• All The Colors Of Giallo (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Severin Films

    Released on: January 29th, 2019.
    Directed by: Federico Caddeo
    Cast: Dario Argento, Fabio Melelli, Umberto Lenzi, Barbara Bouchet, Edwige Fenech, Sergio Martino
    Year: 2019
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    All The Colors Of Giallo – Movie Review:

    Federico Caddeo’s documentary All The Colors Of Giallo traces the origins of one of Italian cinema’s most enduring genres from its infancy through to its twilight years by way of interviews with many of the filmmakers and actors involved in the films as well as insight from film historian Fabio Melelli, who more or less plays ‘host’ for the duration of this ninety-minute feature.

    The documentary begins by explaining the influence of American pulp and film noir pictures and then, more obviously, the German Krimi films and the writing of Edgar Wallace before then explaining how the series of Giallo books (named after their yellow covers) came to inspire filmmakers in their homeland. From here, we explore the contributions of Mario Bava’s work, particularly 5 Dolls For An August Moon and the seminal Blood And Black Lace before then dissecting the films that followed in their way. As such, we get lengthy examinations of the work of directors Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Luciano Ercoli, Sergio Martino, Lamberto Bava and Umberto Lenzi, all of whom are interviewed for the feature (Fulci’s contributions come in the form of some archival audio interviews but they’re not less interesting for it). The film also spends some time with actress/wrtier Daria Nicolodi, writer Ernesto Gastaldi and actors George Hilton, Barbara Bouchet, Nieves Navarro and Edwige Fenech (the latter two appearing via archival footage).

    As all of this plays out we’re treated to some great stories about the making of the films they were involved in, as well as plenty of pertinent clips from said films as well as a nice selection of archival still images, all of which help to better explain and explore how and why so many of these films remain as beloved as they are. As the interviewees tell their stories, Melelli pops up frequently to add context and to bridge the different interviews together – he knows his stuff and adds some welcome insight and historical analysis to the presentation.

    While it’s unlikely that the documentary is going to give ‘giallo experts’ a whole lot of new information, even those overly familiar with these films will still be able to appreciate hearing the participants detail their exploits in their own words. The documentary is also nicely put together, well-edited with a good flow. There’s a lot for giallo fans to appreciate and enjoy here.

    All The Colors Of Giallo – Blu-ray Review/DVD/CD:

    Severin Films brings All The Colors Of Giallo to Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentation framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. The documentary was shot digitally and so there are no problems with any grain or print damage on the newly shot material. Some of the archival clips are in less than perfect shape but that’s the nature of the beast with documentaries like this. Colors look fine, black levels are good – no problems here.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track, which is in Italian with English subtitles, is fine. The track is properly balanced and the newly shot material is crisp, clean and properly balanced. Again, some of the archival clips are less than perfect but that’s to be expected.

    The extras on this set are definitely going to be appealing to giallo fans. First up, on disc one, is The Giallo Frames, a nineteen-minute interview with John Martin, editor of The Giallo Pages. He speaks here about the genre’s literary origins, influences that shaped these films, the effectiveness of certain pictures in the giallo cannon and the contributions from many of the more memorable directors that worked within its confines. It’s interesting stuff

    What will no doubt be the biggest draw, however, is the collection of giallo trailers that are presented here, all in high definition (most of them are in English, for the handful that are in Italian or German, English subtitles automatically appear on the screen), though some taken from SD and analogue sources. These are available to watch with an optional commentary from Kat Ellinger, which does a good job of covering the basics for each of the movies included here. Obviously with the length of a trailer being what it is you can’t go too in-depth on each picture the way that you would for a feature, but she plows through over four hours of trailers with plenty of enthusiasm, offering her thoughts on what makes different entries stand out, quality of the performances, music used in these films, some of the more memorable scenes and more.

    The complete list of trailers included here is as follows:

    The Girl Who Knew Too Much / Blood And Black Lace / Libido / The Embalmer / The Murder Clinic / Deadly Sweet / Death Laid An Egg / Naked You Die / The Sweet Body Of Deborah / A Black Veil For Lisa / Deadly Inheritance / Paranoia / One On Top Of The Other / The Bird With The Crystal Plumage / Five Dolls For An August Moon / Hatchet For The Honeymoon / Death Occurred Last Night / The Weekend Murders / The Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion / The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh / The Cat O’ Nine Tails / A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin / The Cold Eyes Of Fear / The Designated Victim / In The Eye Of The Hurricane / Slaughter Hotel / The Case Of The Scorpions Tale / The Fifth Cord / The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave / The Iguana With The Tongue Of Fire / The Black Belly Of The Tarantula / The Bloodstained Butterfly / The Short Night Of The Glass Dolls / Death Walks In High Heels / The Devil With Seven Faces / Four Flies On Grey Velvet / The Dead Are Alive / My Dear Killer / Seven Blood-Stained Orchids / All the Colors Of The Dark / What Have They Done to Solange? / Amuck! / Who Saw Her Die? / The French Sex Murders / The Case Of The Bloody Iris / The Crimes Of The Black Cat / The Red Queen Kills Seven Times / Knife Of Ice / Don’t Torture A Duckling / Tropic Of Cancer / The Killer Is On The Phone / Spirits Of Death / Torso / Death Carries A Cane / Seven Deaths In The Cat’s Eye / Spasmo / The Killer Reserved Nine Seats / Girl In Room 2A / What Have They Done To Our Daughters? / Puzzle / Death Will Have Your Eyes / The Killer Must Kill Again / Autopsy / Eyeball / Deep Red / Strip Nude For Your Killer / The Bloodsucker Leads The Dance / Strange Shadows In An Empty Room / The House With The Laughing Windows / Nine Guests For A Crime / Watch Me When I Kill / The Psychic / The Pyjama Girl Case / Hotel Fear / Sister Of Ursula / The Bloodstained Shadow / Killer Nun / Giallo A Venezia / The New York Ripper / Tenebre / A Blade in the Dark

    Severin has also included a second disc in the set, a DVD rather than a Blu-ray, that contains a twenty-three-minute interview with Marcus Stiglegger entitled The Case of the Krimi. Here he breaks down the history of the German crime films that inspired the Italian giallo cycle, discussing the importance of Edgar Wallace’s writing on these pictures and making some welcome observations about key entries in the genre as well as offering up input on the better-known directors and actors that were key to its popularity.

    Complimenting this interview is a selection of Krimi trailers for the following pictures:

    The Fellowship Of The Frog / The Crimson Circle / The Terrible People / The Green Archer / Dead Eyes Of London / The Devil’s Daffodil / The Forger Of London / The Strange Countess / The Puzzle Of The Red Orchid / The Door With 7 Locks / The Inn On The River / The Squeaker / The Black Abbot / The Indian Scarf / The Phantom Of Soho / Room 13 / Mark Of The Tortoise / The Curse Of The Hidden Vault / The Mysterious Magician / Traitor’s Gate / Again The Ringer / The Sinister Monk / Hunchback Of Soho / The Trygon Factor / The Creature With The Blue Hand / The College Girl Murders / The Monster Of Blackwood Castle / The Hand Of Power / Gorilla Gang / The Man With The Glass Eye / Double Face / Angels Of Terror

    If that weren’t enough, the set also comes packaged with a bonus CD featuring ‘The Strange Sounds Of The Bloodstained Films’ which is a selection of twenty-tracks culled from various giallo soundtracks that has been compiled By Alfonso Carillo of Rendezvous! and taken from the archives of Beat Records. Remastered by Claudio Fuiano, the sound quality here is very nice and this really is a superb addition to the set, particularly if you have an affinity for the frequently awesome music used in these films or just appreciate soundtrack music in general. A color cardboard insert card contains the track listing and credits for each of the selections included on the CD.

    All The Colors Of Giallo – The Final Word:

    Severin’s Blu-ray release of All The Colors Of Giallo is stacked – it presents a very worthwhile documentary in fine shape and with loads of extra features, the highlights being the trailer compilations and the soundtrack CD. There’s loads of fans to enjoy here, and hours of entertainment value to be had. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized All The Colors Of Giallo Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. VinceP's Avatar
      VinceP -
      Ian, I'm pretty sure the giallo trailer collection runs four hours, not 2.5. With the amount of time it took Severin to ship this to me from my order on Black Friday, I was rather annoyed at the quality of a lot of these trailers, looking like they were pulled from juddery SD PAL conversions. I'm hoping the commentary will give it more value.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Yeah, typo. Fixed it. As to the quality of the trailer transfers, yes, it definitely varies from one to the other.