So Deadly So Perverse Volume 1: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films 1963-1973 by Troy Howarth
Trade Paperback – Midnight Marquee – 2015 – 233 pages
Beginning with the release of Mario Bava’s THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH in 1963, Italian filmmakers developed and perfected their own peculiar brand of mystery-thriller known as the giallo. Named after the yellow (giallo in Italian) covers of the murder mysteries published by Mondadori, the giallo is awash in fetishistic imagery. For many fans, these films—popularized in the works by writer-director Dario Argento, whose name is synonymous with the genre, thanks to such films as THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and DEEP RED—focus on stylized images of violent death: killers dressed in black stalking glamorous-looking victims through baroque architecture, literally painting the walls red with their blood. This is only one aspect of the giallo, however. With their groovy soundtracks by legendary composers like Ennio Morricone and Stelvio Cipriani and glamorous damsels-in-distress like Edwige Fenech, Rosalba Neri and Asia Argento, these films offer a heady mixture of sex, horror and suspense; at their best, they took excess to a hypnotic level.
Covering everything from popular fan favorites by the likes of Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento to lesser-known gems by Cesare Canevari, Massimo Dallamano and Paolo Cavara as well as the worst of the worst by the least inspired of hacks, SO DEADLY, SO PERVERSE provides an in-depth examination of a genre that has too often been marginalized in other studies of the horror film and the thriller. In addition to reviews of every giallo made between 1963 and 2013, this two-part study of the giallo—with volume two (covering 1974 onwards) coming later in the year—is also lavishly illustrated with rare and colorful stills and poster art.