimovsky1975

Paul Naschy, Erika Blanc

Paul Naschy is a (wait for it!) tough cop fighting with his department over the fact that he beats

the shit out of his suspects. Meanwhile, a serial killer is wiping out the degenerates he finds on

the streets of his town. Erika Blanc co-stars as Naschy's wife (she has nude scenes) in this

bloody Giallo, Spanish-style.

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A Treason Story

1977

Marissa Mell, Sylva Koscina, Stephen Boyd

aka TERROR IN THE DARK. For years I have had a 85 minute version of this film, here is a

longer version (11 minutes) in english and letterboxed. Sylva Koscina and Marissa Mell are a

lesbian couple who plot ways to kill male lovers they accumulate for their money. Stephen

Boyd enters the picture and Mell's lust for him might screw everything up.

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CROSS CURRENT (1971)- Letterboxed print. Director: Tonino Ricci, Stars: Philippe Leroy, Elga Andersen, Ivan Rassimov, Rosanna Yanni. Here we have a rich playboy doing boat races, and at one of them he has an accident - his boat shatters and explodes, but he's thrown in the nearby water and rapidly picked up by the medical crew, and after an operation to the brain returns home safe and sound, with some memory loss and a prescription of calm, peace & love for recovery. However, his surroundings stick to his incredibly designed villa, and the killings begin. Along with showing terror as the fragmented memories begin to join up, Philippe Leroy also gives Marco Breda a tremendous world-weary feeling, which along with showing how desperate Breda is to not be pulled into the strange events taking place around him, also gives the character a refreshingly realistic edge. Contrasting Leroy's world-weary performance, Elga Anderson and Rosanna Yanni give the movie some real sparks as Monica Breda and Terry Povani,with Anderson showing real uneasy as Marco's uncomfortable wife, and Yanni (who also appears naked in the movie) setting the movie alight by wearing a short skirt in stylishly done disco scenes ,that along with a delightfully kitsch performance by Ivan Rassimov.

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DEADLY INHERITANCE(1968)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Vittorio Sindoni, Stars: Tom Drake, Femi Benussi, Virgilio Gazzolo. Deadly Inheritance is probably most interesting as an example of an early giallo. It was released a couple of years before the genre was codified by the release of Dario Argento's debut film The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. As a result it's a good deal more restrained than the gialli of the 70's. It's not alone in this, as other late 60's gialli were pretty much the same. However, it does incorporate the serial killer on the loose mystery narrative that would go on to become a key aspect of the genre. The story is about a family of greedy siblings who want to inherit the money left by their recently killed father. All his money is left to his adopted son Janot, who is mentally retarded. Pretty much immediately, a string of murders begin.

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DEADLY TRIANGLE (1973)-Beautiful letterboxed print. Although it was made relatively late in the giallo cycle, this mostly Spanish production is kind of an old-fashioned throwback to the late 60's giallos starring Carrol Baker, especially "So Sweet, So Perverse" which co-starred the female lead of this one, Erica Blanc. Like several early Italian gialli this is kind of a variation on the French classic "Diabolique" with a wealthy women, her industrialist husband, and her lover all crossing and double crossing each other. It has many twists in it (some not entirely believable) but it is nevertheless pretty staid and sober compared some of the delirious over-the-top giallo of that era like "Deleria Caldo", "Case of the Bloody Irises" or "Torso". It takes awhile for a "real" murder to occur, and the anticipated image of a dead body being thrown in a cellar and devoured by rats is not really ever delivered on (whereas it happens in the pre-credit sequence in "Seven Deaths in a Cat's Eye" made the same year). The ever-gorgeous Blanc has her usual gratuitous nude scenes (which itself might be worth the price of admission for some).

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DEATH KNOCKS TWICE (1970)-. UNCUT VERSION!! Contains an extra 11 minutes of footage not seen in any other english friendly version!! This movie has a lot going for it. The great Fabio Testi plays a deranged artist who can't seem to resist strangling his female partners during sex. The voluptuous Anita Ekberg (the fountain-bather in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita") is an older, married female art dealer who just can't resist Testi's possibly homicidal charms and becomes the potential victim of an elaborate murder plot. The villainous Adolf Celli plays her oft-cuckolded husband, a scary gangster called "The Professor". Even a young Femi Benussi gets into the act in one of her earliest have-naked-sex-and-get-brutally-murdered-minutes-later cameos. Unfortunately, the lead, American actor Dean Reed, is about as charisma-free as they come. Part of it his character, a private detective who callously uses his faithful fiancée as bait to snare the dangerous, sex-crazed artist.

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DEATH SMILES AT MURDER

Joe D'Amato1972

Klaus Kinski, Ewa Aulin

Letterboxed print. If Alain Robbe-Grillet had gone to Italy to make a horror film, it might look

something like this! The film is the debut feature of future sleazemeister, Joe D'Amato, and boy

is it good. The storyline is very complex and plays with concept of time throughout. Ewa Aulin

stars as a vengeful spirit out to get revenge on all those who caused her agony, including her

incest-loving brother, lesbian inclined housekeeper and others. The film features lots of nudity

and some VERY gory sequences.

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Death Steps In The Dark

Maurizio Pradeaux1972

Leonard Mann, Robert Webber widescreen print!

Excellent thriller with Leonard Mann and Robert Webber as a woman is killed on a train and all

the people who were in the same cabin are now becoming victims themselves. SEX and

VIOLENCE in the Giallo tradition.

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EYES WITHOUT A FACE

Bruno Mattei1994

Monica Sellars

Bruno Mattei directs this sleazy and violent Giallo about a killer who goes around with a pair of

long metal prongs which is used to plop out the eyes of his victims!!Voluptuous Monica Sellars

(LABYRINTH OF SEX) stars in this terrific horror thriller!

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Fashion Crimes

Bruno Gaburro1987

Miles O'Keefe, Anthony Franciosa 

Driving home from work, Gloria, a beautiful fashion model, ends up at an isolated villa where

her car has broken down. She witnesses a murder and then passes out. Awakening at a

hospital, she tells the police what she saw but upon their investigation, they can find nothing. In

fact, the villa has been empty for 10 years. She's not crazy as soon after, someone is

determined to try and kill her. Is it her creepy psychiatrist (Miles O'Keefe) or has the past and

present mixed and resulted in a bleak future for Gloria. Anthony Franciosa co-stars.

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Game Of Crime

Romano Ferrara1965

John Drew Barrymore, Lisa Gastoni

Excellent Black and White Italian thriller starring John Drew Barrymore and Lisa Gastoni. A

family gathers at their country Villa where the patriarch dies suspiciously. Everyone has a

motive to kill the old fart so who really did it? Romano ferrara directs.

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In The Folds Of The Flesh

Sergio Bergonzelli1971

Eleonora Drago Rossi, Fernando Sancho

Letterboxed print. If you haven't already, now's your chance to see one of the more outlandish

thrillers from the seventies, full of sex and violence. Eleonora Drago Rossi stars as the Matron

of a really screwed up family. Brother and sister want to do the dirty deed while another

daughter just wants to kill someone. Meanwhile, Mom decapitated her husband years earlier, or

did she as he seems to have returned from the dead! There's even some Nazi exploitation

thrown for good measure. Directed by Sergio (BLOOD DELIRIUM) Bergonzelli.

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Internal Darkness Of Monica

1974

Jean Sorel, Karen Schubert, Barbara Rey, Nadiuska in italian with english subs

letterboxed print. Jean Sorel, Karin Schubert, Barbara Rey and Nadiuska star in

this rare and extremely sleazy (nudity is plentiful by all the women in the cast!) Italian Giallo.

Monica (Naduiska) kills an intruder and faints. She doesn't realize the victim was a man who

was going to blackmail her. The crime was staged but by whom? More killings occur that

implicate she's going nuts.

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KILLER WITH A 1000 EYES (1973)-LETTERBOXED HD PRINT! Director: Juan Bosch, Stars: Anthony Steffen, Antonio Pica, María Kosti. After the death of a colleague, a British police officer is sent out to Spain to investigate the incident and finds that the murder is connected to an illegal drug-smuggling ring that will stop at nothing to keep their identities a secret and put him in danger to solve the crimes. Anthony has been sent to Portugal to pick up the dead body of another agent murdered on the job. He's miffed already because he was given his orders right in the middle of a bust, and he wasn't finished telling all those drug-filled hippies that they stink. He's also not happy that he's not allowed to investigate what's happened and leave it all to the Interpol agents already stationed in Lisbon, so what does Anthony do? He fakes boarding the plane and goes on a violent journey trying to track down the killer (or killers) (or killer) (or killers) (maybe). This is a lot more action orientated than usual and is more of a hybrid of Euro-Crime and Giallo as various factions try and take down Steffan, but that said there's also a black gloved killer going about so let's not split hairs. I did notice that Anthony sure got a lot of people killed, including an agent mate of his, and subsequently the agent's wife who's silhouette is mistaken for Anthony's. Whoops! Throw in a car chase and a kick-ass machine gun, a car chase or two, and I was happy. The body count for this one is through the roof, basically leaving one character to survive the film, and they got shot too! Entertaining stuff, this one.

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Libido

Ernesto Gastaldi1966

Giancarlo Giannini, Alan Collins, Dominique Boschero, Mara Maryl

In Italian with English subtitles!. Now that you have read the groundbreaking interview with

Ernesto Gastaldi in the Video Watchdog, check out his work in this seminal B&W Giallo.

Giancarlo Giannini invites his girlfriend (Dominique Boschero), lawyer and his girlfriend for a

weekend at his country home. Soon after arriving, he starts flashing back to Mom and Dad's

old S&M sessions in their bedroom that he witnessed as a child and is slowly driven mad as all

those around him are being bumped off.

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Masquerade

Silvio Bandinelli1995

Nellie Vickers, Terry Weigel, Joey Silvera

This recent Giallo features lots of nudity, violence and 2 American Porn (Nellie Vickers and

Teresa Weigel) stars trying to act seriously without someone poking them in an orifice. Vickers

plays an LA cop sent to Florence to try and figure out who is killing the local art dealers. She

has a body like a brick shithouse and her local Italian partner (Joey Silvera, another porn star

refugee) decides to investigate it too. Meanwhile more people are being knocked off and

Vickers is the next target. Directed by Silvio Bandinelli.

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Mystere

Carlo Vanzini1993

Carole Bouquet, Janet Agren, John Steiner, Gabriele Tinti in italian with english subs

An assassination takes place and a sleazy photographer just so happens to catch it with his

camera. Carole Bouquet, John Steiner, Gabriele Tinti, and Janet Agren star in this stylish

Giallo/thriller from Italy. Bouquet (who never looked better than here) and Agren are two high

priced call girls who end up getting involved with the killer and before 2 long, Agren is brutally

murdered and Bouquet is on the run from the psychopath. One of the best scores ever was

composed by Armando Trovaioli for this film; it could give John Barry's BODY HEAT a run for its

money.

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Naked Girl Found Dead Near Park

Al Brescia1972

Robert Hoffmann, Irina Demick, Pilar Velasquez widescreen print!

Robert Hoffman stars as an undercover insurance agent sent to investigate a rich man's death.

He cozies up to the man's daughter (Irina Demik), follows her home and discovers she has a

weird family (Pilar Velasquez plays her nympho sister) all of whom were capable of knocking

the old man off. One of director Al Brescia's best film.

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PLAY MOTEL (1979)-RARE ENGLISH DUBBED, UNCUT VERSION. LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Mario Gariozzo, CAST: Ray Lovelock, Anna Maria Rizzoli, Mario Cutini, Antonella Antinori, Patrizia Behn, Enzo Fisichella, Marina Hedman, Cesare Di Vito, Anthony Steffen. The police enlist the help of a reporter and his girlfriend to PLAY help them solve a series of murders that all have ties to a motel that is known for its sexual rendezvous. Play Motel was written and directed by Mario Gariazzo under the alias Roy Garrett. Other notable films also directed by Mario Gariazzo include, Acquasanta Joe, Eyes Behind the Stars and Very Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind. Key collaborators on Play Motel include cinematographer Aldo Greci (The Playgirls and the Vampire, The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance) and composer Ubaldo Continiello (Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man, Macabre). Though Play Motel has many elements that one identifies with the Italian thriller. Like a black glove wearing killer and an amateur sleuth who steps in and solves the crime, when police are once again baffled. This is however where the Italian connection ends and in fact the first hint that this film is a thriller does not rear its head until very late in the opening act. And even as the film progresses moments pertaining to the thriller genre often appear quickly only to delve back into erotica subject matter which dominates this film narrative. Visually Mario Gariozzo is at his best during the thriller related moments, while the more sexually charged moments come off as too mechanical. From a pacing standpoint the film struggles to maintain momentum due to the constant shift in tone. Without a doubt one of main reasons for the discord between the two clashing genres is this film’s score, which sounds like something out of hardcore sex film. With that being said, the film’s main theme is an infectious tune that stick to you like glue.

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Plot Of Fear

Paolo Cavara1976

Corrine Clery, John Steiner, Eli Wallach, Letterboxed print

At last, here's Paolo (BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA) Cavara's second thriller in English and

it's up to his usual violent standards. A series of killings are thought to be connected by an

event that took place at the Villa Hoffman. A young woman died there under mysterious

circumstances. A great cast--Eli Wallach, Corinne Clery, Tom Skeritt and John Steiner--, terrific

music, and ample nudity make this one a winner.

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Puzzle

Duccio Tessari1974

Senta Berger, Luc Merenda

Luc Merenda stars as a man who has lost his memory. Those around him are being killed in a

brutal fashion and his lover (Senta Berger) wonders perhaps if he isn't the killer. Features a

classic scene--Senta Berger with chainsaw in hand, slicing up a madman! Letterboxed print.

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RED LIGHT GIRLS (1974)-Wow, rare giallo by Rino Di silvestri, uncut at 105 minutes and letterboxed! They're Italy's notorious "Ladies of the evening" catering to the strange cravings of their kinky, high-paying clients. But suddenly, the girls of the street find themselves being stalked by someone with desires even they can't satisfy. After a series of shocking crimes, the clues lead police to a pornographic film maker and his stable of lovely models and starlets. But can the authorities track down the "Hooker Maniac" before he strikes again? Krista Nell, Orchidea De santis, and Magda konopka star.

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