I swear I can't do a simple giallo related google search these days without stumbling across a million giallo themed kickstarters begging for my cold, hard earned cash. It feels like every prospective film maker out there is hoping I'll back their giallo related projects and what do I get for my trouble and pain?
A rented room in Whalley Range a thanks on Facebook and my very own t-shirt! And it's not just those new to the film making game trying to get my money; Dario Argento has recently raised capital for his new film - The Sandman using Indiegogo whilst Tom Savini and Umberto Lenzi used crowdsourcing to get the funds for their remake of Nightmare City - see, even the pros are in on the crowdfunding game to finance prospective films. So what does all of this mean for the future of Italian inspired horror?
Being the eternal optimist when it comes to gialli, I'm easily suckered in to any project that resembles my favourite gialli of yore so I'm always intrigued at the emergence of new projects trying to capture the spirit of Italian horror. So in many ways, it's great to see such a desire out there to make films inspired by the great Italian horrors of the 60s/70s/80s and let's face it, we aren't going to be getting feature length gialli from Italy any time soon so this is probably the next best thing. However, with all of these shorts vying for your attention, it can get a little bit confusing trying to keep track of them all. That's why I've decided to create this blog post which will catalogue all of the giallo shorts that have been made or are currently in development. I'll outline some basic information about each short and where they're at as well as related links to either watch them, get more information or back them with your own money. Some of these projects may have failed to get funding and might now be defunct - sometimes it's a bit unclear about the status of these projects so I will try and include shorts/films in this list that have been made/are active. Any information would be very much appreciated so if you know if one of these projects is going forward/is dead let me know. If you've stumbled across my site because you're in the process of getting funding/making a short let me know and I'd be more than happy to feature your film. I may even back you if you're any good ;)
Now I'm not using this post to judge so all I'll say is that some of these shorts are better than others and some of them are downright awful and completely fail to capture the essence of Italian horror cinema. I will save that judgement for future reviews. This list is purely to let you know what shorts are out there, that the creators themselves refer to as giallo or giallo inspired. Whether you agree with that assesement is up to you dear viewer.
The majority of the films listed are shorts but I decided to also include some recent or upcoming feature films in the list that you might not have heard of. I'll say if the film is a feature film otherwise assume it's a short.
Oh, and finally, if anyone wants to throw money at me to make a giallo set in Edinburgh then I'll be more than happy to oblige - who doesn't want to see a black gloved killer deep fry an innocent victim!
Red Red (2015)
An American giallo short directed by Ama Lea released in 2015 described as a young woman's journey into lust, love, sexual awakening and murder. Red Red is the story of a young woman named Julia who begins her journey into sexual exploration while trying to repress dark nightmares from her childhood. Her nightmares begin to come to life as her lover's are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant. Red Red was funded by Kickstarter and is currently available to those who donated money towards the project. Hopefully we'll see a release later in the year.
Francesca (TBA)Genre fans will be familiar with Francesca co-directors Luciano and Nicolas Onetti who released their homage to giallo cinema, Sonno Profondo, back in 2013. The Argentinian Onetti brothers are now back with their follow up film, Francesca, another giallo inspired feature film that evokes a 70s European style synonymous with the giallo to tell the story of a community stalked by a psychopath hell bent on cleaning the city of impure souls. Detectives, Moretti and Succo, are in charge of investigating the murders which appear to be connected to a 15 year old case concerning the disappearance of a young girl named Francesca, the daughter of a renowned storyteller, dramatist and poet. Has Francesca returned and if so, is she the same girl her community once knew? Francesca looks absolutely stunning and nails the look of the period and films it's paying homage to perfectly. A release date has not yet been announced but we should see a release at the end of 2015/start of 2016.
Yellow: A neo-Giallo (2012)
A 2012 short by British director Ryan Haysom, Yellow: a neo-Giallo follows an old man on the hunt for a vicious serial killer committing gruesome murders on the neon-lit streets of Berlin. Achingly stylish, Yellow: a neo-Giallo is perhaps one of the best giallo shorts out there and captures the essence of giallo cinema updating it for the modern age. Yellow: A neo-giallo is an extra on the Arrow release of Blood & Black Lace and is also available as a stand alone DVD - copies are currently available at Strange Vice.
Gelato Giallo (2015)
An American short by Bryan Martinez released in 2015. Gelato Giallo stars Jess Ferrone as Aria, a fashion coordinator who is in the midst of a terrible day. Aria's discovered her boyfriend has cheated on her with her best friend and all she wants to do is go home and enjoy some delicious gelato - hoping to take her mind off of things. However, a figure is lurking in the shadows watching Aria, an individual with an insatiable taste for death. Gelato Giallo is slated for release on the 25th of July 2015.
Deep Shock (TBA)
Deep Shock attempts to pay tribute to the Italian giallo taking its name from Dario Argento's Deep Red and Mario Bava's Shock. Laura Toledo plays the role of Sarah, a woman who can't get over the deaths of her Grandfather and sister. The trauma of their deaths and the resulting lack of sleep starts to play tricks on her mind as she begins to hallucinate apparitions and murders. Originally slated for release in 2012, Davide Melini's Deep Shock has had a couple of set backs (it failed to achieve its IndieGoGo target) but is still on course for a release some time in the near future with an active Facebook page that is regularly updated.
Colin Clarke made a name for himself with short horrors "Witchfinder" and "Raven's Hollow". In 2015's Slit he tries his hand at mastering the Italian giallo by combining a synth score, heavily saturated visuals, lavish violence and sensuality to create a giallo tinged short. Passion and murder are in store for two party girls whose steamy sexual encounter turns bloody when a black-gloved killer follows them home. Currently available on Vimeo
The Editor (2014)
A satirical take on the giallo, Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy's Canadian feature film, The Editor, pokes fun at the conventions of the giallo film lampooning the all too familiar tropes associated with the genre. The Editor tells the story of Rey Ciso, a talented film editor who tragically loses the fingers on his right hand in a horrific accident. Reduced to editing pulp films for a dubious film company, Ciso is a shadow of his former self. When the lead actor of his latest film ends up dead, detective Peter Porfiry is quick to point the "finger" at Rey. Ciso must race to prove his innocence and learn the truth before his time is up. The Editor will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on September the 8th 2015 by Scream Factory.
Arcade is an 80s style giallo by Rogues Hollow Productions that fuses the conventions of the giallo genre with an 80s American neon aesthetic. A girl is left alone to lock up her work (a diner/arcade hybrid) for the night but is she really alone or does someone else lurk in the building? Arcade is currently available to watch on YouTube
The Cold Eyes of Death (2014)
The Cold Eyes of Death is a 2014 horror short directed by Luciano Imperoli. The film was inspired by the psychological elements of gialli from the 60s and 70s as well as the supernatural Italian horror of the 1980s. In Cold Eyes of Death Imperoli focuses on atmosphere and visuals as opposed to the blood and gore of modern day horror film making creating an experimental, low budget horror short. The film's score was composed by Fabio Frizzi who horror fans will be familiar with from his work on Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy. The Cold Eyes of Death will feel a lot more familiar to fans of classic giallo cinema compared to some of the other entries on this list. The film is currently available to watch on YouTube.
Maldito Amor (2014)
A 2014 Chilean feature film by the Badilla brothers, Maldito Amor (Damned Love) fuses the elements of giallo with high school teen comedy. The film follows a group of teens who see their graduation night ruined by the murder of their teacher, Marion, who is stabbed to death 2 days before the big event by a faceless maniac. This ruins the plans of our lead, Arturo, who was waiting for graduation night to declare his love to the girl of his dreams, Maria. Arturo starts a friendship with Beatriz, the most popular girl in school, to make Maria jealous but what Arturo doesn't know is that the faceless maniac isn't done killing. Arturo and Beatriz will have to solve the mystery of the killings in order to survive till prom night. Maldito Amor doesn't appear to have an official DVD/Blu release or a platform for online streaming/download. Here's hoping that an official release of this Scream wannabe will be available shortly.
Necrophobia 3D (2014)
Necrophobia 3D is a 2014 Argentinian feature film by Daniel de la Vega. The film focuses on a tailor named Dante, a mentally fragile man who must conquer his fear of death in order to stave off a killer's advances. Inexplicably shot on 3D, Necrophobia utilises some of the tropes associated with giallo (Blood & Black Lace style killer, psychological neurosis, detectives investigating the case) but fails to employ the mystery element of gialli cinema successfully. Currently awaiting release.
Not to be confused with the aforementioned Yellow: A neo-Giallo, Yellow (also known as City of Lust) is a 2013 feature length film by David A. Holcombe. Yellow, once again, takes its inspiration from the style of 60s and 70s gialli setting its tale in in modern day America. Yellow is the story of a lonely cosmetologist, Arianna, who moves to a new city to escape her traumatic past. Showing the initial signs of formaldehyde poisoning, Arianna's life quickly starts to spiral out of control. Reaching out to a sex worker, Arianna quickly embarks on a volatile relationship. After an altercation at work, Arianna loses her job and it's not long before those around her start to end up dead. With her lie disintegrating around her how much longer will Arianna be able to survive? Available from Brain Damage Films.
The Incursion (2009)
The Incursion is a 2009 short film by Giles Edwards. Presented as a lost artifact from the 1980s, The Incursion was first screened as part of the horror anthology "Horrorshow" at Film4 Frighfest. This short has a nice British feel to it and utilises the stylish flourishes that make the giallo film so distinctive. I know I said I would try not to judge in this post but I really enjoyed The Incursion - it nailed the mystery element of gialli cinema and didn't solely rely on the aesthetic of Italian horror like some other shorts on this list do. You can currently watch The Incursion on YouTube.
Neon Killer (2008)
Neon Killer is a 2008 film by Benito Robinsoni (Ben Robinson) that has more in common with the polizotteschi film than the giallo. However, Neon Killer is still worthy of a mention on this list as it perfectly captures the mood of Italian exploitation cinema of the 70s. Like The Incursion, Neon Killer was also screened as part of anthology "Horrorshow" at Film4 Frightfest. Robinson clearly understands the genres he's paying homage to in this 5 minute short and manages to pack his running time with gruesome special effects, stylish camera work and a hell of a lot of action. Available to watch on YouTube.
Billed as the first Australian giallo, Sororal is a feature film by Nakatomi pictures directed by Sam Barrett. Sororal concerns a young woman named Cassie who is tormented by horrific visions that follow her from her dreams into her waking life. The troubled artist copes with this curse that isolates her from the outside world by committing her violent visions to canvas. Cassie's life is thrown into further disarray when it's revealed that her visions are depictions of real life murders. As her friends and family start turning up dead, Cassie realises that her link to the killer works both ways and if she is to survive, she must unearth her family's carefully hidden secrets and confront her own sordid past. I haven't seen Sororal myself but it interested me on plot synopsis alone because it actually has a well written, interesting sounding one! Unfortunately I can't find much information on the film other than it premiered in Melbourne. and was shown at a few film fests. Will continue to search for news on this one.
13 DOORS (2015)
13 Doors is a 2015 short by Joe Magna that bills itself as an American giallo. This is listed under plot on IMDB "In your dream you see a dark hallway containing various gateways. You wander through the subconscious mind exploring nightmares and fantasies, bitter truths and alternate realities-- that can only exist behind the 13 DOORS." Yeah I didn't get that at all from the film. I know I said I wouldn't judge but this short really overdoes the damaged film effect and it's nothing like the plot description, it's kind of horrible and I wouldn't have said that but the plot description rubbed me up the wrong way. If you want to watch it, it's available on YouTube.
The Looking Glass (2014)
A 2014 short by director Deborah Venegas as part of Men the Dog productions. An attack on her vanity sends a young woman into a manic state, spiraling further from her instincts and closer to her fate. Not much to say about this one plot wise. This one is also available on YouTube.
Violets Bloom at an Empty Grave (2014)
Another giallo inspired short directed by Filmiracle Productions who were also responsible for the aforementioned Cold Eyes of Death. Directed by Chris Milewski, Violets Bloom at an Empty Grave mimics the conventions of the traditional style giallo by evoking a period feel through retro costuming, 70s style dubbing and cinematic techniques of the period. A supernatural styled giallo that follows a young woman named Karen as she returns to a mysterious old manor house next to a graveyard. This one also has a score by the widely acclaimed, Fabio Frizzi. Available to watch on YouTube.
Death is the Best Keeper of Secrets (2011)
Death is the Best Keeper of Secrets is a short film directed by Adam Kennedy and Ryan McGaughey that combines elements of the film noir with the giallo. Usual story, a detective is on the hunt for a killer. This film noir/giallo hybrid looks pretty good and the combination of the two genres is something a bit different which is always appreciated. Available to watch on YouTube.
I'm pretty sure this project is dead but I thought I would include it anyway as it has quite a decent mock giallo trailer. Peril was a project conceived by Deranged Pictures in 2011 and was set and filmed in London. Peril looks like a solid giallo homage, the trailer really feels like an old giallo film feeling very stylistically similar. The setting of London makes this feel like one of the many gialli filmed in the city in the early 70s. I loved the opening sequence of the girl in red in the snow, it's a shame that this short wasn't completed. You can watch the trailer here and judge for yourself.
Un'ombra riflessa nel buio (2012)
The last entry in my list and another giallo inspired short taking its inspiration from the 70s. This one is unusual as I think it's the only film on my list that's directed by an Italian! Giuseppe Gasparini's Un'ombra riflessa nel buio (which translates to A Shadow Reflected in the Dark - an achingly gialloesque title) features a beautiful opening shot of Venice that helps set this apart from the wannabe Italian fare - this feels very authentic. The usual tropes are at play here; black trench coat killer, knife polishing, creepy puppets but it still works well as a homage to the genre albeit a typical one. Worth watching as this one is pretty well filmed. On YouTube like pretty much everything else.
The Three Sisters (2015)The Three Sisters is an upcoming feature length giallo film directed and written by Daire McNab. Set in Dublin,Ireland The Three Sisters tells the story of a dying patriarch whose brother/lawyer commits suicide setting into motion a chain of murders that begin to tear their family apart. The film features legendary cult actor, Giovanni Lombardo known by genre fans for his appearances in Cannibal Ferox, City of the Living Dead and The House on the Edge of the Park. The film has been shown at a few festivals but is currently awaiting a general release. Keep up to date with the project on the official Facebook page which includes a trailer.
Undoubtedly the first giallo short to use the now ubiquitous title of "Yellow". This one was made in 2007 making it the oldest short on our list. Yellow also has the honour of being the first ever giallo short I ever watched back in 2008. Directed by Semih Tareen, Yellow pays homage to the films of Mario Bava and the Italian giallo. A silent giallo that utilises imagery, lighting, set design and music to tell its story of a romantic evening gone wrong. Available to watch on YouTube.