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Image for article titled 11 Trashy, Violent Giallo Films to Stream If You Need a Break From Ghosts and Ghouls

Graphic: Elena Scotti, Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Shutterstock

“Foreign” cinema has a reputation for being more erudite than mainstream American film—after all, watching a film with subtitles means you’re reading while you’re watching a movie, and reading is the smartest thing someone can do.

Giallo films subvert that expectation. There is rarely a need for subtitles in gialli—dubbing is an art form in Italy, and it’s incredibly common for Italian films to be dubbed in Italian, even if they were filmed in Italian. This pro-dubbing culture means a large amount of giallo flicks can be streamed dubbed in English, which makes them a little easier to consume if you prefer to watch your horror with a side of weed or booze. (Interesting fact: Dubbing originally came into fashion in the 1930s when the fascist Mussolini attempted to “unite a country divided by dialects” by having all films dubbed in “standardized Italian.”)

Giallo movies are also a little trashy, and I mean that as a compliment. (I love sleaze.) “Giallo” means “yellow,” and the name is a nod to the cheap yellow-covered paperback thrillers the genre is so heavily influenced by. Gialli are not quite horror. They’re low on ghosts and ghouls and heavy with tits, paranoia, and knives, with nearly all of the terror—both physical and psychological—being inflicted upon women by men. If you like camp, slashers, murder mysteries, and beautiful women, you will like gialli. (Don’t get too attached to the beautiful women though, most of them are brutally murdered.)

The following is a list of 11 gialli I have enjoyed, in no particular order. I cannot promise your favorite will be on there—even the buffest of film buffs can have a hard time agreeing on what giallo is, and I am no film buff. I am, however, a very enthusiastic viewer of these beautiful, campy, paranoid movies, and I recommend watching them this spooky season, especially if you need a break from the ghosts and ghouls. Violence against women is far more horrific than the supernatural, if you ask me (a known woman).

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