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SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – Twitch of the Death Nerve

As the sixties came to a close, it seemed that Mario Bava’s winning streak was coming to an end. Whilst the decade had begun with the hugely successful gothic chiller La maschera del demonio (aka Black Sunday), as the seventies drew closer he had produced one commercial failure after another.

SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – A Blade in the Dark

It isn’t easy following in the footsteps of a legendary father, and no one knows that more than Lamberto Bava. Having spent his childhood immersed in the industry, it was perhaps inevitable that he would eventually turn to directing himself, although the shadow of Mario Bava would be cast over everything he attempted.

SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – Don't Torture a Duckling

Whilst some giallo filmmakers are occasionally revered by critics for their stylish use of cinematography and almost operatic violence, one director who was met with constant cynicism, bewilderment and even hatred was Lucio Fulci. Considered by some to be a pioneer in exploitation, others often dismissed him as a talentless hack, plagiarising the success of [...]

SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – The Cat O' Nine Tails

Success usually comes with a price. For some, it is the alienation of their closest friends. For others, it is their downward spiral into addiction and self destruction. For Dario Argento, it was being pigeonholed. His directorial debut, L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (aka The Bird With the Crystal Plumage), had become an international success [...]

SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – Torso

Whilst the giallo has often bordered on sleazy and misogynistic, usually the filmmakers have been wise to tread carefully when flirting with sex and violence, often avoiding featuring both in any given shot. Mario Bava’s Reazione a catena (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve) had disgusted audiences and Dario Argento’s ‘Animal Trilogy‘ had boasted impressive [...]

SPAGHETTI SLASHERS – Night Train Murders

Italian horror has always been a little derivative. I vampiri (also known as The Devil’s Commandment) reflected the gothic sensibilities of Hammer, that were enjoying their most prolific period at the time of its release.