Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mya's July Releases

As noted by the DVD Aficionado website, Mya's July releases will be DEVIL IN THE FLESH and ARIZONA COLT RETURNS. Both films will street July 28th. DEVIL IN THE FLESH already had an NTSC release from NoShame a few years ago, while ARIZONA COLT RETURNS, which stars Anthony Steffen, Aldo Sambrell and Rosalba Neri, saw a German DVD release on the Koch Media label. The Mya DVD will be the film's first U.S. DVD release.

NoShame's description for DEVIL IN THE FLESH can very well be utilized for the Mya DVD:

One of the most controversial Italians films of the 80s, DEVIL IN THE FLESH takes Raymond Radiguet’s classic novel and updates it to modern times. Dealing with the legacy of Italy’s "leaden years" and the aftermath of the social struggles headed by the extreme left wing revolutionary groups, DEVIL IN THE FLESH caused a critical uproar upon it’s release due to its highly-charged political and sexually frank subject matter. Marushka Detmers (THE MAMBO KINGS) stars as Giulia, a young woman engaged to marry Giacomo, her fiancée who’s sitting behind bars because of his political activity. Restless in her appetites and inner turmoil, she meets a young student named Andrea and a passionate affair quickly ensues. But when the day arrives in which she has to face whether she wants to share her life with Giacomo or not, Giulia takes a surprising decision…

Boldly directed by Marco Bellocchio (GOOD MORNING, NIGHT) and featuring superb cinematography by Giuseppe Lanci, DEVIL IN THE FLESH is a powerfully erotic film that deserves to be discovered and appreciated without preconceptions. With it’s mixing of political and sexual issues, Bellocchio retains the strength and relevancy of the classic text and makes a strong contemporary statement in favour of absolute artistic and political freedom. As controversial as films get, DEVIL IN THE FLESH remains one of the most important Italian films of our time.

As with the NoShame release, the Mya DVD will present the film in its original widescreen aspect ratio, digitally re-mastered from the original negative, and uncut and uncensored.

Update 3/29: As I was working on filling up info on "The List" today, I noticed that both DEVIL IN THE FLESH and ARIZONA COLT RETURNS are on it, but way down on the list, numbers 109 and 118 respectively. This means that Mya's more immediate titles, to be released this year, could come from anywhere on the list and not just from the top batch.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Only Game in Town

Well, in the world, actually. We've received information that the 01 Distribution release of FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET in Italy has been halted, which means the Mya release is the only DVD available of this title.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The FOUR FLIES Controversy

It appears the LoveLockAndLoad message board came out with the news first for Anglo-speaking folks--a translation of a posting on the Profondo Rosso website owned by Dario Argento and Luigi Cozzi. Here's the translation:

>>Good news and bad news. The good news is that the much sought after film by Dario Argento, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, has finally been released on dvd in the United States and an Italian release was announced for May by the distribution company 01, (Who are none other than RAI Cinema)

The bad news is that lawyers working for the Argento family have begun proceedings to stop both releases. Why? Because Dario and Claudio Argento, who own all territory rights except for America (where it's owned by Paramount) were only informed of this release by chance. An unknown foreign company sold the rights to Four Flies on Grey Velvet to RAI, but Dario and Claudio claim they never sold the rights to this unknown foreign company, so, according to them, they regard it is a gross act of audio/visual piracy.

Injunctions have already been issued to prevent the release of Four Flies on Grey Velvet in Italy. In the meantime, RAI has announced they have temporarily suspended distribution of Four Flies on Grey Velvet, at least until the rights issue has been cleared up.<<

I've queried Mya about this troubling information and was told that they are confident that this will not affect the U.S. release, as the Argentos do not own the U.S. release rights.

There are numerous suppositions one can generate over this rights thing. Through the years, fans have heard varying stories about the rights to FOUR FLIES, the one particularly prevalent was that the rights were complex and that ownership was spread about several entities. (Which is why, the explanation goes, the film has been out of official circulation for decades.) Now, according to the Argentos, they own all rights except those in the United States. Certainly the identity of the "unknown foreign company," and the story behind its supposed acquisition of the FOUR FLIES film, would probably direct us to some truth.

These issues will not be resolved at this point, and it may take legal action to settle who owns what, if any legal action will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The List!

Here is a list of forthcoming releases from Mya that should carry the company through 2011. The list should not be considered definitive, as there may be changes. Order of release has not yet been established. This is an amazing, enticing and thrilling list, many films of which euro-film fans in the United States have been waiting for years, even since the digital disc format began, to see on NTSC DVD. A thank you to Mya's Marcello Rossi for providing this blog with this information.

[New: I'll be filling in info, mostly from the IMDB, to identify all the films on the list. This info will be in light blue. Unless otherwise identified, all quoted comments are taken from the IMDB.]

1. CARMEN NUE (1984 Fra/Spa) Diretto da Albert Lopez

IMDB plot summary: Erotic version of the well-known novel "Carmen" of Merimee with the use of the music from the opera of the same name from Georges Bizet.

Comment: "Carmen err... topless...."

2. PIERINO CONTRO TUTTI (Italia 1982) Diretto da Marino Girolami

Comment: "This movie, like the bulk of Italian movies of the period, is full of 'borderline humor' that consistently borders on what some may call 'poor taste'. But that is exactly what makes this movie such a laugh riot! This is the type of movie where beautiful women get their dresses torn off by passing buses, blinds fly up at the wrong time and almost nothing is sacred."

3. LA ROSSA DALLA PELLE CHE SCOTTA (1971 Ita/Tur) Diretto da Renzo Russo

Comment: "If you are a fan of Eurostarlet Erica Blanc, you will probably enjoy this movie in which Blanc plays a role very similar to the sexy succubus she played in 'The Devil's Nightmare'. Blanc plays an artist's mannequin come to life who starts out as a mute fantasy figure but soon turns into nightmarish femme fatale who tortures the artist with her increasingly blatant infidelities."

Note from Mirek: This movie was released on DVD in middling quality and slightly cut by Retromedia as THE RED-HEADED CORPSE. It had previously been released on video in the "Private Screenings" series as SWEET SPIRITS. Aside from Blanc, the film stars Farley Granger. I like this film a lot.

4. ATTI IMPURI ALL’ITALIANA (1976 Italia) Diretto da Oscar Brazzi

Another sex comedy, this one is about a provocative female doctor who settles in a small Italian town in Tuscany. The one IMDB review mentions that the actress is "almost nude throughout the whole story," which certainly can't be a bad thing.

5. AMORE ALL’ARRABBIATA (1976 Italia) Diretto da Carlo Veo

The IMDB gives a clue that this may be a sex comedy, as the English export title is CRAZY, CRAZY LOVE.

6. ARABELLA ANGELO NERO (1989 Italia) Diretto da Stelvio Massi

Known in English as THE BLACK ANGEL. IMDB plot summary: Arabella is a nymphomaniac who has sex with any man. One day, her husband, a writer, meets her and another man. She has a strange reaction: kills the lover. Her husband hides the corpse. From that moment on, he encourages her meetings with other men, and writes down the experiences in his new book.

Comments: "... giallo heaven and not to be missed!"

"An attractive woman (the VERY voluptuous Tini Cansino) visits a bizarre brothel. The police raid the place and in very kinky scene (which violates both political correctness and, one would hope, standard police operating procedures in Italy) a male cop handcuffs her, bends her over the hood of his squad car, and rapes her...."

"'s much more sleazy and entertaining than its American cousins."

7. DI MAMMA NON CE N’è UNA SOLA (1974 Italia) Diretto da Alfredo Giannetti

Mother love, it seems! Comment: "An obscure little Italian film, roughly a muddled Italian attempt at black comedy. Marcello is obsessed with his mother Paolina (Senta Berger), and not in an altogether healthy way." Well, the mother is played by Senta Berger....

8. FRITTATA ALL’ITALIANA (1976 Italia) Diretto da Alfonso Brescia

An erotic film with Dagmar Lassander and Karin Schubert.

9. LA BOLOGNESE (1975 Italia) Diretto da Alfredo Rizzo

Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide: "Longtime Italian actor Alfredo Rizzo (Cinque Tombe per un Medium) directed this standard softcore melodrama about a young woman who becomes a prostitute with the hopes of raising enough money to start a career as a model for romantic fumetti books."

10. DOLCI ZIE (1975 Italia) Diretto da Mario Imperioli

Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide: "This tatty sexploitation film deals with a young man who lives with his grandfather. His three aunts lust after him and finally manage to gain custody thanks to a naive but well-meaning priest, leading to the usual game of musical beds, only slightly enlivened by the taboo theme. Femi Benussi and Orchidea de Santis are probably the best-known castmembers to Eurotrash buffs...."

11. NOTTI PECCAMINOSE DI PIETRO L’ARETINO (1972 Italia) Diretto da Manlio Scarpelli

A film in the Decameron erotic genre (Decamerotici).

12. PROFESSIONE BIGAMO (1969 Ita/GermEst) Diretto da Franz Antel

A comedy. The American title was THE VIKING WHO BECAME A BIGAMIST.

13. FRATELLO HOMO SORELLA BONA (1972 Italia) Diretto da Mario Sequi

Comment: "The original Italian title of this film is a rude pun on Franco Zeffirelli's BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON (1972) i.e. BROTHER MAN, SISTER WHORE and, in essence, it's one of an extensive series of medieval sex romps made in the wake of Pier Paolo Pasolini's THE DECAMERON (1971)."

14. LA MOGLIE VERGINE (1975 Italia) Diretto da Marino Girolami

With Edwige Fenech, Carroll Baker and Ray Lovelock. Lots of nudity, apparently.

Comment: "Highly implausible but fairly effective Italian sex romp...."

15. QUANT’è BELLA LA BERNARDA TUTTA NERA TUTTA CALDA (1975 Italia) Diretto da L.Dandolo

A decamerotico with Mariangela Giordano.

16. MIDNIGHT BLUE (1979 Italia) Diretto da Raimondo del Balzo

This is another LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT variant, with three females being held hostage by three men.

"Midnight Blue is rather gritty and director Raimondo Del Balzo is successful in creating a grim and foreboding atmosphere, which excellently compliments the plot."

17. MORBOSAMENTE VOSTRA (1985 Italia) Diretto da Andrea Bianchi

Comment: "This is the film in which former European star Karin Schubert makes her debut as an adult movie actress, and that means exactly getting into the porn business. The plot is about a rich and respected married lady who suffers from amnesia, just to discover that she's being leading a double life as a hooker (even joining three-some in-between multiple sexual encounters) as a result of a psychoanalyst's treatment."

18. PRIMO TANGO A ROMA – STORIA D’AMORE E D’ALCHIMIA (1973 Italia) Diretto da Lorenzo Gicca Palli

Another decamerotico, this time with Erika Blanc and Rosabla Neri!

19. FOLLIE DI NOTTE (1978 Italia) Diretto da Joe D’Amato

Comment: "If you are a D'Amato fan like me, you really need to check this one out.... There is really not much to tell without writing spoilers, so if you're wandering what is this one about, the only thing I can tell you is that after Amanda's opening performance, get ready for some of the funniest, grotesque and unexpected shows featuring lots of pro dancers, rituals and hardcore sex."

20. STRANO RICATTO DI UNA RAGAZZA PER BENE (1974 Italia) Diretto da Luigi Batzella

Another film with Rosalba Neri, though she doesn't play the main female character. That honor goes to Brigitte Skay (A BAY OF BLOOD). Director Paolo Sovay was also responsible for THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT, NUDE FOR SATAN and THE BEAST IN HEAT, so this film may be one to pay attention to.

Comment: "This movie starts out with a long gratuitous topless dancing scene in a disco, a long gratuitous topless dancing on the beach, and more brief but equally gratuitous orgy scene.... It's kind of hard to categorize this movie. It doesn't really have the mystery elements of a giallo thriller. It kind of turns into nihilistic hostage drama at one point like an Italian 'terror' film."

21. ATTENTI ARRIVANO LE COLLEGIALI (1975 Italia) Diretto da Giorgio Mille

The English title is THE CO-EDS ARE HERE! College girls on vacation. A 1979 version added hardcore inserts.

22. SETTE RAGAZZE DI CLASSE (1979 Italia) Diretto da Pedro Lazaga

A Spanish-Italian film with Janet Agren and Nadiuska ("the Spanish Sophia Loren").

IMDB plot summary: Seven female friends decide to play an erotic game. They try to seduce as many aristocrats and middle-class men as possible by their charming personalities.

23. QUANDO I CALIFFI AVEVANO LE CORNA (1973 Italia) Diretto da Amasi Damiani

Appears to be a 1001 Nights-type film, a cousin of decamerotici. English translation of the title is: WHEN THE CALIPHS HAD HORNS. Gordon Mitchell has a part.

24. A CHI TOCCA TOCCA (1978 Italia/GermEst/Israele) Diretto da Gianfranco Baldanello


Comments: "Hunky secret agent man Fabio Testi (as Renzo) beds women, hunts uranium, and pals around Venice with handsome hetero partner Assaf Dayan (as Dan)."

"As a spy thriller involving nuclear weapons, this was quite an exciting flick especially during the boat and car chase scenes. Filmed in many European locations and some sea locales, there were many intrigues that got me hooked throughout the picture."

25. E VENNE IL GIORNO DEI LIMONI NERI (1970 Italia) Diretto da Camillo Bazzoni

USA video title: BLACK LEMONS. With Antonio Sabato, Florinda Bolkan, Peter Carsten.

Comment: "A movie which shows the dismal social plague of the Mafia: a man imprisoned who comes back to his city and discovers that death of his wife was not an accident, an inquiry which goes on to catch 'big fishes', honour questions to solve...."

26. A TUTTE LE AUTO DELLA POLIZIA (1975) Diretto da Mario Caiano

A thriller in the "Schoolgirl Gialli" genre with Antonio Sabato and Luciana Paluzzi. Also known as THE MANIAC RESPONSIBLE.

Comments: "A teenage girl from a wealthy family mysteriously disappears. After her body is found at the bottom of a lake the police begin an intense investigation that leads to a teenage prostitution ring and several more bloody murders, but the actual killer may be someone much closer to the home."

"This extremely rare and hardly known film (as far as I know, it was never released outside of Italy) is an interesting mix of a classic crime story and a typical giallo. In the first half of the film, there is only one murder to be solved, but as soon as the police comes closer to the truth, people are killed in usual giallo style, during thrilling and atmospheric intense scenes.... The murder scenes are nasty, and the identity of the killer really a big surprise."

"Excellent blending of Giallo and Polizi styles... The film really takes off in the final third when many Giallo themes start being incorporated and we are treated to three murder scenes; the final one of which is particularly bloodthirsty and a scene that the great Dario Argento would be proud of!"

27. ARRIVA DORELLIK (Italia 1962) Diretto da Steno

Comment: "This movie is so funny that certain scene made me laugh so hard I cried. This is a spoof off from year before 'Danger: Diabolik' with also starred Terry-Thomas. The plot has comedian Johnny Dorelli as a phantom hitman who is in need of work so he hired to kill all 400 people who is next to inherit a fortune. Lots of funny gags that makes this film a classic."

28. IL SORRISO DELLA JENA (1972 Italia) Diretto da Silvio Amadio

English title: SMILE BEFORE DEATH. With Rosalba Neri. Directed by Silvio Amado after he helmed AMUCK. From the IMDB comments, this seems a giallo classic, though not that well known.

Comments: "...
interesting plot twists and excellent acting."

... stylish thriller that involves not only a confusing web of love affairs and relationships, but also - towards the climax - a bundle of twists that are guaranteed to surprise every viewer without becoming implausible at any moment."

"This is a rare Giallo in that, by the conclusion, most aspects of it make sense and while Smile Before Death is hard to track down, I recommend making the effort!"

"Tamburi and the gorgeous Neri spend a lot of their screen time nude and that certainly helps too. Quite possibly the best thing about the film is a theme that is so catchy with Amadio using it at every opportunity. You will definitely be humming it for days after watching this one."

29. IL MOSTRO DELL’OBITORIO (Spagna,1973) di Javier Aguirre

English title: THE HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE. Starring Spanish horror legend Paul Naschy. The release of this euro-cult classic from superior elements would be a real treat.

30. LA Più ALLEGRA STORIA DEL DECAMERONE (Germania,1971) di Adrian Hoven


31. I RITI EROTICI DELLA PAPESSA JESIAL (Francia,1975) di Mario Mercier

This could be a good one. A Satanic sect, orgies, violations, tortures. The title is translated as: THE EROTIC RITES OF PAPESSA JESIAL. (Papessa is a female pope.) Why have I never heard of this film?

New addition: A bit more research turns up that this film has been released here on DVD as A WOMAN POSSESSED on the Pathfinder label.

32. LE MILLE E UNA NOTTE E UN’ALTRA ANCORA (Italia 1973) Diretto da Enrico Bomba

Chalk one up for another 1001 Nights film.

33. 6000 KM DI PAURA (Italia, 1978) Diretto da Bitto Alberini

Aka, SAFARI RALLY. With Joe Dallesandro.

Comment: "This movie has Joe playing Joe Massi, one of the best sports car racers around. Him and his ex-mentor/driver instuctor named Stark, are both vying for a first place finish at the SAFARI RALLY which is coming up soon.... This movie was pretty interesting, and had it's funny moments besides the funny dubbing job."

34. BYLETH – IL DEMONE DELL’INCESTO (Italia 1972) Diretto da Leopoldo Savona

Comments: "The young Duke Lionello Shandwell (Mark Damon) morbidly loves his sister Barbara (Claudia Gravy), and when he learns Barbara is married Giordano, a middle-age man, his jealousy becomes explosive, trying to separate the consorts in every way. In the meantime some mysterious crimes are followed (victims are all women, killed with a three-points blade), so the whole village is stunned. Blood's ceremonies, insane love and incestuous relationships are the dominant elements in this film."

"This strange cult oddity has been all but forgotten since its release in 1972, and I'm not really surprised at that - as while it certainly is a film with some merit, it's also really bizarre and I have no idea who the target audience might be. The name of the title is a demon, who apparently also happens to be the king of hell and who can curse a man to live in incest.... The film benefits from a handful of beautiful women who don't seem to mind taking their clothes off, which is also nice and care is taken with the locations also."

35. IL MARCHIO DI KRIMINAL (Italia 1967) Diretto da Fernando Cerchio

With Dutch-born Glenn Saxson and the ravishing Helga Line.

Comment: "Second and last entry in the 'Kriminal' series – good-looking, light-weight Italian capers with an exotic touch originating from a comic strip."

36. BAILA GUAPA (Italia 1979) Diretto da A. Tagliavia

Singer/actress Gloria Piedimonte (Nazi Love Camp 27) stars.

37. IL BANDITO DAGLI OCCHI AZZURRI (Italia 1980) Diretto da Alfredo Riannetti

Aka, THE BLUE-EYED BANDIT. With Franco Nero and music by Ennio Morricone.

Comments: "Excellent delitto thriller starring Franco Nero as a middle-aged, brown-eyed cripple who works as an accountant for a bank. Little do his employers realize it's a disguise that he has perfected so that he can rob them blind and in the process flashing his natural blue eyes to throw them off the track."

"A surprisingly gripping and unusual thriller on which star Franco Nero also served as executive producer, this emerges as a reasonable mix of characterization and more traditional crime-drama thrills."

38. BLACK KILLER (Italia 1971) Diretto da Carlo Croccolo

Spaghetti western with Klaus Kinski.

Comment: "A dark, gritty and to the bone nihilistic western, that is really fun to watch. By all means one of the cheaper spaghetti's. But it's blessed with many cool scenes of violence, strange dialog and good old sleazzzzz. There's more than one moment of unnecessary nudity here."

39. SETTE MAGNIFICI CORNUTI (Italia 1974) Diretto da Luigi Russo

Femi Benussi stars. Title translates into "Seven Magnificent Cuckolds," so I would expect an erotic comedy.

40. LA SMAGLIATURA (Fra/Ita 1975) Diretto da Peter Fleischmann

With Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi.

Comment: "Greece 1974 - during the brutal era of the military government, and innocent tourist manager (Ugo Tognazzi) is accused of being a member of the illegal resistance movement. Two secret agents (Michel Piccoli and Mario Adorf) are bringing the innocent victim to Athens. During their trip, their car breaks down, and they're stopping in a small village. From now on, everybody is fighting against each other, and a psychological cat-and mouse-play is starting... [A]n outstanding European 'Politthriller'.

41. IL SESSO DELLA STREGA (Italia 1973) Diretto da Angelo Pannacciò

Aka, THE EVIL EYE and SEX IS A WITCH. With Susan Levi, Jessica Dublin, Camille Keaton.

Comment: "This film has everything the fan of Eurotrash looks for: abundant nudity and sexual situations, hallucinatory sequences accompanied by bad early 70's rock music, nonsensical supernatural storyline, tasty splash of blood & gore, moodily lit baroque settings, with the whole gorgeous package punctuated by a distinct odor of perversity."


Comment: "'The forbidden dreams of Don Galeazzo country priest'...literally! A beautiful nineteenth-century priest lives and carries out his mission in a rural small town. His little church is attended very many local girls, and the young priest is been involved in turbid and morbid sexy-situations sooner.... Definitively a must!"

43. LA TIGRE VENUTA DAL FIUME KWAY (Italia 1975) Diretto da Franco lattanti

With George Eastman and Gordon Mitchell.

IMDB plot summary: In Thailand, a young, honest and courageous boy undertakes to remit to the family of his dead American friend all his belongings, jewels and money earned through many years of hard work in a foreign country. But America is far away and ready to destroy and kill for a few dollars! To keep his promise he must travel far, and to move fast to fight his way through unbearable dangers and difficulties.

44. L’UNICA LEGGE IN CUI CREDO (Italia 1976) Diretto da Claudio Giorgi

A "polizieschi" with Raika Juri. Gordon Mitchell has a small part. English translation of the title: THE ONLY LAW IN WHICH I BELIEVE.

45. UN UOMO CHIAMATO DAKOTA (Italia 1972) Diretto da Mario Sabatini

English title: A GUNMAN CALLED DAKOTA. Spaghetti western with Gordon Mitchell.

46. WEEK END PROIBITO DI UNA FAMIGLIA QUASI PER BENE (Ita/Fra 1971) Diretto da Jean Dewever

Drama with Georges Geret, Sylva Koscina, Maria Schneider.

47. VERGINITA’ (Italia 1974) Diretto da Marcello Andrei

Two dramatic episodes about virginity, one taking place in Czarist Russia, the other in Sicily. Franca Gonella, Angela Goodwin, Dagmar Lassander, Ada Pometti star.

48. ZORRO IL RIBELLE (Italia 1966) Diretto da Piero Pienotti

Well, it's a Zorro film, that's for sure. English title: ZORRO THE REBEL. Director Pienotti wrote and directed a considerable amount of adventure and peplum films in the 1960s, so this is one I'm looking forward to. Howard Ross plays the masked avenger.

49. LA BAMBOLA DI SATANA (Italia 1969) Diretto da Ferruccio Casapinta

This could be a euro-cult delight.

Comment: "A delightful girl (Erna Schurer) spends the tormented night in a creepy castle infested by Satana. However truth hides many mysteries behind the scary appearance. Someone probably wants to take possession of the castle inherited by the girl...the satanic themes introduce the horror elements into director Ferruccio Casapinta's fantastique, getting his inspiration from the world's most successful Italian comic-books of the time, from the stories featured in the 60's in magazines as 'Satanik' and 'Malik' to the adult comic strips such as 'Oltretomba' and 'Sukia'."

50. I CRIMINALI DELLA GALASSIA (Italia 1965) Diretto da Antonio Margheriti

Known here as WILD, WILD PLANET. Part of Margheriti's Gamma One Quadrilogy.

Comments: "This is one of the undisputed camp classics of science fiction, right up there with Queen of Outer Space. The future, it turns out, will look very much like a mid-sixties Paris catwalk! There are some stunningly beautiful women wearing amazing clothes and mile high bouffants in this 'science crime fiction' tale of illicit medical experiments carried out on a space station."

"Freaky classic with a touch of '60's weirdness."


51. LA MORTE VIENE DAL PIANETA AYTIN (Italia 1967) Diretto da Antonio Margheriti

Aka, THE SNOW DEVILS. Another entry in Margheriti's Gamma One Quadrilogy.

Comment: "Another glittering entry for Margheriti, who with Mario Bava is undoubtedly Italy's best director of Science Fiction. The plot combines the Abominable Snowman with an errant planet, a regular feature in Margheriti's work, from which the Snowman, the only survivors of the planet Aytin, are intending to disturb the meteorological balance of the Earth."

52. IL PIANETA ERRANTE (Italia 1966) Diretto da Antonio Margheriti

Aka, PLANET ON THE PROWL. Another of Margheriti's Gamma One films.

Comments: "A destructive series of freakish natural disasters decimate the earth. The cause of said disasters turns out to be a barren, yet lethal, living and breathing asteroid that's hurtling through space on a collision course with our world. It's up to an intrepid team of astronauts led by courageous ramrod Commander Jackson (a suitably stiff'n'stalwart Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) to destroy the asteroid before it's too late. The fate of our planet depends on Jackson and his team successfully accomplishing their desperate mission. Director Antonio Margheriti keeps the pace moving along at a steady, speedy clip and plays the utterly absurd story ludicrously straight."

"Wow. If you're a psychotronics lover you've probably seen this one, but if not, check it out."

53. I DIFANOIDI VENGONO DA MARTE (Italia 1966) Diretto da Antonio Margheriti

Comments: "Antonio Margheriti's second entry in the GAMMA ONE QUADROLIGY series of Italian Spaghetti Science Fiction movies is a marvel of form over substance. I love the ultra low budget production design, at times histrionic or wooden acting, the funky 1960s color schemes, and the brooding, mind-boggling sense of pending cosmic doom that infuses nearly every minute of the production. It is almost a perfect translation of the Spaghetti Western to SciFi terms: A good looking film composed of individual moments, some of which are actually quite evocative."

"Visually impressive Euro B Sci-fi movie."

54. I PIANETI CONTRO DI NOI (Ita/Fra/Germania Est 1962) Diretto da Romano Ferrara


Comments: "PLANETS AGAINST US is a moody and atmospheric but also rather at times slow moving film with somewhat indifferent direction. The film has some elements of NOT OF THIS EARTH and THE INVISIBLE RAY. An alien disguised as a human shows up on Earth and like Mr. Johnson NOT OF THIS EARTH, Bronco repeatedly shows ignorance of everyday things, and acts cold and distant. Bronco also, in one scene he is bothered by bright lights (Mr Johnson was bothered by loud noises.) From THE INVISIBLE RAY, the film borrows the idea of a deadly touch. Michael Lemmione is quite good (as far one can judge a dubbed performance) as the icy Bronco. His piercing eyes are used to good advantage."

"Plan 9 meets La Dolce Vita."

55. LA VENDETTA DI LADY MORGAN (Italia 1965) Diretto da M. Pupillo

We need this one. A little seen classic from Italy's Golden Age of Gothic Horror.

Comment: "With its cheerful mystery and sadism, an abundance of creepy sequences, and a wonderfully over-the-top performances by Erika Blanc, Gordon Mitchell and 'Mister Evilness' Paul Muller....'La Vendetta di Lady Morgan' is one of the most beloved kitsch classics from the Golden Age of Italian Horror. Plus... it's in marvelous black and white vision!.... Morbid eroticism, ineluctable destiny and impetuous immorality: these are the classic elements of Italian Gothic Horror Cinema that make the difference with Anglo-Saxon horror style."

56. LA COLT ERA IL SUO DIO (Ita/Germania Est 1972) Diretto da Luigi Balzella/Joe D’Amato

A spaghetti western, known in its English title as GOD IS MY COLT. 45. With Jeff Cameron and Donald O'Brien.

IMDB plot summary: An Army agent goes undercover to clean up corrupt Langford City full of Mexican outlaws.

57. UN DETECTIVE (Italia 1969) Diretto da Romolo Guerrieri

Aka RING OF DEATH. With Franco Nero, Florinda Bolkan, Adolfo Celi.

Comment: "Franco Nero stars as Belli, an immoral and brutal detective trying to get to the bottom of the murder of a man named Romanis. There are plenty of suspects: was it glamourpuss English model Sandy (Delia Boccardi)? Jealous young Mino (Maurizio Bonuglia)? How about Mino's frosty stepmother (a gaunt looking Florinda Bolkan)?"

The reviewer notes the awful video version released in the US ages ago, which was cut and terribly pan/scanned. I have this video and concur, so it will probably be a revelation to see this film complete and in correct aspect ratio.

58. E COSI DIVENNERO I TRE SUPERMEN DEL WEST (Ita/Spa 1973) Diretto da Anthony Blod


59. KARAMURAT LA BELVA DELL’ANATOLIA (Ita/Turchia 1976) Diretto da E. Hofbaver

With Daniela Giordano. Shot in Turkey.

IMDB plot summary: The Khan rules the country justly except for the province under Mustapha's dictatorship who controls his underlings via making them cocaine addicts. Karamurat(Cuneyt Arkin) the Khan's best man is sent to settle the score with the usurpator. On his way he has to fight, among others, Ali Baba's thieves and Kung-Fu fighting Chinese dope merchants.

Comment: "The main benefit of this adventure movie with plentiful kung-fu fights is the titular hero's way of kicking and beating as many villains as possible. Kara Murat uses an unusual martial art to accomplish his mission- to defeat an evil governor of certain district of Turkey,whose assassins kidnapped Kara Murat's brother and killed brother's wife. Although there is very little blood or gore present in all fight scenes, some techniques employed by Kara Murat bring a new perspective to the genre of kung-fu films. Our action hero seems to be capable of levitation as his whole body in horizontal position hits villains and puts them to sleep."

60. LA LUNGA CAVALCATA DELLA VENDETTA (Italia 1972) Diretto da T. Boccia

Known here at THE DEADLY TRACKERS. A western with Richard Harrison and Anita Ekberg.

61. NEL MIRINO DI BLACK APHRODITE (Ita/Grecia 1979) Diretto da Pavlos Filippou

Aka, BLACK APHRODITE. Starring the transsexual Ajita Wilson.

IMDB plot summary: New York, American Intelligence Agency offices. AIA's boss is informed that an important arms lot is about to be delivered to an African revolutionary gropu, via Athens, and decides to send in a team of his best agents to neutralize the gangsters; he chooses the name of the operation, "Black Aphrodite," as Tamara is going to be the leader of this dangerous mission, and she is a sexy black woman.

Comment: "I love this film. Annik Borel is wonderful, and the wooden acting of the rest of the cast is made up for by her utter perfection. I first saw her in La Lupa mannara, and the very next day went in search of other films with her in them. I bought this one and was not disappointed."

62. NOVELLE GALEOTTE D’AMORE (Italia 1972) Diretto da Antonio Margheriti

Otherwise known as DECAMERON 3, so you know what you are in for.

63. L’OCCHIO DEL RAGNO (Ita/Austria 1971) Diretto da Roberto Bianchi Montero

English title: EYE OF THE SPIDER. With Klaus Kinski, Antonio Sabato, Van Johnson.

Comment: "A somewhat noir-ish 70's Italian crime film. Diamond robber, who got left behind into the hands of the police, gets out of prison and teams up with the funder of the robbery, who never saw the loot, to get even with the other members of the gang."

64. QUANDO L’AMORE E’ SENSUALITA’ (Italia 1973) Diretto da Vittorio de Sisti

English title: WHEN LOVE IS LUST. With Ewa Aulin, Agostina Belli, Femi Benussi. Music by the legendary Ennio Morricone. An Italian review mentioned (I'm translating) "indecent situations, integral nudity, orgies, group love, dialogues of extreme rawness, with anticlerical acrimonies and disgusting brawls." Sounds good to me!

65. A CENA COL VAMPIRO (Ita) Diretto da Lamberto Bava


Comments: "The great master of horror movies from Europe, Lamberto Bava, really gets it going with this true-to-the-tone vampire NEW classic. The movie delivers it in great style with one of the most sexy vamps of all times, played by the beautiful Isabel Russinova, and classic vampire movies clichés, like the castle(a beautiful moorish/mediterranean one), the hunchback-like butler, the Christopher Lee alike main vampire."

"This is one hell of a Great movie. All of the characters are nice in some way and the actors does a OK but most certainly not a excellent job. In a Scooby Doo like style the movie is more a comedy than a real horror movie, and for a change it works well. Some minor gore is also in here, including torn out hearts and gory skeletons but those scenes are not much worse than the ones in any Indiana Jones movie. What i like so much about it is that it have this Hammer feeling into it but yet it stays fairly fresh and never gets boring with some typical 80s feeling mixed into the blend. i definitively recommend this to all those who like cheezy Italian movies and horror comedies."

66. DENTRO (UNA NOTTE AL) IL CIMITERO (Ita) Diretto da Lamberto Bava

English title: GRAVEYARD DISTURBANCE. Originally appeared on Italian TV. The best the IMDB comments say about this is: "There are some atmospheric moments and the zombies look very creepy."

67. FINO ALLA MORTE (Ita) Diretto da Lamberto Bava

English title: UNTIL DEATH. Also known as THE CHANGELING 2: THE RETURN.

IMDB trivia: This is the film that ended the partnership between Lucio Fulci and Dardano Sacchetti. Fulci claims he came up with the story, Sacchetti wrote a treatment and they were to make it together, but it continually fell through. Eventually Sacchetti copyrighted the story himself and made the film with Lamberto Bava. Sacchetti claims that the story had been his all along and Fulci was just upset because the project never took off with him as director.

Comments: "Inconspicuous but nevertheless stylish Lamberto Bava thriller with a couple of remotely suspenseful sequences and an attractive Italian cast. The plot sounds very familiar but, although Bava doesn't really pretend to be original, he still manages to make his film look innovating and compelling at times."

"Probably Lamberto Bava's best film."

68. LA CASA DELL’ORCO (Ita) Diretto daLamberto Bava


IMDB plot summary: A sexually confused young woman is haunted by childhood memories when she moves into an old mansion in Italy with her husband and young son.

Comment: "The Ogre is a film made for TV in Italy and wasn't intended to be a sequel to Demons as Lamberto Bava even mentions it on the interview on the Sheirk Show DVD, but it was called Demons III to be part of the Demons series. The music in Demons and Demons 2 was 80's rock music while this is more creepy music and while the first two was gory horror Demons III: The Ogre is a architectural horror so that's how Demons III isn't a proper sequel to Demons but I still like this film."

69. LA RAGAZZA DI CORTINA (Ita) Diretto da Maurizio Vanni


70. AL CALAR DELLA SERA (Ita) diretto da Maurizio Lucidi

A man goes after the stranger who raped his wife.

71. FEMMINE INSAZIABILI directed by Alberto de Martino

Aka, THE INSATIABLES. With Dorothy Malone (!), Robert Hoffmann, Luciana Paluzzi, Frank Wolff, John Ireland. Music by Bruno Nicolai.

Comments: "The Insatiables" (which is the English-language release title of "Femmine Insaziabili") is a marvelous treat from beginning to end. The plot steers itself from drama to comedy to adventure to thrills to suspense, and so on and so on, to say the film is insatiable is not an understatement."

"Ernest Hemmingway's The Killers, Italian style."

72. HYPNOS FOLLIA DI UN MASSACRO directed by Paolo Bianchini.

Aka, MASSACRE MANIA. With Ken Wood, Rada Rassimov, Fernando Sancho, Robert Woods. Music by Carlo Savina. A hybrid giallo/sci-fi film.

73. GIALLO A VENEZIA directed by Mario Landi.

With Leonora Fani, Jeff Blyn, Gianni Dei, Mariangela Giordano

Comments: "'Giallo a Venezia' is, without a doubt, one of the sleaziest movies ever produced in Italy. Along with 'The New York Ripper' (1982,Lucio Fulci) and 'The Killer Is Still Among Us' (1985, Camillo Teti) this is possibly the nastiest giallo ever made.... The violence in "Giallo a Venezia" is truly shocking. A prostitute is stabbed repeatedly in the crotch in one of the most sickeningly audacious murder sequences ever filmed. Another gory highlights include Giordano being tied naked to her kitchen table and having her leg cut off with a handsaw by the killer and Marizia's lover being doused in gasoline and set alight. The long sex scenes are pretty explicit and it's quite obvious that Landi's intentions were only to show as much sex and blood as he could. To sum up, if you like sleaze and extreme gore then you should check this one out. Recommended!"

"... [T]he sleaze factor is so high it's off the scale. The dead couple are at the centre of the plot, and the film consists of many flashbacks in which we see how the husband took pleasure in humiliating and sexually abusing his timid wife. The poor actress who plays Flavia (the wife) suffers the indignity of being stripped naked and roughed up in nearly every scene she appears...."

"'Giallo a Venezia', an extremely sadistic and vile film that stands out as perhaps the most misogynistic giallo ever made. Needless to say I loved it.... The violence is extremely brutal. We're treated to scenes involving whipping, vaginal mutilation with a pair of scissors, limbs cut off slowly from a living victim, a body placed in a refrigerator and a burning of a live body and several rapes. In addition to the large amount of violence found on screen 'Giallo a Venezia' is also pretty heavy on in the sex and nudity department featuring several sex scenes, lots of boobs and bush and a scene of a woman masturbating."

"Trash masterpiece."

"Wow! I don't think there is another film out there this messed up!.... The sex will keep most males very interested and the gore scenes will thrill all gore hounds far and wide!!! Watch Giallo a Venezia for a real THRILL!!!"

74. I RAGAZZI DELLA ROMA VIOLENTA directed by Renato Savino

Inspired by a real incident.

Comment: "This extremely obscure Italian production tells the story of a modern day neo-Nazi youth gang that meets in a place decorated with swasticas and a poster of the 'Führer'. The members of this gang are all bored teenagers from rich families. One of the gang prefers playing pin pall to getting a girlfriend, because playing pin ball literally gets him off. The leader of the gang indulges in violent sexual fantasies, which ultimately leads to rape and murder."


This is either the 1969 euro-spy film directed by Sergio Grieco starring Ken Clark or the 1973 French film directed by Rene Gainville about the OAS and Algeria. It's probably the former, if it's referring to an Italian film.

IMDB comment on the Grieco spy film: "The entire production is visually impressive especially an interrogation and gunfight sequence that takes place in a lumber yard."

76. IL FIORE DAI PETALI D’ACCIAIO directed by Gianfranco Piccioli

Aka, THE FLOWER WITH THE DEADLY STING. A 1973 giallo starring Gianni Garko and Carroll Baker.

Comment: "Nothing is what it seems in this twisty giallo and when the revelations start coming toward the end, everything that has gone before is turned on its ear."

77. IL TUO DOLCE CORPO DA UCCIDERE (1970) directed by Alfonso Brescia

In English, the translation may be YOUR SWEET BODY TO KILL. Looks like a giallo type film. With George Ardisson. Spanish/Italian coproduction.

78. IL VIZIO HA LE CALZE NERE (1975) directed by Tano Cimarosa

VICE WEARS BLACK HOSE, aka REFLECTIONS IN BLACK. With John Richardson, Dagmar Lassander, Magda Konopka, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Daniela Giordano. Music by Carlo Savina.

Comments: "This is one of your sleazier gialli right up there with scuzzy favorites like 'Strip Nude for Your Killer' and 'The Slasher Is a Sex Maniac'.

"Director Tano Cimarosa seems keen to keep the focus on sleaze and savagery throughout, and if we're not witnessing a woman being slashed open with a razor blade, we're watching two of them getting it on."

79. INTERRABANG (1969) directed by Giuliano Biagetti

With Haydee Politoff (Naschy's love interest in COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE).

Comments: "Italian Gialli from the late 1960s differed in a number of ways from those made in the wake of Dario Argento's BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. Before gore and set-piece slaying, gialli like Umberto Lenzi's ORGASMO and Lucio Fulci's ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER were bloodless, psychological murder mysteries that relied on plot twists, sexual situations, and irony for their thrills and INTERRABANG is more of the same with director Giuliano Biagetti making the most of an extremely low budget, a trio of beautiful European starlets, and an enigmatic premise."

"Interrabang is, superficially, a very beautiful film. The location used is serene and picturesque, and when you add a trio of lovely and often half naked ladies into the mix; you have a film that was probably a lot of fun to make. It's also not a bad film to watch as while things do get a bit silly at times; there's plenty of twists and turns in the plot and director Giuliano Biagetti manages to keep things interesting with only his small cast to rely on."

80. L’AMANTE DEL DEMONIO (1972) directed by Paolo Lombardo

English title: THE DEVIL'S LOVER. With Edmund Purdom, Rosalba Neri.

IMDB plot summary: Creepy tale about a sorrowful night passed in a nightmarish castle, so the house of the demon. Many horror elements are mixed with erotic atmosphere.

Comments: "Wonderful Pop-realistic masterpiece, with one of the best Rosalba Neri's performance."

Obviously, we need to have this film.

81. L’ARMA L’ORA IL MOVENTE (1973) directed by Francesco Mazzei


IMDB plot summary: A sexually-promiscuous priest is stabbed to death inside a church.

Comment: "Giallo of a superior kind."

82. L’INTERROGATORIO (1970) directed by Vittorio de Sisti

With Benjamin Lev, Paolo Gozlino, Brigitte Skay.

Drama about a young man wrongly accused of murder.

83. L’OCCHIO DIETRO LA PARETE (1977) directed by Giuliano Petrelli

English title: THE EYE BEHIND THE WALL. With John Phillip Law, Fernando Rey, Olga Bisera.

This sounds like a wild ride:

Comments: "
The movie starts with a scene (missing from some prints) of a young man (John Phillip-Law) raping and murdering a woman on a train. Later he rents a room from an elderly wheelchair-bound voyeur (Fernando Rey) and his much younger 'wife' (Olga Bisneros). The elderly man enjoys watching the younger man through the a hole in the wall where he has set up a periscope-like device. There is something decidedly homoerotic about this. The first thing he sees, for instance, is the younger man get forcibly raped by a big black guy he has picked up at a cheesy disco (where a German-looking extra takes all her clothes off to a wretched disco beat). Then he sends his 'wife' over to seduce the young man, and its eventually revealed the true nature of the couple's relationship and how he came to be in the wheelchair.... Obviously, this movie is quite a collection of psychopathia sexualis (people like Freud and Reich would have loved it). Which is not to say it is necessarily very sexy (unless impotence, voyeurism, rape, gay interracial rape, pubic-hair fetishes, wife-swapping, child abuse, incest, and bad disco music really turn you on). But there is something fascinating about the sheer wretched excess of perversity on display here."

"'The Eye Behind the Wall' is a bizarre and very sleazy sexual thriller. Sadly writer/director Giuliano Petrelli never made another film after this. It actually reminded me Alfred Hitchock's masterpiece 'Rear Window'. The film is atmospheric and features a good amount of nudity and sleaze."

"The film is very atmospheric, shows quite an amount of nudity without becoming too sexploitative, and boosts a moody soundtrack. Sadly, this obscure oddity remains extremely hard to find. But if one can get hold of it, he shouldn't waste the opportunity and watch it: It's a really remarkable and quite unique film."

84. L’ORRIBILE SEGRETO DEL DR HICHCOCK (1962) directed by Riccardo Freda.

English title: THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK. With Barbara Steele, Robert Flemyng.

"Gorgeously filmed, totally insane Gothic pastiche from Riccardo Freda holds its marvelously overwrought tone through to the fiery climax. At the center of it is Barbara Steele's Cynthia.... It's all both lavish and ludicrous, and profits from Steele's incredible screen presence and the weight of its own images. Spectacular use of color, as well. Essential viewing."

"Definitely, this splendid movie is still the only one to match up to 'La maschera del demonio' (1960, Mario Bava) as the most brilliant and complex Italian Horror film (in any age, of course). Beautifully shot, with an unforgettable performance from Barbara Steele (arguably her best!) and outstanding macabre atmosphere."

85. L’OSCENO DESIDERIO (1978) directed by Giulio Petroni

English title: OBSCENE DESIRE. With Marisa Mell, Chris Avram, Jack Taylor.

"This post-'Exorcist' and 'Omen' possession film is quite odd. It has some typical Giallo elements and until the second half of the movie, it is left unclear whether there is something supernatural going on or not.... [T]he climax delivers an unexpected downbeat twist to surprise the audience."

86. L’UOMO PUMA (1980) directed by Alberto de Martino

Comments: "This movie is perfect in every way. The music is great, especially when pumaman flies. And the way he flies is so realistic, I can't believe this was made in 1980. He has to be the best superhero ever- his flying, his puma vision, and his hands are claws. And Kobras - can you possibly imagine a better villain? His suit alone makes me nervous. And most of all, the acting is superb- the whole film is so lifelike, that sometimes I think there really are pumamen. 10 out of 10, no question."

"This is a terrible, terrible movie. However, it's absolutely hilarious, more than most comedies are: when I watched it I was howling with laughter for most of its running time."

"This movie will NEVER grow old! It is the best movie I have ever seen, ok maybe my version was "edited" by a trio of sarcastic friends, but nevertheless, you will believe the mystical "Aztec" religion. It is so well done and detailed, you will forget that the Aztecs were nowhere near the Andes mountains. Pumaman, aka Liberachi in Dockers, is a superhero who could take out the Justice League, Fantasitc Four, The X-Men, Spider Man, Batman, and Even Superman all at the same time and not even break a sweat! I mean c'mon, who could possible stand up to his uncanny ability to sense danger?"

87. LA LUNGA NOTTE DI VERONIQUE (1966) directed by Gianni Vernuccio

English translation of title: THE LONG NIGHT OF VERONIQUE

Never heard of this one, but as it's from the period of Italy's Golden Age of Gothic Horror, I'm very curious.

Comment: "A university student goes home to his bucolic village for a family funeral, and meets a beautiful, ethereal young woman, who it seems died during the War and is now roaming the area as a wraith searching for her true love."

Zona Cult comment: "Approaches the style of Mario Bava."

88. LA MANO CHE NUTRE LA MORTE (1974) directed by Sergio Garrone


Comments: "Klaus Kinski is in fine form as our 'mad scientist', attempting to correct a past mistake. The laboratory he uses is also one of the best ever, just eye-popping. Very obscure in America, but available subtitled from the usual sources. This is one of the greats, and almost nobody even knows about it."

"Kinski is a 19th century doctor who starts dabbling in RE-ANIMATION when he finds an old laboratory in his basement. Things go terribly wrong in the lab and he screws up his own good/evil balance, or something. This was about as good as a good Hammer film, but a lot weirder."

89. LA MORTE BUSSA DUE VOLTE (1969) directed by Harald Philipp

Aka, DEATH KNOCKS TWICE. With Dean Reed, Fabio Testi, Anita Ekberg, Adolfo Celi. A West German-Italian co-production.

Comments: "DEATH KNOCKS TWICE is an excellent vehicle for both leading man Dean Reed (in this film he reminds me of a cross between James Franciscus, Tab Hunter, and the pre-burnout Jan-Michael Vincent), who plays a detective out to solve a murder and robbery while stumbling across other corrupt activities, and for leading hunk Fabio Testi, who opens the film with a semi-nude outdoor love scene and seems to play half the film without his shirt on."

"Death Knocks Twice is a somewhat interesting thriller that is often considered a part of the Giallo genre, despite putting much of its focus on other areas of the plot; which shows in a nutshell just how meandering this film is considering that a murder plot makes up the backbone of it. The film was made in 1969; just before the Giallo genre would gain popularity and Italian directors would go into overdrive making them. This one was actually a co-production with West Germany; thus further calling it's credibility with the genre into repute. The plot focuses on Francisco di Villaverde; a talented artist who has a deadly hobby, which involves strangling girls after having sex with them. He strangles a girl on the beach and this is witnessed by a couple of body guards, who just so happen to work for a local gangster who just so happens to want to buy a piece of property owned by Francisco di Villaverde. This story is then fused with a love story between the artist and the gangster's wife as she can't resist his charms in spite of his murderous nature."

"This movie has a lot going for it. The great Fabio Testi plays a deranged artist who can't seem to resist strangling his female partners during sex. The voluptuous Anita Ekberg (the fountain-bather in Fellini's 'La Dolce Vita') is an older, married female art dealer who just can't resist Testi's possibly homicidal charms and becomes the potential victim of an elaborate murder plot. The villainous Adolf Celli plays her oft-cuckolded husband, a scary gangster called "The Professor". Even a young Femi Benussi gets into the act in one of her earliest have-naked-sex-and-get-brutally-murdered-minutes-later cameos."

90. LA MORTE SCENDE LEGGERA (1972) directed by Leopoldo Savona


Comment: "Death Falls Lightly is a Giallo of the ultra rare variety, and while it has nothing on the best of what the genre has to offer; Leopoldo Savona's film is still a very solid genre entry. The film takes on an almost dreamlike atmosphere and presents a very isolated and focused mystery inside a deserted hotel building."

91. LA MORTE VIENE DAL BUIO (1972) directed by Roberto Montero

Aka, THE SLASHER IS A SEX MANIAC. With Farley Granger, Sylva Koscina, Femi Benussi.

"This little seen but nonetheless notorious Italian giallo opens with the SECOND-best footage imaginable. A bunch of policemen are standing in the room where the horribly mutilated body of an attractive woman has just been discovered, and this disturbing discovery heralds the search for a sadistic killer. The absolute best horror opening would of course be that we actually witness the killer take the life of his victim but, no worries, as we're treated to that not more than ten minutes later already and several times after that!"

"'The Slasher' has a pedestrian plot of multiple murders of beautiful married women who cheat on their husbands. Not only is the lovingly rendered pictorial dwelling on their naked bodies both before and after death disturbingly unnecessary, this distasteful film's message seems to be that women who are unmarried can be acceptably promiscuous. However, once they are married and continue to be promiscuous they deserve death."

"The rap on this giallo is that it is especially moralistic and misogynistic; however,I found the first charge to be untrue and the other greatly exaggerated. A crazed killer is murdering unfaithful wives and leaving photographic evidence of their dalliances next to the bodies. This certainly SEEMS pretty moralistic."

92. LA NOTTE DEI DANNATI (1971) directed by Fillipo Walter Ratti


"This title deserves all the attention a cult movie should. It has all the elements proper to the genre it represents. A witch, a castle, a malediction, an 'investigator of the occult', some morbid sexual themes, a rich and grainy photography focused on warm and thick colors like red and orange so that it resemble that of another great movie: 1962's Riccardo Freda's masterpiece "L'orribile segreto del dottor Hichcock".... If you're into Jess Franco or Mario Bava don't hesitate to search for this movie, it will worth the time and money."

93. LA NOTTE DEI DIAVOLI (1972) by Giorgio Ferroni

Aka, NIGHT OF THE DEVILS. With Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli.

Comments: "Story about a man who breaks down and seeks shelter with a less than ordinary family with an extraordinary dilemma. Let's just say things do go bump in the night for this family of the woods. Night of the Devils unfortunately is vastly unseen. It has lots of things going for it, like a cast that is truly gung-ho and some pretty good writing. The atmosphere is dark and ominous which gives the film a really great feel."

"It's always nice to find an obscure gem like this. This film is VERY good. Don't let the other reviews here fool you. An intelligent viewer who actually WATCHES and takes in all the atmosphere built up will find a lot to reward them. One should not go into this with the typical 2 second attention span so prevalent today. The film is intelligently made and builds slowly but surely."

"I've seen this movie many times and it is very good and scary. Even i like the story of Aleksey Tolstoi, which this movie is based of. This is one of the best atmospheric horror-movies. Agostina Belli is so beautiful and a much more believable Sdenka than Susy Andersen was in Mario Bava's Black Sabbath. I love this twist ending much more than the ending of Bava's Wurdelak."

94. LIBIDO TERROR (1965) directed by Ernesto Gastaldi, Vittorio Salerno

With Giancarlo Giannini, Dominque Boschero.

Comments: "This thriller by renowned Italian screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi is a very early Giallo - made just shortly after Mario Bava's first modern Italian thriller SEI DONNE PER L'ASSASSINO (1964) that is considered being the first real Giallo at all. But LIBIDO, shot in black and white, is not only one of the earliest Gialli. It is also one of the most accomplished."

"Even with all the renewed interest in Italian gialli these days, it's a little unfortunate that this one will probably never be re-released on DVD because it is one of the few gialli filmed in black and white. And that's too bad because it is really an excellent little film. A young boy sees his father murder his mistress during a bondage session in a mirror-filled room. The father apparently commits suicide by jumping off a cliff (although his body was never found)and the boy eventually ends up in a mental hospital. Years later as a young man he returns to his childhood home with his wife, his lawyer, and his lawyer's sexy girlfriend. A number of strange things begin to happen and the man begins to suspect that his father is still alive."

95. MADELEINE ANATOMIA DI UN INCUBO (1974) directed by Roberto Mauri

English title: MADELINE, STUDY OF A NIGHTMARE. With Camille Keaton.

Comment: "This is a rare and obscure film, it has some nice ideas but the director doesn't follow them very fine and so we get a confusing plot. The end of this ambitious movie is quite original and interesting tough, if we think this is from 1974."

96. NO IL CASO E’ FELICEMENTE RISOLTO (1973) directed by Vittorio Salerno


Comments: "While fishing at a quiet lake, a blameless civil servant happens to witness a murder. Although he and the killer suddenly stand in front of each other, the witness (Signore Santamaria) manages to escape. At home, however, he decides not to call police, assuming that he won't be bothered by the incident any further. The murderer, on the other hand, plays his only card: He goes to police, claiming that he is in fact the witness and the Santamaria the killer."

"A classic 'italian story', in which an innocent and ignorant worker (witness to a crime) pays in the place of the real guilty, a high society professor. Besides the not so original topic the movie offers good acting performances and depicts perfectly the life of a low-class worker living in the suburbs of an italian city in the mid-70's."

97. NON AVER PAURA DELLA ZIA MARTA (1988) directed by Mario Bianchi


Comment: "The Murder Secret is a crazy giallo/slasher which, although directed by Mario Bianchi, was 'supervised' by Lucio Fulci. This inevitably means that the final product bears more than a passing resemblance to a Fulci flick, ie., it has a decent smattering of cheesy gore and a story that lacks any logic or cohesion. However, even with its flaws, The Murder Secret is still an entertaining film with enough good bits for it to be worth a watch."

98. NON SPARATE SUI BAMBINI (1978) directed by Gianni Crea

LoveLockandLoad Forum-Stephen Grimes: "Obscure crime from spaghetti western director Crea (FINDERS KILLERS,ON THE THIRD DAY ARRIVED THE CROW) with Giancarlo Prete as an honest factory worker who gets fired from his job and ends up commiting robberies so he can pay for his dying father's hospital treatment, things go badly wrong after a big heist and they end up taking a classroom of infants hostage at a nursery school."

99. SETTE ORE DI VIOLENZA PER UNA SOLUZIONE IMPREVISTA (1973) directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini

English title: 7 HOURS OF VIOLENCE. With George Hilton.

A "polizieschi" (police crime actioner).

100. L’UOMO PIU’ VELENOSO DEL COBRA (1971) directed by Bitto Albertini

Aka, HUMAN COBRAS. With George Ardisson, Erika Blanc, Alberto de Mendoza, Janine Reynaud, Aurora de Alba.

Comment: "
Although the first thirty-minute of this Spanish-Italian co-produced Giallo sets in Europe and USA (and it should be said this thirty-minute is definitely of a cheap B-action-film rather than of a Giallo), this is a Giallo which is best known with and only with regard of its unique setting in Kenya. And I can admit this Kenyan setting produces almost unexpectedly visual impacts, especially in the sequence that Tony Garden disposes of the troublesome body of the almost strange girl and then the police find it."

101. SUGGESTIONATA (1978) directed by Alfredo Rizzo

With Gabriele Ferzetti.

Plot synopsis from Digitmovies soundtrack release: An engineer and former fascist (Ferzetti) comes back to Italy to resume possession of his own lands. A widower with three sons, the man has a relationship with a sexy girl (Giorgi). The girl, influenced by the sociopolitical speeches of her own father which she had listened to when she was only 13 years old, succeeds to isolate herself with her lover's sons and pulls them into a dark dimension of madness. The protagonist will find himself in front of a series of crimes - without ever understanding if political revenge or something else is involved.

102. TESTA IN GIU’ GAMBE ALL’ARIA (1972) directed by Ugo Novello

With Corrado Pani, Maria Pia Conte,

Almost zero info on the web concerning what this is about. It could be one of those Decameron take-offs.

103. TRHAUMA (1980) directed by Gianni Martucci

Comment: "This little known Italian thriller (which is 'correctly' spelled Trhauma) tells a typical giallo story, but has clearly been influenced by John Carpenter's Halloween. A group of people spend a weekend at a friend's house. Early in the movie, one of the females is killed by a disfigured killer, who rapes his victim post mortem.... [A] highly watchable movie that will satisfy giallo-, slasher- and sleaze-fans alike."

104. UN BIANCO VESTITO PER MARIALE' (1972) directed by Romano Scavolini

Aka, SPIRITS OF DEATH. With Ida Galli, Ivan Rassimov, Luigi Pistilli.

Comment: "
Here's a strange and unsettling giallo that borrows much from the maestro of the macabre, Mario Bava. The film is set entirely on an eerie, isolated estate and, like 5 DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON and BAY OF BLOOD, has an ambiguous plot centering around murder and mayhem which provides director/cinematographer Romano Scavolini with ample opportunity for a number of unusual set-pieces.... [C]lassic 'style over substance' thriller from the Golden Age Of The Giallo."

"Romano Scavolini's 'Spirits of Death' is a stylish giallo with some gory murders. The photography is beautiful and the atmosphere is creepy and nightmarish."

105. UN OMBRA NELL’OMBRA (1979) directed by Pier Capri

Aka, RING OF DARKNESS. With Anne Heywood, Valentina Cortese, Frank Finlay, John Philip Law, Marisa Mell, Irene Papas.

Comment: "
This is one of the best Italian sleaze films I've seen. The plot has a teenage girl who is interested of occultism and has supernatural powers.Her mother is a member of satanist group and is afraid what influences it'll have on the girl."

"Gratuitous nudity seems to be the main raison d'etre of this one. It ends with a bizarre naked catfight between the decidedly middle-aged Anne Heywood and her obviously teenaged daughter (Lara Wendel)."

106. UNA JENA IN CASSAFORTE (1968) directed by Cesare Canevari

Aka, HYBRID. With Dmitri Nabokov (yes, Vladimir's son).

Plot synopsis from A-Z site: Several men and women make their way to a large mansion as guests. They relax for a while, then get down to the business that they are there for. A rich man called Boris has died and left a fortune of diamonds in a huge safe. Someone pulls a lever and the steel casket rises from a pool in the garden. Each of the guests has a key, and the safe can only be opened when all keys are used. However, one of the guests for the life of him can't find his key. The angry guests suspicions are centered towards Janine, but even a strip search reveals nothing....

107. OSCENITA' (1980) directed by Renato Polselli

"Wow! Quando l'amore è oscenità, or more commonly known as Oscenità, is a very rare and hard to find film.... The film presents an array of nasties, from intercourse with a tree branch, candle masturbation, whipping, switchblade foreplay, orgies in the presence of animals, a woman urinating in a bucket, black magic lesbian rituals, toe masturbation, women fooling around with a real corn on the cobb, and last but not least; a scene with a woman and a donkey, which makes the one in Emanuelle in America seem very tame!!"

"'Oscenita' is perhaps the most scandalous Renato Polselli's film.Banned for few years in Italy due to its transgressive sexual content and released in theaters in 1979 this piece of sleaze offers several sexually explicit scenes including masturbation with a candle, whipping, rape and sexual intercourse with a donkey."


Comment: "Amazing stuff! Purports to be a documentary with a psychiatrist interpreting the bizarre newspaper stories of rape, orgy, bestiality, bit more rape, S&M, more orgy (pretty good actually) and a someone pretending to iron his lady's nightie with her still in it and someone pretending to be a dog- oh and a threesome where the two men get it off. Along the way we get to see more glorious minis, both skirts and dresses than I've ever seen in one film and hardcore sequences."

109. DIAVOLO IN CORPO (1986) directed by Marco Bellocchio

Street date: July 28, 2009.

English title: DEVIL IN THE FLESH.

Comments: "Well-worth seeing! Marco Bellocchio succeeds in analysing the rot and opportunism affecting a typical bourgeois family in the late 80s.... A very authentic, not at all dogmatic film, one which succeeds in showing the erotic side of love without falling into the trap of cheapness or boredom."

"This 1986 Italian-French remake of the 1946 film of the same name turns up the heat early, and doesn't let us come up for air."

"Notable because of it's notorious explicit scene when the gorgeous Maruschka Detmers takes her young lover's penis from his trousers and into her mouth. Even without this moment the film is a splendid if slightly disturbing passionate and blindingly sexy ride."

110. ANNA QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE (1973) directed by Guiliano Carnimeo

Aka, SECRETS OF A CALL GIRL. With Edwige Fenech, Corrado Pani, Richard Conte, John Richardson.

Previously released on the NoShame label.

"Edwige Fenech takes the lead role and does brilliantly with it. Her role here requires her to a little more than just take her clothes off, and she rises to the occasion well. It's easy to forget that she can act considering her roles in many of her films, so Secrets of a Call Girl serves as a nice reminder!"

"This is not the kind of movie that I usually go for, but something about Secrets of a Call Girl worked for me. Maybe it was just the charismatic presence of Fenech or the brutal character played by Pani, but I couldn't take my eyes off the television. In the end, Secrets of a Call Girl is an incredibly sad, moving film. If the ending doesn't affect you and all but bring a tear to your eye, you might need to seek help."

111. LO STRANO VIZIO DELLA SIGNORA WARDH (1971) directed by Sergio Martino

English tite: THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH. With Edwige Fenech, George Hilton, Ivan Rassimov.

This is an exceptional giallo that was previously released on the NoShame label. That disc is out-of-print and commands high prices on eBay, so this Mya edition will be welcome indeed.

"Martino's film has ... some stylish and violent murders but fortunately he didn't concentrate only on them. The locations are simply stunning, and the end twist is surprising and certainly original in my opinion. I think this is among the best of the giallo genre, on the same level with Mario Bava's 'Blood and Black Lace', the films by Argento and Tonino Valerii's 'My Dear Killer', for example, to name just a few."

"Sergio Martino's giallo masterpiece 'The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh' (also under the inferior titles: 'Next Victim' or 'Blade Of The Ripper') is one of the best films in the Italian cult genre. This was Sergio Martino's first ( the pun) stab at a Giallo thriller, and it's one that defines the genre as much as Argento's 'The Bird With The Crystal Plummage'. Directed in 1970, Sergio Martino set the standard for Italian Hitchcockian slasher films."

112. LA CODA DELLO SCORPIONE (1971) directed by Sergio Martino

English title: THE CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TALE. With George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza, Ida Galli (Evelyn Stewart), Janine Reynaud.

Another previous release from NoShame.

"Director Martino keeps the story moving at a fast pace while the viewer tries to guess the identity of the killer. Anita Strindberg (also memorable in 'Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key' and 'Who Saw Her Die?') is a stunning-looking heroine. It's one of Martino's best films."

"[T]his film boasts the stylish direction that Martino fans would expect, as well as a twisty plot, some finely done murder set pieces, and beautiful Athenian location shooting."

"'The Case of the Scorpion's Tail' excellently delivers all the elements a great Giallo needs. The film is stunningly suspenseful from the beginning, the score by Bruno Nicolai is brilliant, the plot is wonderfully convoluted, and the killer's identity remains a mystery until the end. Regular Giallo leading-man George Hilton once again delivers an excellent performance in the lead. Sexy Anita Strindberg is absolutely ravishing in the female lead."

113. GIOVANNONA COSCIALUNGA (1973) directed by Sergio Martino

English title: GIOVANNONA LONG-THIGH. With Edwige Fenech.

Previosly released by NoShame.

Comments: "
A milestone in Italian trash comedy. Although its artistic value is negligible at best, 'Giovannona Coscialunga disonorata con onore' (somehow translatable as 'Long thigh Johanna raped with kindness') should be remembered as the prototype of the sexy-comedy-Italian-style that haunted Italian cinema in the 70s, like did the so-called 'spaghetti western' in the 60s."

"Italy didn't exactly hold back when it came to ripping off films back in the seventies - everything from Dirty Harry to Jaws got the Italian treatment, but I must say I never expected to see an Italian sex comedy version of the classic romantic comedies of thirties USA! Even more surprising than the premise of this film is the fact that it's good!"

114. CASTA E PURA (1981) directed by Salvatore Samperi.

English title: CHASTE AND PURE. With Laura Antonelli, Fernando Rey.

"The movie is about a rich girl that everybody's interested in only to get a hand on the loads of cash she inherited. Between her tyranic father (Fernando Rey, getting old and less picky with scripts, it would seem) and some pimpin' playboy (Massimo Ranieri, looking sleazy and dubious), her doctor wants her to get laid, and apparently so does the village priest !"

115. IL BIANCO IL GIALLO IL NERO (1975) directed by Sergio Corbucci.

English titles: THE WHITE, THE YELLOW, AND THE BLACK/SHOOT FIRST . . . ASK QUESTIONS LATER. With Guiliano Gemma, Thomas Milan, Eli Wallach.

"This time around the famous 'other Sergio' takes a stab at the comedy/spaghetti sub-genre which was ever so popular in the waning days of the Euro Western. 'Bianco, il giallo, il nero, Il' is more or less a bizarro take on the East meets wild West classic 'Red Sun'.... Many unintentional laughs and moments of genuine surreal weirdness set to the equally strange Guido & Maurizio De Angelis score almost guarantee this film to delight fans of the genre and confuse and frighten the average viewer."

116. IL CONSIGLIORI (1973) directed by Alberto de Martino

English titles: THE COUNSELLOR/COUNSELOR AT CRIME. With Thomas Milan, Martin Balsam, Francisco Rabal, Dagmar Lassander, Perla Cristal.

Comment: "Il Consigliori is a poliziotti film from 1973. Martin Balsam, a regular of these types of films plays Don Maggadino, a powerful San Francisco mob boss. His consigliori (lawyer) played by Tomas Milian, another familiar face in Italian films has just gotten out of jail.... This movie is fantastic. It has all the elements of an action movie plus many values of the Mafia system.... A must for Mob film and Italian action film fans."

117. LUCREZIA GIOVANE (1974) directed by Luciano Ercoli

With Simonetta Stefanelli, Massimo Foschi, Ettore Manni.

A historical drama about Lucrezia Borgia, so expect illicit love and murder.

118. ARIZONA SI SCATENO’ E LI FECE FUORI TUTTI (1970) directed by Sergio Martino

Street date: July 28, 2009.

English title: ARIZONA COLT RETURNS. With Anthony Steffen, Rosalba Neri, Marcella Michelangeli, Aldo Sambrell.

A great score by Bruno Nicolai highlights this spaghetti western.

119. SEI GIA’ CADAVERE AMIGO TI CERCA GARRINGO (1971) directed by Juan Bosch

English title: DIG YOUR GRAVE FRIEND. . . SABATA'S COMING. A Spanish-Italian co-production. With Richard Harrison, Fernando Sancho

This is a very entertaining spaghetti western. It is a serious revenge story with a little bit of humor thrown in. It has an interesting story, and the humor succeeds without dominating the tone of the film. The music score is also very good, and surely won't disappoint any spaghetti western purists who see the movie."

Mya's June Releases

Mya will be releasing the following films June 30. The descriptions that follow are from Mya's promo sheets.


It's 1891: Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli), a military doctor, and a few newly escaped convicts are shipwrecked on a mysterious tropical island. They soon come across a strange couple: the sadistic Edmund Rackham (Richard Johnson) and the beautiful Amanda Marvin (Barbara Bach). The doctor finds out that Amanda's father, professor Ernest Marvin (Joseph Cotten), is a mad scientist who is experimenting on horrible human-fish mutations. While Professor Marvin is convinced that he's doing his research for humanitarian motives, Rackham has other plans, since he has discovered an incredible secret lying beneath the island.

MONIKIA (201020)

Monika (Gloria Guida) is young, beautiful and virgin. She is only 16 years old, and, beside getting the attention of all her classmates, she also attracts older men. She has a relationship with a boy, Leo, but she doesn't know that he uses to pimp the girls he seduces to rich businessmen. One of Leo's client befriends Monika and becomes so obsessed that he pays Leo to get her. But Monika turns her attention to her art professor, unknowing that he too has his secrets.


A man is running, followed by a priest. He comes across a house but the tall gates are locked so he begins to climb them, however he slips at the top and impales himself on the spikes. Injured to death he's taken to an hospital. Once there, the doctors discover that this man has an amazing regenerative power and his blood coagulates very quickly, making him almost indestructible. Sergeant Ben Engleman is put on the case, and he finds out that the priest has the answers: this man, Mikos Stenopolis, is the result of a nuclear scientific experiment gone wrong. He's now completely insane and will kill everybody who crosses his path, showing no mercy.

UBALDA (201022)

Inspired by the International success of Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Decameron (1971) and Canterbury Tales, Italian filmmakers rushed out a slew of like-minded comedies in the bawdy vein of Renaissance humorist Giovanni Boccaccio, known collectively as "Decamerotica." Medieval ltaly is the setting for this ludicrous la ronde involving a bumbling knight (Pippo Franco, of Billy Wilder's Avanti!) torn between his unfaithful wife (Black Emmanuelle's Karin Schubert) and the comely Ubalda (Fenech), the bored bride of the village miller who has the local men in a state of arousal despite her ample charms being constrained in an iron chastity belt. Directed by Mariano Laurenti, who teamed with Fenech again for Naughty Nun (1972) and The Winsome Widow (1974), Ubalda, All Naked and Warm was never released theatrically in the United States and is available only on this exclusive DVD, remastered from the original vault negatives and completely uncut and uncensored.