Friday, August 19, 2011


"Violence is a means of communication; a way of expressing myself." - Dario Argento

Largely overlooked by the classic monster magazines, and even by many of today's horror film 'zines, is the genre affectionately called giallo -- which means "yellow" according to my lovely Italian wife. Further research reveals that the term originated from the line of inexpensive 1960's Italian paperback mysteries easily identified by their yellow covers.

Giallo was the term that was eventually adopted to describe European crime and mystery films, and in particular, Italian thrillers. These gialli are characterized by sadism, cruelty and extremely bloody murder scenes. They are recognized as the precursors to the American "slasher" films of the 1980's.

Mario Bava, who is also famous for his horror films such as BLACK SUNDAY, could be called the Italian "Godfather of Gore", and is considered to have directed the first giallo film, La ragazza che sapeva troppo, or, THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (A.K.A. EVIL EYE) (1963).

Dario Argento entered the gory world of giallo with his film L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo, or THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970). As the reigning Crown Prince of Giallo, Argento's body of work (no pun intended) is widely revered among horror film fans and critics alike.

In Chas Balun's DEEP RED #7 is an interview with Dario Argento. The Italian Director offers an introspective and thoughtful insight on his work.

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