Here’s another highly regarded Dario Argento giallo film. It’s a strange one in the sense of it’s highs and lows. The highs are some very artistic sequences and murder scenes, reinforced by the very first soundtrack appearance by the mighty Goblin. The lows are that the film is extremely convoluted, and sometimes excruciatingly slow. Don’t be discouraged. It is absolutely worth the effort to get to the crazy ending.
Here we have a beautifully filmed, very sleazy, but excellent giallo. This was part one of Massimo Dallamano’s “Schoolgirls in Peril” trilogy so, yeah… not for sensitive viewers. The film features one of my favorite cult actors Fabio Testi, as well as the debut performance of Camille Keaton (pictured above), and music by Ennio Morricone. Solange is essential if you’re interested in the giallo subgenre. You might need to take a shower after watching, but it’s worth it.
FYI – My favorite Morricone music is from this era. If you’d like to hear more, check out the album Crime and Dissonance. It’s flat-out amazing.
Sam Raimi is very hit of miss for me after Evil Dead 2. This one I really enjoyed. Yes, even more than A Simple Plan or Drag Me To Hell. What we have here is a well-made horror mystery with some downright disturbing moments. I think what I like best about The Gift is that is that it is unique among Raimi’s work. It’s also pretty original among horror and suspense films period. While not prefect, it’s a damn good movie for sure.
Not available on Blu-ray.
It’s pretty amazing it took me this long to recommend a Lucio Fulci film. Sadly there aren’t many available via streaming services. This is one of my favorite movies by the man dubbed The Godfather of Gore. It’s not one of his goriest ones either. In fact, some scenes feel more like an art film.
Ok look… this movie is a fantastic horror thriller, but the end features a very clumsy FX prop death scene. You’ll know it when you see it. It looked crappy when I first saw this in the ‘90s and it looks even more ridiculous now. What’s weird is that Fulci liked it so much he used the same scene in another later film. WTF Lucio? Great film though. Truly great.
While it isn’t the first of the Giallo subgenre, Blood and Black Lace is my early favorite. This was the film that influenced all of the black glove killer films to follow. The villain’s costume alone was imitated so often it’s ridiculous. Check out Bava’s use of unnatural colored lighting. You will notice similar effects in many other filmmaker’s work still to this day. To top it off, Arrow’s restoration is flat-out stunning (the streaming version is the same re-master).