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giallogreats

by John Public
Giallo films are generally characterized as gruesome murder-mystery thrillers that combine the suspense elements of a Hitchcock film with scenes of shocking horror featuring excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork, and often jarring musical arrangements. The standard plot, used in countless films, involves a mysterious, black-gloved psychopathic killer who stalks and butchers a series of beautiful women. While most gialli involve a human killer, some also feature a supernatural element. The typical giallo protagonist is an outsider of some type, often a tourist, and usually a young woman (gialli rarely feature law enforcement officers as… Read more

Giallo films are generally characterized as gruesome murder-mystery thrillers that combine the suspense elements of a Hitchcock film with scenes of shocking horror featuring excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork, and often jarring musical arrangements. The standard plot, used in countless films, involves a mysterious, black-gloved psychopathic killer who stalks and butchers a series of beautiful women. While most gialli involve a human killer, some also feature a supernatural element. The typical giallo protagonist is an outsider of some type, often a tourist, and usually a young woman (gialli rarely feature law enforcement officers as chief protagonists, which would be more characteristic of the poliziotteschi genre). They are generally unconnected to the murders before they begin, and are drawn to help find the killer through their role as a witness to a crime. The mystery centers on the identity of the killer, who is frequently revealed to be another key character who had concealed his or her identity with a disguise consisting of some combination of hat, mask, sunglasses, gloves, and trench coat. Thus, the literary whodunit element of the giallo novels is retained, while being filtered through Italy’s longstanding tradition of opera and staged grand guignol drama.

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