Giallo, for the uninitiated, is a type of Italian horror film that thrived in the early seventies and focused on people – most particularly women – being menaced by black gloved, masked serial killers.
That description might be queried by some people, but I’ll cheerfully confess that I am no expert. Until now the only Giallo I have really seen is that directed by Dario Argento, the name most internationally associated with the genre – to the point where his most famous film, SUSPIRIA is frequently described as Giallo, when surely its way too supernatural to fit the billing.
Again, I’m happy to be corrected if that is wrong.
THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS is my first dip into non-Argento Giallo and I am pleased to fine that it’s good scary fun. As well as absolutely bonkers.
Fashion models are being brutally slayed in a high-rise apartment block. But is the killer the architect with an aversion to blood? Or the lesbian next-door neighbour? Or her violin playing father? Or the old lady with the secret?
It’s like Agatha Christie, although with more violent deaths and frequent nudity.
If the description above doesn’t sound mad enough, we also have a stamp obsessed police officer who advises one of the delectable targets of this psychopath to keep living in the apartment block without police protection to lure the killer out. That is clearly terrible policing. Then there’s the moment where a stabbed lady collapses into a gentleman on the pavement and he makes the acting choice to stare bemused around the streets as if hunting for her killer. Which given that she’s still in the process of literally dying in his arms, can’t seem more than a bit heartless.
Those moments just add to its charm though. Anyone with a stern fidelity to logic is not going to enjoy these films, but if you want a fun slasher movie (made before they became a big thing in The States) then you can do a lot worse.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free! A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!.