Saturday, March 29, 2008

Un Omicidio perfetto a termine di legge (Cross Current)

I won't be able to post anything tomorrow, so I'll leave you with the two alternate posters for Tonino Ricci's Un Omicidio perfetto a termine di legge until tuesday. Although made after "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage", the film has far more in common with Lenzi's Caroll Baker thrillers, than the Argento/Martino school of gialli. The film starts off fairly slowly, but picks up after about 45 minutes and the last 30 minutes, which contains quite a few twists & turns, are really quite good. The ending leaves a few too many unanswered questions and loose ends for my liking, but it's an entertaining thriller. Good performance by the always watchable Leroy. Elga Andersen and Rosana Yanni provides some welcome eye-candy, but Rassimov criminally underused and more or less wasted in his role.

La Polizia chiede aiuto (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?)

The second entry in Dallamano's “schoolgirls in peril” trilogy. Compared to Solange there's a relative lack of giallo elements and the emphasis is more on police work, but this giallo/poliziesco hybrid is still a great film. The score by Stelvio Cipriani is superb and desperately needs a CD release. The recent R2 Koch release is by far the best way to enjoy the film. Pick it up at Xploited Cinema. Two locandine available and they both have more of a poliziesco feel rather than a giallo one.

Friday, March 28, 2008

L'Uomo dagli occhi di ghiaccio (The Man with Icy Eyes)

Jonny from lovelockandload calls Alberto De Martino's L'Uomo dagli occhi di ghiaccio an "utter snoozer" and I can't say I disagree. Quite like the poster though. I'm not a 100% sure, but I'd say the poster below is from a late 70's re-release since feels like it aims for the poliziesco crowd rather than going for the traditional giallo estehetic.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Macchie solari (Autopsy)

The opening minutes of Armando Crispino's Macchie solari are outstanding. Unfortunately the rest of the film can't quite match the intensity of the montage of suicides and the scenes with Mimsy Farmer in the morgue. It's still an atmospheric and enjoyable (if slightly overlong) giallo with fine performances by Mimsy and Ray Lovelock. There are a few great set-pieces (including a very disturbing sequence at a crime museum). The creepy, atonal score by Morricone fits prefectly and is a deserving candidate for the Digitmovies treatment. No info on the poster artist.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Al Tropico del cancro (Death in Haiti)

I love Renato Casaro's beautiful artwork for Al Tropico del cancro and the poster art is sure to bring back memories of the great dream sequence for anybody who's seen the film. The directorial duo Lomi and Mulargia takes full advantage of the Haitian locations and they don't waste any chance to incorporate some mondo-style footage into the proceedings. We get a cock-fighting, voodoo rituals and an alleged wedding ritual. The film itself is a decent enough giallo starring Anita Strindberg, Anthony Steffen (who also co-wrote the script), Gabriele Tinti and Umberto Raho.
Worth seeking out if you're casual giallo fan, but a must see if you're a fan of Anita Strindberg.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

5 bambole per la luna d'agosto (Five Dolls for an August Moon)

I don't have many Mario Bava posters since they tend to be very expensive, but I just had to have this 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto locandina. It's very difficult to resist a poster that prominently features Edwige Fenech in a bikini.

Update 090111: Added the beautiful alternate locandina with artwork by Rodolfo Gasparri.

Monday, March 24, 2008

La Ragazza dal pigiama giallo (The Pyjama Girl Case)

Flavio Mogherini's La Ragazza dal pigiama giallo is an unusual giallo. Lacking many of the elements normally associated with the genre and one of the few gialli loosely based on a real murder (the only other one that springs to mind at the moment is Camillo Teti's L'Assassino è ancora tra noi). The story unfolds through extensive use of flashbacks as we follow both through Inspector Thompson's (Ray Milland) investigation and the events leading up to the murder of the gorgeous Glenda (Dalila di Lazzaro). A very different but worthwhile effort. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna (A Lizard in a Woman's Skin)

This locandina is one of my personal favourites. Like a lot of people, I rate Lucio Fulci's Una Lucertola con la pelle di donna as one of the best gialli ever made. Fulci provides a tight, suspenseful atmosphere.
There are several standout sequences, but I’ve always liked dream sequences in euro cult films and the ones here are fantastic. An outstanding cast featuring Florinda Bolkan, Leo Gann, Stanley Baker, Jean Sorel and Anita Strindberg. And let's not forget the excellent soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any info on who designed the poster.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Play Motel

By 1979 the giallo cycle was effectively over and in order to have any kind of success, you either had to resort to extreme sex or violence. The locandina for Play Motel gives pretty good idea indication of what angle director Mario Gariazzo went for. The film is almost completely devoid of suspense and mystery elements in favour of numerous (and very explicit) sex scenes. Probably not Ray Lovelock's proudest moment. No info on the poster design.

Friday, March 21, 2008

4 mosche di velluto grigio, the third entry in the Animal trilogy, is by far the least seen entry in Argento's gialli canon. It finally received a DVD release by German company RetroFilm late last year. Although the release is certainly a step up from the poor VHS dupes fans have become accustomed to over the years, this film is still waiting for the edition it deserves. Poster by Ercole Brini.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nude per l'assassino (Strip Nude for your Killer)

Andrea Bianchi's Nude per l'assassino feels a bit like a sleazier and more crude version of The Case of the Bloody Iris. All the important ingredients of the genre are on display. There's plenty of violence and nudity (I don’t think Bianchi misses a single opportunity to show of the female cast in a state of undress). Edwige Fenech always makes a great giallo heroine and this is no exception. Nino Castelnuovo feels very much like a poor man’s George Hilton, but he does a fairly good job with his role although the chemistry between Fenech and him isn’t as good as it was between Fenech and Hilton. It's not great film, but it's a very entertaining one.
Amazing how you can pass on the opportunity to have Fenech on the locandina though...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Giallo a Venezia

It might be one of the more infamous films of the genre, but in terms of quality, Giallo a Venezia is one of the worst gialli I've come across. There are no likable characters (I’m not sure if Landi thought having Detective De Paul eating a boiled egg in every scene was a great substitute for characterization) and the film lacks any sort of tension or suspense. Instead Landi resorts to bombarding us with liberal amounts of violence and sex scenes. I guess some might think that’s a positive thing, but the special effects are risible and the film more or less grinds to a complete halt every time one of the flashbacks sex scenes are shown. This really is bottom of the barrel stuff.

La Casa con la scala nel buio (A Blade in the Dark)

Although the 70's was the golden age of the giallo, both in terms of films and locandine art, there were some decent ones made in the 80's as well. Lamberto Bava's La Casa con la scala nel buio is a good example, a minor but entertaining giallo and a great looking poster.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Così dolce...così perversa (So Sweet...So Perverse)

The second of the four gialli Lenzi made with Caroll Baker between 1969 and 1972. Like the other three, Così dolce...così perversa is a great thriller. Set in Paris and starring Caroll Baker, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Erika Blanc and Horst Frank, the film features an excellent soundtrack by Riz Ortolani. The film will receive an Italian DVD release in early april, but unfortunately there are no english options on the disc. A real shame, but I've not given up hope that we might see a boxset with all the Lenzi/Baker gialli someday.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sette scialli di seta gialla (The Crimes of the Black Cat)

Anthony Steffen plays Peter, a blind composer (who seems to be scoring A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin) whose ex-grilfriend is found murdered. As more bodies with yellow scarves are found next to their bodies, Peter decides to find the murderer himself...
Enjoyable giallo set in Copenhagen. I could see some people being put off by the killers MO (since it has one of the more implausible methods of killing that I’ve ever seen in a giallo), but the film is well paced and the last 10 minutes (which include a very brutal razor slashing) are excellent. The score by Manuel de Sica is a bit repetitive, but the main theme is excellent and up there with the very best gialli themes.
No info on the poster design unfortunately.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Le Foto probite di una signora per bene (Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion)

The poster art for Le Foto probite di una signora per bene makes you think the film is a lot more lurid than it really is. Luciano Ercoli's 1970 debut is sure to leave some people disappointed since it's virtually bloodless affair, but with a script by Ernesto Gastaldi, beautiful leading ladies in Dagmar Lassander and Susan Scott, a wonderful array of 70’s fashion and a brilliant score by Morricone what more could you possibly ask for?
Like yesterday's poster, the poster art is by Renato Casaro

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Le Orme (Footprints)

When a film starts off with an astronaut on the moon, you know you’re not in for your average giallo. Le Orme is as much of a psychological drama as it is a thriller, but there are enough mystery elements to the story to attract the more adventurous giallo fan. Florinda is great in the role of Alice, a woman who’s desperately trying to piece together what has happened to her during the last three days. It’s the kind of role that’s perfect for Florinda and I really can’t think of any other genre actress from the mid 70’s, apart from possibly Mimsy Farmer, that would have pulled it off as well as her. Like in The Fifth Cord, Bazzoni once again used Vittorio Storaro and this film looks every bit as great as their previous collaboration. An excellent film that's unfortunately still not available on dvd. Poster art by Renato Casaro.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Il Gatto a nove code (The Cat o' Nine Tails)

Time for another Argento locandina. This one from 1971's Il Gatto a nove code. Poster art by P. Franco

Monday, March 10, 2008

Il vizio ha le calze nero (Reflections in Black)

Considering the only version of Il vizio ha le calze nero I've seen is the cropped 75 minute english language version, I suppose I should cut it some slack. But while the cuts and cropping might explain some of the choppy editing and the poor visuals, I doubt that even a restored widescreen version would change my opinion of this film. Tano Cimarosa 1975 film is a very poor genre entry. The poor budget is obvious, the cast is uninspired, the script is lacking thrills and the killer is painfully obvious. Unless you're a die-hard Dagmar Lassander fan, you can easily skip this.
No info on who designed the poster unfortunately.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

L'Occhio nel labirinto (Eye in the Labyrinth)

Julia (Rosemary Dexter) dreams that her psychiatrist boyfriend Lucas is stabbed to death. The next day he is nowhere to be found. All traces lead to the small Mediterranean village Maracudi, where Gerda Hoffman (Alida Valli) lives with a variety of eccentrics, musicians and artists. Gerda claims never to have heard of Lucas but Julia soon finds evidence that he might have been at the villa after all…
Enjoyable giallo mostly set in and around a seaside villa (similar to that in La Settima Donna), but director Mario Caiano keep things moving at a brisk pace. Rosemary Dexter is a beautiful leading lady and Valli and Adolfo Celi provide great suppporting cast. Poster art by Symeoni.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cosa avete fatto a Solange? (What Have You Done to Solange?)

I've been lazy the last couple of days, so I thought I'd make up for it by posting the two alternate posters for Massimo Dallamano's Cosa avete fatto a Solange?. Made in 1972, Solange is the first film in the loosely held together "schoolgirls-in-peril" trilogy that was written by Dallamano. A firm favourite of mine, this is an excellent giallo set in London featuring a great cast and a beautiful soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Dallamano went on to direct La Polizia chiede aiuto (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?) in 1974, but unfortunately he passed away in a car accident in 1976 before he could conclude the triolgy, so the last film Engima Rosso (Rings of Fear) was directed by Alberto Negrin.
There's no signature on the locandina posted above, but the one below is made by the great Sandro Simeoni aka Symeoni.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Una sull'altra (One on Top of the Other)

One on Top of the Other, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling, The Psychic, The New York Ripper and Murder Rock. From the groovy 60's to ultra-sleazy 80's. I can't think of a director who worked in the giallo field who has a more diverse and varied filmography than Lucio Fulci. This is the locandina for his 1969 genre debut.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

La Casa dalle finestre che ridono (The House with Laughing Windows)

I find Pupi Avati's La Casa dalle finestre che ridono one of the most creepy and unsettling gialli ever made. Unfortunately Avati didn't make any more films in the genre, but at least he can claim to have directed one bonafied classic. He went on to direct some excellent horror films as well, like Zeder and L'Arcano incantatore (which is crying out for a DVD release). Poster by Piero Ermanno Iaia

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile (So Sweet, So Dead)

I find it a bit surprising that Roberto Bianchi Montero Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile still hasn't received a DVD release yet. Although not a top tier giallo and clearly lacking the directional flair of somebody like Sergio Martino, it's still an enjoyable, sleazy thriller similar to Strip Nude for your Killer. It suffers a bit from the lack a likable protagonist, but the killer looks straight out of Blood & Black Lace and there's enough gruesome killings and nudity from the female cast (which includes Susan Scott, Sylva Koscina and Femi Benussi) to keep the most discerning eurocult fan happy. 
The soundtrack by Giorgio Gaslini was released by Fin de Siècle last year and is well worth picking up. Poster art by Enzo Nistri

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Due volti della Paura (Two Faces of Fear)

On paper I Due volti della Paura looks quite interesting. Directed by Tulio Demicheli in the heyday of the genre and featuring a cast of George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Luciana Paluzzi and Fernando Ray. Unfortunately Demicheli never really manages to create any suspense or real tension. In fact, the film is probably best known for the footage of open heart surgery. But not even the inclusion of that potentially eye-catching footage can stop the film from feeling like a decidedly average viewing experience. Poster art by Renato Casaro

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (The Case of the Bloody Iris)

Giuliano Carnimeo's Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (What are thoses strange drops of blood doing on the body of Jennifer?) from 1972 is something of a personal favourite, both in terms of the film and the posters. If you team up genre stalwart's Edwige Fenech (who yet again is pursued by a sex cult) and George Hilton in a film scripted by Ernesto Gastaldi and add a beautiful soundtrack from Bruno Nicolai, you know you're in for an enjoyable time. An great in-depth review of the film can be found at Giallo Fever.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find much info about the posters. It looks like the top locandina was used for the original release and the one below possibly used for a theatrical re-release. The one below with the striking image of Edwige is one of my most treasured posters.