Above: Italian poster for The Possessed [La donna del lago] (Luigi Bazzoni & Franco Rossellini, Italy, 1965). Artist: Piero Iaia.
Starting next Friday, the Quad Cinema in New York is playing six newly restored Italian gialli
in "Fresh Meat: Giallo Restorations Part II
," a follow-up to last fall’s "Perversion Stories: A Fistful of Giallo Restorations." Titles are very important in Italy’s giallo genre, the more baroque and evocative the better, like “Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” and “The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire.” The Italian word for “yellow,” the term giallo was initially used in post-war Italy to denote pulp fiction mystery novels with yellow paperback covers. Within Italy today the term giallo in cinema refers to any thriller or murder mystery, but in the English-speaking world giallo has come to refer exclusively to the Italian horror-thriller genre which had its heyday in the late ’60s and ’70s.
The posters for the five films in the series, especially the Italian ones, are as dark and lurid as you might expect, though I’ve presented them in chronological order so that you can see how they became less subtle and more sensational as time went on. As the Quad’s programmers write: “Gialli serve up lip-smacking and lipstick-smearing blends of baroque imagery, Euro chic, stalking and voyeurism, bedrooms as sensual refuge and killing ground, gloved hands wielding deadly weapons, ill-advised couplings, and lurid bloody violence.”
Above: US one sheet for One on Top of the Other aka Perversion Story [Una sull'altra] (Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1969).
Above: Italian posters for One on Top of the Other aka Perversion Story [Una sull'altra] (Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1969).
Above: Italian poster for Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion [Le foto proibite di una signora per bene] (Luciano Ercoli, Italy, 1970).
Above: Italian poster for The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire [L’Iguana dalla lingua di fuoco] (Riccardo Freda, Italy, 1970). Artist: Renato Casaro.
Above: Italian poster for The Fifth Cord [Giornata nera per l'ariete] (Luigi Bazzoni, Italy, 1971). Artist: Ermanno Iaia.
Above: Japanese poster for The Fifth Cord [Giornata nera per l'ariete] (Luigi Bazzoni, Italy, 1971).
Above: Italian poster for Strip Nude for Your Killer [Nude per l'assassino] (Andrea Bianchi, Italy, 1975).
"Fresh Meat: Giallo Restorations Part II" runs July 19 – 25, 2019 at New York's Quad Cinema.