Pupi Avati – La casa dalle finestre che ridono AKA The House with Laughing Windows (1976)

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SYNOPSIS
Though fans of typical Italian horror films may find House With the Windows That Laugh lacking in the stylistic excesses of many of its contemporary companion pieces, it exceeds its contemporaries in almost every other area. Imbued with an overwhelming sense of dread that grows to an almost unbearable pitch, director Pupi Avati sets the deliberate pace of the film in contrast with the sense of solemn oppression that never ceases from the first to the last frame of the film. As the painter hired to restore a fresco in the church of a small Italian town learns more of the sordid legacy of its original artist, the calm pacing of the film reveals each twisted secret at impeccably timed intervals, never revealing details too soon, and often leaving the viewer hanging just long enough to build the appropriate anticipation needed for each revelation to have an acute and horrifying impact. Characters seem to be literally swallowed in the sea of darkness surrounding the mythology of the deranged painter of the original fresco and his mysterious sisters. With the soul of the main character at stake as he begins to feel possessed by the same disturbing compulsions that propelled the original artist into madness, the question as to if he will solve the mystery in time, or become another sacrifice in the black legacy, is a testament to Avati’s masterful ability to manipulate the expectations and emotions of his audience, only to shatter whatever preconceptions they may have in the film’s shocking climax. (Jason Buchanan on All Movie Guide) Continue reading

Lucio Fulci – Murderock – uccide a passo di danza AKA Murder Rock (1984)

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SYNOPSIS
The brutal worlds of murder and dance school competitions are thrown together in yet another lurid Lucio Fulci giallo. When an insane hatpin murderer terrorizes a prestigious New York dance school, mercilessly poking nubile young women deep into their competitive little hearts. Is it one of the students, jealous of competitive placement? Is it the voyeuristic headmaster, who watches the students through his many lurid security cameras? Perhaps it’s even a jealous boyfriend? (DVDActive) Continue reading

Alberto De Martino – L’assassino… è al telefono AKA The Killer… is on the Telephone (1972)

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Quote:
A woman whose husband was murdered five years previously, is stalked by his killer, who wants to eliminate her as a potential witness. What he doesn’t know is that the shock of his murder caused her to have amnesia, and she doesn’t remember anything. Continue reading

Giuliano Biagetti – Interrabang (1969)

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IMDb comments:
This movie is kind of a combination of an early “Diabolique”-style giallo with lots of plot twists and turns, and an island paradise sex romp in the spirit of such films as “The Seducers”, “Il Dio Serpiente”, and “Wave of Lust”. It is more arty, or some might say more pretentious than most gialli or most island-lust flicks. It kind of resembles a couple Antonioni films like “La Aventurra” or (especially at the end) “Blow Up”. A photographer is sailing with his wife (Beba Rancor), her sister (Haydee Politoff), and his nymphomaniacal model (Shoshanna Cohen). He leaves the three women alone to get a part for his boat. A mysterious man (Umberto Orsini)shows up, who might be an escaped criminal the police are searching for. This doesn’t alarm the three women too much, and he rapidly seduces each of them. Nor are they particularly worried about the dead body of a police officer that appears and then vanishes. These woman are such bored, jaded bourgeoisie types that they don’t even seem to care that this handsome stranger might be planning to kill them. The ending combines the surprise plot twists of “Diabolique” and the reality-confounding denouement of “Blow Up”, and throws in yet another nasty surprise to boot. Continue reading

Tinto Brass – Col cuore in gola AKA Deadly Sweet (1967)

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IMDb user comments
A rather unusual agenda from Tinto Brass who obviously found later his niche in “t&a” movies. Col cuore in Gola is a psychedelic, pop art giallo that can just come from the great era of the late 60´s/70´s. Starting from the nice credits and music you immediately like this film and this is just the beginning! Trintignant founds in a nightclub a corpse beside the lovely Aulin who just says “I wasn’t it”. Convinced that she is innocent he wants to help her and want to find out the murderer, Aulins brother should solve this case and both are searching for him. Though not quite without problems… a dwarf in raincoat is following them in companion with some gangsters who kidnap Aulin. Jean is now searching for Aulin, Aulins brother and (of course) the murderer. The Story itself is not that convincing (rather unimportant) but what here is really of interest is the unconvential style of brass : splitscreen (even tripple split screens!) some scenes in black and dark yellow filter and more.., and in the “middle” of course the presence of two very convincing leads: cool Trintignant and hot Ewa Aulin. Continue reading

Carlo Lizzani – La casa del tappeto giallo AKA House of the Yellow Carpet (1983)

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Kevin Lyons on EOFFTV wrote:
By the early 1980s, the giallo – that uniquely Italian blend of thriller and horror tropes laced with plenty of sex – was facing its final curtain. Dario Argento would return to the form throughout the decade but just about everyone else was getting ready to give up on it as Italian horror lurched towards the more visceral in the wake of Lucio Fulci’s worldwide success with Zombi 2 / Zombie Flesheaters Zombie [1979]. Those gialli that were still being made seemed a pale imitation of the excesses of their 1970s forebears. Continue reading