Strip Nude for Your Killer

Even though it’s poorly written, relentlessly tasteless, has very few good points other than Edwige Fenech, and is packed full of gratuitously seedy garbage, Strip Nude for Your Killer entertains on that level that might make you feel like you need a shower afterward.

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The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is the one that cemented the giallo’s tropes: the elaborate title, the artist protagonist thrust into the role of amateur sleuth, a sinister killer in black gloves, bizarre supporting characters, brutal murders, hyper-stylized art design.

Deadly Sweet

Deadly Sweet was inspired by Blow Up, but it lacks that film’s disillusionment. Tinto Brass thinks Swinging London is still swinging. Thus he turns in a decidedly less somber film despite a somewhat downbeat conclusion.

Blow-Up

In a sense, Antonioni has made a movie about the movie he is making, and his final conclusion, if it is indeed a conclusion, is a bit sad. Thomas chases the meaning of the photographs he has taken, but he never gets there. In the end, everything he has done vanishes.

High Spy: The Espionage Fiction of Adam Diment

Adam Diment created Philip McAlpine, a reluctant, shaggy-haired, dope-smoking spy in the latest Carnaby Street fashions. Like his creation, Diment was young, handsome, popular with the ladies, and knew how to dress. And then, just like that, he vanished.

Blood and Black Lace

When it came time for Mario Bava to turn in his version of a Hitchcock movie, he picked up on that underlying current of malicious giddiness and ratcheted it up. In Blood and Black Lace, Bava is a peasant let loose to demolish a nobleman’s home.

Bruno Nicolai: The Case of the Bloody Iris

It was common for Italian exploitation films to be graced with a soundtrack that was much better than the film surrounding it. Such is the case with Bruno Nicolai’s score for The Case of the Bloody Iris.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Nora ventures onto unfamiliar streets and is soon set upon by a purse snatcher and knocked unconscious. When she comes to, she is horrified to see a woman staggering toward her. The woman collapses, revealing a knife in her back.

Ennio Morricone: Who Saw Her Die?

Morricone’s score is like a children’s church choir gone horribly, disturbingly awry. As accompaniment to a film that stalks the foggy labyrinths of Venice, you couldn’t ask for a more perfectly haunting and off-kilter collection of songs.

Bruno Nicolai: All the Colors of the Dark

Despite Morricone’s much deserved reputation, it’s probably Bruno Nicolai who deserves to be crowned king of the giallo soundtrack. He wrote quite a few. Most of them are very good. Many of them are great. All the Colors of the Dark is the best.

Ennio Morricone: The Bird With the Crystal Plumage

The score maintains this blend of offbeat styles that still manage to operate as a cohesive whole, becoming tenser and more threatening. It makes perfect sense in a film about the unreliable nature of perception.

La Dolce Amaro

The Americano seems a fairly nondescript drink with which to kick off such a legendary drinking career as that of James Bond, though it’s doubtful Ian Fleming was thinking that the Americano would be examined as the drink that started an international phenomenon.

Trout Fishing in Sicily

On his trip to Naples, Fleming is quick to lose interest in the city itself. Much of the Neapolitan chapter of Thrilling Cities is taken up by an of Ian Fleming’s audience with infamous gangster Lucky Luciano.

The Playboy Spy

The list of men who have been named as “the real James Bond” is long. Most of them insist there is no way they were the inspiration for 007. As far as he himself was concerned, Dusan Popov was much cooler than James Bond.