Are you looking for something different to watch – something unique, offbeat and a bit CRAZY? Well, hold on, time to share a classic, shocking genre of film with you!
As you know, I love exploitation films, especially those from a bygone era of grindhouse. If you aren’t aware of the italian grindhouse films, they are called “GIALLO”!
Here is how wikipedia describes the genre: Giallo is an Italian 20th century genre of literature and film, which in Italian indicates crime fiction and mystery. In the English language it refers to a genre similar to the French fantastique genre and includes elements of horror fiction and eroticism.
The word giallo is Italian for “yellow” and stems from the origin of the genre as a series of cheap paperback mystery novels with trademark yellow covers, like this:
So, in a nutshell: “cheap pulp erotic thrillers!” How can you argue with that? Here are three great examples!
Strip Nude For Your Killer
Talk about pulp, look at this poster! And what a title!
The stunning Edwige Fenech (THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS, THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH) stars in this infamous shocker that packs more grisly violence and sexual depravity into each frame than most any other film in the entire giallo genre.
An obscure, exceedingly trashy, and entirely watchable ’70s Italian “Giallo,” Strip Nude for Your Killer delivers exactly what the title implies; generous doses of sex, utterly gratuitous nudity, and abundant scenes of explicit violence. If that’s your thing, grab some popcorn; you’re in for a treat!
The story involves a hedonistic cast of characters linked to a modeling agency that are being violently killed off one by one. If it was ever in question, don’t worry, most everyone will get the chance to disrobe (some more than once) and offer up an important clue before being knocked off.
Of course all of the standard questions are raised. Who is the mysterious killer? What’s the horrifying secret behind the sadistic rampage of death? Who will live to find out?
All of the essential “Giallo” trademarks are in place; The faceless leather-gloved killer, mysterious phone calls with cryptic muffled warnings, and as always, the screeching black car appearing out of nowhere (run for your life!)
As with all of these films, there are numerous red herrings, sexy and scantily clad (if clad at all) victims…
Along with gruesome elaborate murder sequences, and of course the requisite “surprise” ending in which “all ” is neatly explained.
This is classic, trashy fun, and an interesting way to test the genre…and if you want to know who is the master of “Giallos”, let me introduce you to Dario Argento!
Four Flies On Grey Velvet – Directed by Dario Argento
Dario Argento is arguably the greatest Italian director, particularly of erotic thrillers. He still makes films, and his daughter Asia Argento is also a filmmaker and Actress. I could have chosen a number of his films to talk about, but chose this one, because it has such an interesting title:
Here’s the plot: Roberto, a drummer in a rock band, keeps receiving weird phone calls and being followed by a mysterious man. One night he manages to catch up with his persecutor and tries to get him to talk but in the ensuing struggle he accidentally stabs him.
He runs away, but he understands his troubles have just begun when the following day he receives an envelope with photos of him killing the man. Someone is killing all his friends and trying to frame him for the murders…
Argento’s usual collaborator Ennio Morricone scored the film but had a major argument with Argento over some tracks Argento didn’t want in the film. As a result, the director and Morricone would never work together again until 1996, and the rock group Goblin would eventually become Argento’s regular composers.
Here’s more fun trivia from IMDB: A slow-motion bullet effect is used in the film, pre-dating The Matrix and many Hong Kong action films.
In the United States, the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is available on CD. The movie itself was unavailable until early 2009.
The Italian poster for Argento’s earlier film “The Bird With the Crystal Plumage” can be seen in a street shot as Roberto drives through the city.
Argento is an exciting Director, and all of his films can be easily purchased on Amazon…really worth checking this guy out!
And finally, here’s a very rare movie just being released – and it’s a doozy!
Yes, you read it correctly: “BABA YAGA!” Here is the original poster for this classic gem:
Perhaps the best place to start is by defining what a Baba Yaga is. Baba Yaga is a witch in Russian folklore. She has a long nose, has two sisters also named Baba Yaga in order to confuse the unwary, and lives in a hut that can move around on chicken legs. She relies on three horseman and three strange pairs of disembodied hands to assist her in accomplishing her arcane goals.
In tyhis case, the film “Baba Yaga” is a psychedelic shocker based on the erotic comics Of Guido Crepax…
Legendary sex symbol Carroll Baker (BABY DOLL, THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS) stars as a mysterious sorceress with an undying hunger for sensual ecstasy and unspeakable torture.
But when she casts a spell over a beautiful young fashion photographer (the gorgeous Isabelle De FunÃ¨s), Milan s most luscious models are sucked into a nightmare world of lesbian seduction and shocking sadism.
Are these carnal crimes the result of one woman s forbidden fantasies or is this the depraved curse of the devil witch known as BABA YAGA?
George Eastman (THE GRIM REAPER, HORRIBLE) co-stars in this EuroShocker written and directed by Corrado Farina and based on the notorious S&M comic Valentina by Guido Crepax.
Congrats to Blue Underground for bringing this film to light after so many years, so we can all see the craziness that was early 70’s cinema!
These three films are just the tip of the “giallo” iceberg, and I will highlight some others in the future…but for now, hang on for a wild ride!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Foreign Films, Grindhouse, Horror films, Movies, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Uncategorized