“Paranoia & Perversion: A Deep Dive into the Giallo, Part 1”

At, friend of the Gutter Jay Patrick dives into the history of Italian giallo film. “I put Opera in the VCR and experienced my first proper giallo. I hadn’t yet incorporated the term giallo into my lexicon because it was, to my eyes, just a very stylish and inventive slasher film. There were kills, but nothing like I’d seen before. (That keyhole shot! Eyeball needles!) I found more of these films and began to identify the individual elements that set the giallo apart from the average American slasher, a genre that hadn’t really interested me much beyond the original Halloween (1978) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). If American slashers were pop music, rote and regurgitated, Italian horror was a symphony of bloodletting.

When I went to college, I found more people that spoke giallo. My ‘Intro to Film’ college professor handed me a copy of Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace dubbed from his personal laserdisc. The indie video story near campus boasted a sizable collection – a fact I learned as I hunted down Jean Epstein’s 1928 adaption of The Fall of the House of Usher for a term paper. I rented haphazardly and without much discretion. Italian director? Horror movie? Put it on my tab, signore.

As I proceeded with my independent study on the matter of Italian horror, the path to giallo became clearer and expanded my appreciation of the genre’s unique metatexual elements.”

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