A new list of top 5. This time movies that I like to call "Witch Giallo's". Some might say that it isn't Gialli if there are some unnatural elements involved (like witches, zombies, ghosts, demons, etc.) but I am not so purist about it and don't care. This is how I like to categorize a Gialli inside the so-called Witch Giallo genre:
- there is withes/witchery involved
- occultism, satanism, and symbolism
- dreams and hallucinations
- devilish witch laughing
- possibility to believe in un-natural happenings
Director Dario Argento
I have to start with a classic. One of my favorites from Dario Argento. Stylistic lighting and cinematography. Amazing set and a great atmosphere overall. With one of the best scores from Goblin. One of the best soundtracks in cinema history. This is a movie that I have a hard time to find anything bad about it. Even the trailer for it is one of my favorites, chek it out!
It is just pure gold and for good reason, it was adapted by Luca Guadagnino to make a remake of it in 2018. The remake is its own story. I don't want to go for that on this post. This film can take several re-watches. I was happy to see it on a big screen when this new 4K-restoration were playing in theaters. Aways nice to see masterpieces restored to their glory and screened on a large canvas once again! Multiple releases but the best possible quality available is by Synapse Films.
The Love Witch
Director Anna Biller
From the old classic it is good to jump on Neo-Giallo pick. This amazing love witch tale by Anna Biller is a great trip. Released in 2016 but it is a real time-machine to 70s with careful set design, decoration, costumes, acting and overall look in the talented hands of Anna Biller and her crew. There is so much work behind all the details to achieve the right mood and feel to the film that I just adore it. And as Anna does a lot of the costume and set design by herself to the movies I must say, RESPECT!
Those are the details that we also like to work on in our own A&B productions. We truly believe and live by that small details matter and make a difference. We have lot to learn from her so Biller's movies are always welcome to inspire and improve your skills! If you haven't heard about Anna Biller before I definitely recommend to watch her earlier piece Viva as well. What a trip that is! Just see it. You can find it on BluRay/DVD by Shameless. There seems to be several The Love Witch releases I don't have exact one to recommend but release by Oscilloscope seems nice.
All the Colors of the Dark
Director Sergio Martino
Maestro himself Martino does it once again. Really intense and well-structured Giallo. One of the best by Martino but it is hard to say just one good film from him. Definitely take Sergio Martino on your list and make sure you see as many of his films as possible. Ernesto Gastaldi is responsible of the great script and he worked on multiple scripts for Martino. And yes, he is one of best in my opinnion. Oh... and Edwige Fenech is in it. What else do you need to hear about it? Nothing!
Film has a really famous scene with repetitive cut used (first time it was, I think) to give this uneasy, dreamy and hallucinating tone. That is one of the Giallo genre's trademarks and were re-used many times after All the Colors of the Dark. There are several good releases available of this film like Shameless and Severin Films.
Director Corrado Farina
ssSSSLeeEEEAaaAZZZYYyyy and witches! What can go wrong? Well... it's not a perfect movie. Has some flaws and plot holes (or it is a too clever movie for me to understand). But it has great style and mood overall. And there is sleazy moments. Based on a comic series by Guido Crepax. Almost forgot to mention... there are sleazy moments. Watch it! A copy you can find once again by Shameless BluRay/DVD.
The Perfume of the Lady in Black
Director Francesco Barilli
This is one of my top Giallo's, again... Hmm.. how long is my "top Giallos" list? Quite long, I guess... It borrows quite a lot from Roman Polanski's Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. But, it's funny how much this movie reminds me of Polanski's The Tenant as well. And it came two years AFTER this one. There are a couple of scenes in both movies that are quite resemblances to each-others. Starring Mimsy Farmer and I think this is one of her best roles. Must-see... once again. There is a nice release by 88 Films but I couldn't find it anymore from their site. Maybe sold-out. But you can get from Filmihulluleffakauppa.
Witch and witchery is such interesting topic that maybe it needs to be handled a second time just by making a list of top 5 witch movies... That's a though list to do!
Blog text by Teemu Saarinen / Azh Boyzz.