Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Giallo Timeline

5 Dolls for an August Moon (Mario Bava, 1970)

Compiling a definitive list of those films that come within the giallo cycle is nigh on impossible. Part of the problem is the generic fluidity of the form. From 1980 onward there was a very fine line between gialli and slasher films, some might argue no line at all, and the 1980’s and beyond is a particularly under-researched area of the cycle. This list was hard work and a glowing testament to what can be achieved under the influence of boredom. Those titles highlighted in yellow indicate a film I consider important for reasons that are wide and varied. The 1990’s and 2000’s is particularly barren and I feel that despite my best efforts I have probably missed out loads of titles. If you notice any omissions (be there glaring or obscure) please let me know in the comments box and I can add it. Hopefully this can become one of the most definitive lists on the net. A quick note on titles; I’ve tried wherever possible to use the title that I consider to be the most well known. This of course is fraught with potential error, so once again if I’ve used a less common title let me know and I can correct it. This piece wouldn't have been possible without Adrian Luther Smith's Blood and Black Lace: The Definitive Guide to Italian Sex and Horror Movies (Stray Cat Publishing, 1999). Thanks for reading!

The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Dir Mario Bava

Blood and Black Lace - Dir Mario Bava
Death on the Fourposter - Dir Jean Josipovici and Ambrogio Molteni
Marked Eyes - Dir Robert Hossein

Assassination in Rome - Dir Silvio Amadio
Libido - Dir Ernesto Gastaldi and Vittorio Salerno
Monster of Venice - Dir Dino Tavella
Night of Violence - Dir Roberto Mauri
The Possessed - Dir Luigi Bazzoni and Franco Rosselini

Blow Up - Dir Michelangelo Antonioni
Murder Clinic - Dir Elio Scardamaglia
The Third Eye - Dir Mino Guerrini

Deadly Sweet - Dir Tinto Brass
Date for a Murder - Dir Mino Guerrini

A Black Veil for Lisa - Dir Massimo Dallamano
Death Laid an Egg - Dir Giulio Questi
The Sweet Body of Deborah - Dir Romolo Guerrieri
Naked You Die - Dir Antonio Margheriti
Deadly Inheritance - Dir Vittorio Sindoni

La bambola di satana - Dir Ferruccio Casapinta
Death Knocks Twice - Dir Harald Phillip
Double Face - Dir Riccardo Freda
Interrabang - Dir Giuliano Biagetti
One on Top of the Other - Dir Lucio Fulci
Paranoia - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Shadow of Death - Dir Javier Seto
So Sweet...So Perverse - Dir Umberto Lenzi

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - Dir Dario Argento
Death Occurred Last Night - Dir Duccio Tessari
Five Dolls for an August Moon - Dir Mario Bava
Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion - Dir Luciano Ercoli
Hatchet for the Honeymoon - Dir Mario Bava
In the Folds of the Flesh - Dir Sergio Bergonzelli
A Quiet Place to Kill - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Il tuo dolce corpo da uccidere - Dir Alfonso Brescia
The Weekend Murders - Dir Michele Lupo

A Bay of Blood - Dir Mario Bava
The Black Belly of the Tarantula - Dir Paolo Cavari
The Bloodstained Butterfly - Dir Duccio Tessari
The Cat O’ Nine Tails - Dir Dario Argento
Cold Eyes of Fear - Dir Enzo G. Castellari
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tale - Dir Sergio Martino
Cross Current - Dir Tonino Ricci
Death Walks in High Heels - Dir Luciano Ercoli
The Designated Victim - Dir Maurizio Lucidi
The Devil with Seven Faces - Dir Osvaldo Civirani
The Double - Dir Romolo Guerrieri
The Fifth Cord - Dir Luigi Bazzoni
Four Flies on Grey Velvet - Dir Dario Argento
Human Cobras - Dir Bitto Albertini
The Iguana with a Tongue of Fire - Dir Riccardo Freda
In the Eye of the Hurricane - Dir Jose Maria Forque
A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin - Dir Lucio Fulci
The Night Evelyn Came out of the Grave - Dir Emilio Miraglia
Oasis of Fear - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Seven Murders for Scotland Yard - Dir Jose Luis Madrid
Slaughter Hotel - Dir Fernando Di Leo
The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh - Dir Sergio Martino

All the Colours of the Dark - Dir Sergio Martino
Amuck! - Dir Silvio Amadio
An Open Tomb...An Empty Coffin - Dir Alfonso Balcazar
The Case of the Bloody Iris - Dir Giuliano Carnimeo
The Crimes of the Black Cat - Dir Sergio Pastore
Cry out in Terror - Dir Luciano Ercoli
Death Falls Lightly - Dir Leopoldo Savona
Death Walks at Midnight - Dir Luciano Ercoli
Delirium - Dir Renato Polselli
Don’t Torture a Duckling - Dir Lucio Fulci
The Etruscan Kills Again - Dir Armando Crispino
Eye in the Labyrinth - Dir Mario Caino
The French Sex Murders - Dir Ferdinando Merighi
The Killer is on the Phone - Dir Alberto De Martino
Knife of Ice - Dir Umberto Lenzi
My Dear Killer - Dir Tonino Valerii
Naked Girl Killed in the Park - Dir Alfonso Brescia
The Red Queen Kills 7 Times - Dir Emilio Miraglia
Seven Blood-Stained Orchids - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Short Night of Glass Dolls - Dir Aldo Lado
Smile Before Death - Dir Silvio Amadio
So Sweet, So Dead - Dir Robert Bianchi Montero
Spirits of Death - Dir Romano Scavolini
Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key - Dir Sergio Martino
Tropic of Cancer - Dir Giampaolo Lomi and Edoardo Mulargia
The Two Faces of Fear - Dir Tulio Demecheli
What Have You Done to Solange? - Dir Massimo Dallamano
Who Saw Her Die? - Dir Aldo Lado

L’arma, L’ora, il movente - Dir Francesco Mazzei
The Corruption of Chris Miller - Dir Juan Antonio Bardem
Death Carries a Cane - Dir Maurizio Pradeaux
Death Smiles on a Murderer - Dir Joe D'Amato
The Flower with the Deadly Sting - Dir Gianfranco Piccioli
Girl in Room 2A - Dir William Rose
Long Lasting Days - Dir Ferdinando Baldi
Love and Death on the Edge of a Razor - Dir Giuseppe Pellegrini
Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye - Dir Antonio Margheriti
Torso - Dir Sergio Martino

Clap, You’re Dead - Dir Mario Moroni
Delitto d'autore - Dir Mario Sabatini
Five Women for the Killer - Dir Stelvio Massi
The Killer Wore Gloves - Dir Juan Bosch
The Killer Reserved Nine Seats - Dir Giuseppe Bennati
The Killers Are Our Guests - Dir Vincenzo Rigo
The Perfume of the Lady in Black - Dir Francesco Barilli
The Silk Worm - Dir Mario Sequi
Spasmo - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Street Angels - Dir Rino Di Silvestro
What Have They Done to Your Daughters? - Dir Massimo Dallamano

A Diary of a Murderess - Dir Manuel Mur Oti
Autopsy - Dir Armando Crispino
The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance - Dir Alfredo Rizzi
The Killer Must Kill Again - Dir Luigi Cozzi
Deep Red - Dir Dario Argento
Eyeball - Dir Umberto Lenzi
Footprints - Dir Luigi Bazzoni
Istantanea per un delitto - Dir Mario Imperoli
Man Without a Memory - Dir Duccio Tessari
Reflections in Black - Dir Tano Cimarosa
Strip Nude For Your Killer - Dir Andrea Bianchi
Suspicious Death of a Minor - Dir Sergio Martino
Vice Wears Black Hose - Dir Tano Cimarosa
Without Trace - Dir Mario Caino

The House with the Laughing Windows - Dir Pupi Avati
Plot of Fear - Dir Paolo Cavari

Watch Me When I Kill - Dir Antonio Bido
Crazy Desires of a Murderer - Dir Filippo Ratti
Death Steps in the Dark - Dir Maurizio Pradeaux
Eyes Behind the Wall - Dir Giuliano Petrelli
The Forbidden Room - Dir Dino Risi
The Fiend - Dir Luigi Zampa
Murder to the Tune of the Seven Black Notes - Dir Lucio Fulci
Pensione paura - Dir Francesco Barilli
The Pyjama Girl Case - Dir Flavio Mogherini

The Bloodstained Shadow - Dir Antonio Bido
Neapolitan Mystery - Dir Sergio Corbucci
The Perfect Crime - Dir Giuseppe Rosati
Rings of Fear - Dir Alberto Negrin
The Sister of Ursula - Dir Enzo Miloni

Giallo a Venezia - Dir Mario Landi
The House by the Edge of the Lake - Dir Enzo G. Castellari
Play Motel - Dir Mario Gariazzo

Murder Obsession - Dir Riccardo Freda
Trhauma - Dir Gianni Martucci

Blood Link - Dir Alberto De Martino
The New York Ripper - Dir Lucio Fulci
Scorpion with Two Tails - Dir Sergio Martino
Tenebre - Dir Dario Argento

A Blade in the Dark - Dir Lamberto Bava
Killing of the Flesh - Dir Cesare Canevari
The House of the Yellow Carpet - Dir Carlo Lizzani

Mystère - Dir Carlo Vanzina
Copkiller - Dir Roberto Faenza

Murderock - Dir Lucio Fulci

Formula for a Murder - Dir Alberto De Martino
Nothing Underneath - Dir Carlo Vanzina
Phenomena - Dir Dario Argento

Body Count - Dir Ruggero Deodato
La casa del buon ritorno - Dir Beppe Cino
Delitti - Dir Giovanni Lenzi
Evil Senses - Dir Gabriele Lavia
The Killer Has Returned - Dir Camillo Teti
Midnight Killer - Dir Lamberto Bava
The Monster of Florence - Dir Cesare Ferrario

Delirium: Photos of Goia - Dir Lamberto Bava
Sweets from a Stranger - Dir Franco Ferrini
Stage Fright - Dir Michele Soavi
Opera - Dir Dario Argento

Delitto e profumi - Dir Vittorio De Sisti
Fatal Temptation - Dir Beppe Cino
Phantom of Death - Dir Ruggero Deodato
A Taste for Fear - Dir Piccio Raffanini
They Only Come Out At Night - Dir Dario Piana

Angela, the Black Angel - Dir Stelvio Massi
Dangerous Women - Dir Luigi Russo
Fashion Crimes - Dir Bruno Gaburro

A Cat in the Brain - Dir Lucio Fulci
Scandal in Black - Dir Antonio Bonifacio

Homicide in Blue Light - Dir Alfonso Brescia

Body Puzzle - Dir Lamberto Bava

Dangerous Attraction - Dir Bruno Mattei
Trauma - Dir Dario Argento
The Washing Machine - Dir Ruggero Deodato

The Girl from Cortina - Dir Maurizio Vanni

Madness - Dir Bruno Mattei

The Strange Story of Olga O - Dir Antonio Bonifacio

La casa dove abitava Corinne - Dir Maurizio Lucidi
Fatal Frames - Dir Al Festa
Intimate Crimes - Dir Emanuele Glisenti
Squillo - Dir Carlo Vanzina
The Stendhal Syndrome - Dir Dario Argento

Il delitto di via monti parioli - Dir Antonio Bonifacio

Mozart is a Murderer - Dir Sergio Martino

Sleepless - Dir Dario Argento

The Card Player - Dir Dario Argento
Eyes of Crystal - Dir Eros Puglielli

Do You Like Hitchcock? - Dir Dario Argento

Amer - Dir Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani
Giallo - Dir Dario Argento

All the Colors of the Dark (Sergio Martino, 1972)

© Shaun Anderson 2011


  1. Wow, Shaun, what a great resource, cheers!

  2. Thank you Woodside! - undoubtedly riddled with mistakes and omissions though.

  3. Hi,yes excellent list- a few others I would have included in the yellow- House With Yellow Carpet, Copkiller- the one with Johnny Rotten and Keitel, Footprints (mindblowing stuff that), The Killers Are Our Guests- more in the house invasion mould but way better than Castellari's Cold Eyes Of Fear, I may be alone in loving Tinto Brass's Deadly Sweet and Designated Victim is a fine film, these are my little biases though.

    Out of interest I always wonder why Werewolf in a Girls Dorm is not considered a giallo- it never makes giallo lists but I would say it is very much in the whodunnit mould and with the girl school setting too indeed it reminds me of Naked You Die with added wolf! Also incidentally Don't Look Now- though that is open to debate, but there is the mysterious killer element- and the revelation at the end, just a thought.

    I am a bit more inclined towards Lenzi too- Orgasmo is great! That is my bias though, cannot fault the ones you recommended here though.

  4. I know its shamefull but I have in fact seen very little giallos this list however can change all that!

  5. Cheers Nigel! - I shall add COPKILLER to the list, that one slipped me by. I haven't seen HOUSE WITH THE YELLOW CARPET hence its exclusion, but I'll make the change on your recommendation. I almost did include DON'T LOOK NOW, but like you mention it is a highly contestable title. I'm prepping a review of WHO SAW HER DIE? and couldn't quite believe the remarkable similarity between Lado's and Roeg's film, and of course WHO SAW HER DIE? predates DON'T LOOK NOW. Lezni's gialli were the most accomplished of his films without a doubt.

    Hi there Cal - most of the highlighted titles are available on DVD I think. If I were you I'd start with the Argento ones, no better introduction.

  6. is there any particular ones that you recomend? I've only seen one or two but that was ages ago and I've forgotten what they were called

  7. It all depends on availabillity Cal - for example two key films - THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and BLOOD AND BLACK LACE have yet to have a UK DVD release, but they are easy to import. I'll assume you have no problem with Region encoding so I'd recommend the following 10 as a great introduction;


    and a bonus one - TENEBRE

    If you can track those down thats a great intro, a lot of the Argento ones are getting Blu-Ray releases from Arrow Video - its a UK distributor well worth keeping an eye on. I hope this helps you out.

  8. Bookmarked for future use, probably the most comprehensive list I have seen on the web!

  9. Thanks Carl - and if you come across any other obscurities that you think might be worth including please let me know - this is very much a working document.

  10. A terrific listing, but I'm rather upset that you've relegated Duccio Tessari's (and Silvio Amadio's) gialli to 'not important' status. Indeed, when a film like 'Death Carries a Cane' is ranked as important against the work of the former, I really have to ask: why?


  11. Thanks Johnny - I'm afraid my reasoning for excluding Amadio/Tessari to 'not important' is simply because I haven't seen any of the films. Those in yellow are my own subjective summary of those I consider important, I can't consider them anything if I haven't seen them. But I was hoping that people would comment and disagree and subsequently acclaim their own favourites...so you've done the job for Amadio and Tessari, and I appreciate that.

  12. Thanks for the reply, Shaun. Quite honestly, you owe it to yourself to see Tessari's 'The Bloodstained Butterfly' at the very least (which was given its best release via the German Eyecatcher DVD label, although it is somewhat hard to find these days).

    'Amuck!' is also a necessary title to see. Indeed, 'Death Occurred Last Night', 'Amuck!' and 'Smile Before Death' are all readily available via bootleg (albeit with varying degrees of AV quality). Try ZDD DVDs for an extensive range of moderately priced titles.

    Sadly, viewing gialli on bootleg is simply the way things are (even with a decade of legitimate DVD releases). I'm a little concerned, however, that many 'Top Ten' lists on the web and elsewhere simply reflect the availability of certain titles - rather than their intrinsic quality, per se. There's some truly terrific films out there that are ignored simply because they're not readily (i.e. officially) available...

  13. Not to diminish your list, Shaun, but the following is a very workable and comprehensive list of giallo titles (with accompanying visual material) that might be of interest:


    153 in total listed there - but one could conceivably list another 50 (that are still just becoming available on bootleg!). Adrian Luther-Smith's 'Blood and Black Lace' from 1999 is probably still the definitive print resource as to giallo (although much out of date), and Craig Ledbetter's old 'European Trash Cinema' zine also provided a solid list back in the early 90s.

  14. Yes availabillity is a great problem, thanks for the advice and I will be sure to check out ZDD DVD's - I'm planning a second season of gialli at some point in the future...maybe later this year or early next year, so it would be very good to acquire as many diverse and obscure titles as possible.

    Thanks for the link to the list of 153, I shall take a look and add any to this one that aren't already listed. I'm not sure what number are down here...but probably not 153, sadly I didnt count. My main source was Luther's book, but I was painfully aware that it didn't cover the 2000's at all. In my brief introduction above I noted the probably weakness of this list through the 90's and beyond...and probably the 80's too. I really appreciate the links and information :-)

  15. I've added some titles from that list Johnny, but some were contentious - a few Edgar Wallace 'Krimi's' were on there, and a few Spanish imitations, and a few that seemed more poliziotecchi than giallo. I've also highlighted in yellow AMUCK and THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY just for you :-)

  16. 'Just for me'? Awww...how nice of you. :)

    Still, those titles deserve their yellow status! Once you see them, you'll (surely!) agree with me!

    Thanks, Shaun. A terrific blog you have, and I've enjoyed looking back and reading your terrific approach to a number of classics (your piece on 'Halloween', especially, is truly great!).


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