If the above plot twist floated your boat, you may well enjoy giallo films. Even it if didn't, you may well still enjoy them, as they actually bear no relation whatsoever to the above paragraph. Many of you will be wondering what the hell I'm on about, as the giallo is not a widely known genre of film. Well, it damn well should be, so read on and prepare to be enlightened. (If you do already know what a giallo film is, skip to the last paragraph).
Wikipedia suggests that 'Giallo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒallo], plural gialli) is an Italian 20th-century genre of literature and film, which in Italian indicates crime fiction and mystery. In English, it refers to a genre similar to the French fantastique genre and includes elements of horror fiction and eroticism. The word "giallo" is Italian for "yellow" and comes from a series of cheap paperback mystery novels with trademark yellow covers.' This is true, if a bit wordy (which, as anyone who's suffered through my opening two paragraphs will agree, if a bit rich of me to say). Basically, they're films which mix the whodunnit aspects of detective fiction with the gory set pieces of the slasher film. So, if you've ever watched an episode of Poirot and thought that a few more murders would spice it up, or thought that Friday the 13th Part 6 would be less shit if we had to guess who the killer was, then you may find salvation through the giallo.
Other characteristics of the giallo include thumping soundtracks, inventive camera angles, mild-to-strong misogyny and the aforementioned plot twist. Whereas much detective fiction focuses on the details of the investigation, from which clues as to the murderer's identity can be gleaned, the typical giallo offers up no clues, instead serving up a multitude of red herrings, with the ultimate aim being to surprise the viewer with the killer's reveal. I could go on at great length about the finer points of the genre, but I'll leave that for another time (and another website, this one). For now, here are a selection of clips which will hopefully pique your interest in the films.
One of the greatest trailers for one of the greatest gialli
One of the greatest set-pieces in probably the greatest giallo
Serge Gainsbourg plays a Scottish cop in this one
This killer sounds like a duck
I've always thought that the combination of crime detection and gore makes the giallo a genre which could have a wide commercial appeal. I've also always loved them as films. Therefore, I've decided to make one. The Three Sisters is not an homage, it is not a pastiche. It is a straight-up giallo film, made with honesty and earnestness. I had no money, no script but loads of talent. Actually, that's not strictly true; I had only a very small amount of money (the total budget is around €5000), a script treatment (8 pages long) and some talent. We're still filming (17 months and counting) and there's a long way to go, but we're getting there. Hopefully what we come up with will be a worthy addition, or at least footnote, to this much under-appreciated genre.