Italian horror film  

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"During the 1960s and 70s, Italian filmmakers Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda, Antonio Margheriti and Dario Argento developed giallo horror films that become classics and influenced the genre in other countries. Representative films include: Black Sunday, Castle of Blood, Twitch of the Death Nerve, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red and Suspiria.

Due to the success of the James Bond film series the Italian film industry made large amounts of imitations and spoofs in the Eurospy genre from 1964-1967.

Following the 1960s boom of shockumentary "Mondo films" such as Gualtiero Jacopetti's Mondo Cane, during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Italian cinema became internationally synonymous with violent horror films. These films were primarily produced for the video market and were credited with fueling the "video nasty" era in the United Kingdom.

Directors in this genre included Lucio Fulci, Joe D'Amato, Umberto Lenzi and Ruggero Deodato. Some of their films faced legal challenges in the United Kingdom; after the Video Recordings Act of 1984, it became a legal offense to sell a copy of such films as Cannibal Holocaust and SS Experiment Camp. Italian films of this period are usually grouped together as exploitation films.

Several countries charged Italian studios with exceeding the boundaries of acceptability with their late-1970s Nazi exploitation films, inspired by American movies such as Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS. The Italian works included the notorious but comparatively tame SS Experiment Camp and the far more graphic Last Orgy of the Third Reich (Italian: L'ultima orgia del III Reich). These films showed, in great detail, sexual crimes against prisoners at concentration camps. These films may still be banned in the United Kingdom and other countries."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

When one excludes the pioneering Frankenstein (1920) and Malombra (1942), Italian horror cinema starts with the 1957 I Vampiri by Riccardo Freda. Further 20th century developments include film directors Antonio Margheriti, Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Ruggero Deodato, Lucio Fulci and the screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi. Notable titles include Black Sunday (1960), The Whip and the Body (1963) and Castle of Blood (1964).

Periodicals such Amarcord magazine have paid attention to Italian genres such as the giallo, explotation, nunsploitation, and actresses such as the British Barbara Steele.

The genre is documented in Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies 1956-1984 (1994), a book about European horror film in general, but in which Italy is well represented.


Italian gothic horror

I Vampiri, Black Sunday and La Danza Macabra are also part of the Italian gothic horror sub-genre.

List of films

in ordine cronologico-alfabetico (parziale)

Periodo "Muto"

Anni Cinquanta

Anni Sessanta

Anni Settanta

Anni Ottanta

Anni Novanta

Anni Duemila

Further reading

See also

The 'A' list

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Italian horror film" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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