Drive-In Friday: Black Gloves Required

We’ve been featuring plenty of giallo, neo giallo and movies that may or may not be giallo all week long here. When trying to determine four movies that should play in a row, these fashionable murder movies make it hard.

After all, so many of them have near formless plots that might confuse or bore the non-initiated. Even then, so many of them have downer endings and leave you with feelings of confusion.

I’ve tried to find three movies that would please a new audience to the form — and one that would run so late that I don’t care who leaves — for your drive-in perusal. Please let me know what you think and if you have a list you’d like to share with us.

MOVIE 1: Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava, 1964): Has death ever looked sexier and better lit? It astounds me that this movie — which pretty much ignited the genre we’ve spent all week writing about — came out in the somewhat innocent time of 1964. I can only imagine how shocking it was. After all, the film’s potent blend of near-nude women and shockingly neon-hued violence upon said females caused American International Pictures to pass on distributing this film in the U.S. This isn’t just one of my favorite giallo. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time. You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

MOVIE 2: The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (Sergio Martino, 1971): Have movies ever been more perfect? Has an actress — Edwige Fenech — ever been more radiant? Has a villain — Ivan Rassimov — ever been so seductive and brutal at the same time? I don’t know many movies where a man shows a woman in champagne and broken glass and she returns the action with pure lust — actually, I do, this movie and The Editor — and this is but the first of the giallo wonders that Martino would deliver all within the span of four years. You can order this from Severin or watch it on Shudder.

MOVIE 3: The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (Emilio P. Miraglia, 1972): I was trying to decide between two of Miraglia’s films, this awesome effort and The Night Evelyn Came Out of Her Grave. I chose this one because we already had one Edwige film, so Barbara Bouchet also needs to be represented. There are moments here that approach art, as the look of the Red Queen is supremely frightening. You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

For the last film, I really debated again. Should it be something people would want to wait and see? Should it be a film that kids should totally be asleep for, like Strip Nude for Your Killer that rewards the maniacs still awake at 3:30 AM? Or how about something unlike anything else we’ve watched?

You know that I like it weird.

MOVIE 4: Footprints on the Moon (Luigi Bazzoni, 1975): Bazzoni also made The Fifth Cord, one of the best giallo I’ve ever seen. But this movie — I’m unsure it’s a giallo per se and to be honest, I’ve watched it so many times and I’m not completely certain what reality is true at the end. Florinda Balkan is a woman who believes that astronauts were kept on the moon by her father, plus there’s the ghostly Nicoletta Elm haunting her and the evil specter of Klaus Kinski floating above the entire tale. You’re going to drive home confused after this one.

To get links to every movie in the genre that we’ve covered, check out this list on Letterboxd.

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