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  • Writer's pictureGabe Powers

Grinding the Stream July 2020 UPDATES: Giallo Films

***This is going to be a mid-monthly tradition now, I guess. At least until social distancing standards are completely abandoned. Maybe even after that. Some updates will be bigger than others – it all depends on what differences I can find.***

Are you self isolating? Are you thinking about broadening your cinematic horizons? Perhaps you’d like to learn about a specific genre? I’m here to help. Let’s start by seeing what is available to stream, beginning with some worthwhile entries in the giallo canon. Giallo (plural: gialli) films aren’t the easiest to define, but tend to be Italian (occasionally Spanish) murder mysteries that skirt the lines between thriller, horror, sexploitation, and sometimes comedy. By the end of the original cycle, the difference between gialli and slashers was nominal.

Netflix and Hulu have pretty pathetic foreign film selections, not to mention a lack of movies made before 1980, so they weren’t particularly helpful in this regard. Amazon Prime has a healthier selection, however, as do a number of free streaming services available via Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, et cetera. I compared a bunch and, for the sake of simplicity, I found the best in terms of content and video quality to be Tubi, Midnight Pulp (a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply), VUDU’s free selections, The Roku Channel, Shout Factory TV (though most of their titles can also be watched via Amazon Prime), and Dark Matter TV (again, a "+" will be included wherever subscription fees apply). And, of course, who can forget smaller, but no less important paid services, namely Criterion Channel, HBO Max, Fandor, and Shudder.

Again, be warned – all of the free apps have ad breaks (I know, it sucks) and the video quality is inconsistent from app to app. Sometimes it's genuine HD, other times, it's sub-VHS. Apologies if I’ve suggested something with particularly grim A/V quality. Given the nature of streaming media, I imagine very few of these titles will be available in perpetuity. I've included links to my own reviews of some of these films and be aware that, despite my classifications below, complete director filmographies are not currently available free/subscription streaming.

Mario Bava Gialli

  • Blood and Black Lace (Italian: Sei donne per l'assassino, 1964) – Amazon Prime and Fandor

  • Five Dolls for an August Moon (Italian: 5 bambole per la luna d'agosto, 1970) – Fandor

  • Hatchet for the Honeymoon (Italian: Il rosso segno della follia, 1970) – Fandor

  • A Bay of Blood (Italian: Ecologia del delitto; aka: Reazione a catena, Blood Bath, Twitch of the Death Nerve, 1971) – Fandor

Dario Argento Gialli

  • Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Italian: L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo, 1970) – Fandor and Tubi

  • Cat o’ Nine Tails (Italian: Il gatto a nove code, 1971) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, VUDU FREE, Tubi, and Midnight Pulp

  • Deep Red (Italian: Profondo rosso, 1975) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, VUDU FREE, Dark Matter TV, and Tubi (104 minute cut only for all streaming platforms)

  • Tenebrae (aka: Tenebre and Unsane, 1982) – Shudder and Tubi

  • Opera (aka: Terror at the Opera, 1987) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Trauma (1993) – Amazon Prime (this seems to be the edited, R-rated cut)

  • The Stendhal Syndrome (Italian: La sindrome di Stendhal, 1996) – Shudder and VUDU FREE

Lucio Fulci Gialli

  • Don’t Torture a Duckling (Italian: Non si sevizia un paperino, 1972) – Amazon Prime, Shudder, and VUDU FREE

  • The Psychic (Italian: Sette note in nero; aka: Seven Notes in Black, 1977) – Fandor and Midnight Pulp

  • The New York Ripper (Italian: Lo squartatore di New York, 1982) – Tubi

  • Touch of Death (Italian: Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio, 1988) – Amazon Prime (sort of a STV giallo satire and not a very good movie)

Sergio Martino Gialli

  • The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (Italian: Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh; aka: Blade of the Ripper, 1971) – Shudder

  • All the Colors of the Dark (Italian: Tutti i colori del buio, 1972) – Shudder and Midnight Pulp +

  • Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (Italian: Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp +

  • Torso (Italian: I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale, 1973) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • The Suspicious Death of a Minor (Italian: Morte sospetta di una minorenne, 1975) – Amazon Prime

Emilio Miraglia Gialli

Luciano Ercoli Gialli

Aldo Lado Gialli

  • Short Night of the Glass Dolls (Italian: La corta notte delle bambole di vetro; Aldo Lado, 1971) – Amazon Prime

  • Who Saw Her Die? (Italian: Chi l'ha vista morire?; Aldo Lado, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Late Night Trains (Italian: L'ultimo treno della notte; aka: Night Train Murders, 1975) – Amazon Prime (arguably not a giallo, but a good Italian thriller nonetheless)

Antonio Bido Gialli

  • The Bloodstained Shadow (Italian: Solamente nero, 1978)Tubi

  • Watch Me When I Kill (Italian: Il gatto dagli occhi di giada, 1977) – Fandor and Tubi

Lamberto Bava Gialli

  • Macabre (Italian: Macabro, 1980) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • A Blade in the Dark (Italian: La casa con la scala nel buio, 1983) – Amazon Prime

  • Delirium: Photo of Gioia (Italian: Le foto di Gioia, 1987) – Amazon Prime (perhaps more of a slasher than a giallo)

Other Classics & Personal Favorites

  • Death Laid an Egg (Italian: La morte ha fatto l'uovo; Giulio Questi, 1968) – Amazon Prime, Midnight Pulp +, and Tubi (Note that all three feature the edited 88 minute cut, not the 104 minute director's cut. It's still worth seeing.)

  • In the Folds of the Flesh (Italian: Nelle pieghe della carne; Sergio Bergonzelli, 1970) – Fandor

  • Black Belly of the Tarantula (Italian: La tarantola dal ventre nero; Paolo Cavara, 1971) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • The Fifth Cord (Italian: Giornata nera per l'ariete; Luigi Bazzoni, 1971) – VUDU Free

  • Bloodstained Butterfly (Italian: Una farfalla con le ali insanguinate; Duccio Tessari, 1971) – Amazon Prime

  • What Have You Done to Solange? (Italian: Cosa avete fatto a Solange?; Massimo Dallamano, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Midnight Pulp +

  • Eye in the Labyrinth (Italian: L'occhio nel labirinto; Mario Caiano, 1972) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Case of the Bloody Iris (Italian: Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?; Giuliano Carnimeo, 1972) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • Death Smiles on a Murderer (Italian: La morte ha sorriso all'assassino; Aristide Massaccesi, 1973) – Amazon Prime

  • Seven Deaths in a Cat’s Eye (Italian: La morte negli occhi del gatto; Antonio Margheriti, 1973) – Amazon Prime 

  • Autopsy (Italian: Macchie solari; Armando Crispino,1975) – Amazon Prime

  • The Pyjama Girl Case (Italian: La ragazza dal pigiama giallo; Flavio Mogherini, 1977) – Amazon Prime

  • Bloody Moon (German: Die Säge des Todes; Jess Franco, 1981) – Midnight Pulp + and Tubi

  • Murder Obsession (Italian: Follia omicida; Riccardo Freda, 1981) – Amazon Prime

Gialli Adjacent

  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Italian: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto; Elio Petri, 1970) – Criterion Channel (I imagine most giallo fans consider this giallo and most arthouse fans do not)

  • Madhouse (aka: There Was a Little Girl, ...And She Was Bad; Ovidio G. Assonitis, 1981) – Shudder and Midnight Pulp +

  • Nightmare (aka: Nightmares in a Damaged Brain; Romano Scavolini, 1981) – Amazon Prime and Tubi

  • Pieces (Spanish: Mil gritos tiene la noche; Juan Piquer Simón, 1982) – Shudder, Midnight Pulp, and Tubi

  • StageFright (aka: Deliria, Aquarius; Michele Soavi, 1987) – Amazon Prime, VUDU Free, and Tubi

  • All the Colors of Giallo (documentary about gialli; Federico Caddeo, 2019) – Midnight Pulp + and Tubi

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