May 19, 2016


In case you haven't noticed, I'm not the best when it comes to punctuality. At least not when it comes to blogging. Some of that can be attributed to laziness. Most of it can be attributed to the fact that writing movie reviews, especially reviews of genre films, is tricky business. There have been weeks where I have not posted a review, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Simply put, there have been weeks where the films I watched were so loathsome or uninteresting that I simply had nothing to say about them.

Way back when, I started Films That Witness Madness, a movie review site split up into various micro-sites. There was a section devoted entirely to the giallo, one devoted entirely to US produced films, one devoted to non-giallo Italians flicks and then a catch-all miscellaneous category devoted to everything else. Then there was the blog portion of the site where I would post essays or smaller reviews. I try not to just write three paragraph reviews of films. I try to offer up some kind of rudimentary examination of a films themes, subtext, social significance, problematic gender or racial representations, etc. I don't want to be one of those guys that writes a paragraph-length plot summary, another paragraph telling you if I like it, then a final paragraph telling you where to buy it. I want to be better than your average lazy blog writer. That makes reviewing films difficult at times.

With Films That Witness Madness, the division of the site into specific categories, each with front page visibility, meant that I had a quota I constantly had to fill. I couldn't just leave the same film on the front page week after week. What that meant was that I was often reviewing films I didn't really have anything to say about just so I could keep up with the rotation. But even though that forced rotation sometimes (read: oftentimes) made for some lousy reviews, the impulse to write was always there because of it. I didn't have a choice.

Here, with that forced rotation removed, I can forgo writing a lousy review. I sometimes watch 7 or 8 films before finding one worth writing about. Unfortunately, that means updating has become sporadic at best and non-existent at worst. Page views during the Halloween season are always high as I review one new movie a day all throughout the month of October. Page views recently... well, they suck. But as this is a hobby of mine and not a means of earning money (there are no ads on this site nor will there ever be), I can kind of just shrug that off. I mean, this IS just a blog, one of thousands and thousands out there.

Still, if this blog is going to hang around, I need to find something to write about, something consistent, something I always have something to say about.

So starting next month, you and I - if you care to join me, that is - will be taking a very long trip through the entirety of the Italian giallo film. The idea is simple. I will be watching every giallo film ever made (well, the ones that still exist anyway) in order of release. I enjoy the giallo more than any other subgenre of film. I've spent a long time studying the evolution of the subgenre. I find the whole thing interesting. But several people have pointed out that I tend to repeat myself quite a bit when I write giallo reviews, always spending time going over the same points like the origins of the giallo, the trends of the giallo, etc. Now I won't have to. I can build a subgenre-wide overview in sequential order. 

And that is worth writing about.

Now this site won't just become 24/7 giallo reviews, though it would probably be easier if it did. My main focus will be reviewing every giallo made between 1963 and 1980. That's roughly 200 films. That's a lot of work. There will be one or two reviews a week devoted specifically to this project (maybe more), with a planned one or two non-giallo related reviews on top of that. October will still be devoted to random horror oddities and the occasional themed week. That won't change at all. The only thing that will change is that there will no longer be weeks where this blog sits dormant. That's a good thing.

When I started Films That Witness Madness, I compiled a nice, long list of films I needed to review. I burned through that list pretty quick. I reviewed many giallo films during my time with that site so thankfully, with a little bit of editing, some of my work is already done. I'll use those weeks to focus on other things. I know some people would like to see reviews of less obscure films, maybe even new releases. If there's a film you think I should watch, let me know in the comments. I can't guarantee I'll get around to it, but I'll give it a consideration. I know I have to finish the Godzilla franchise reviews, the Video Nasty reviews and all kinds of other shit. I'll get around to that eventually, I'm sure. But for now, the plan is to drown myself in J&B, balaclavas and fake blood.

So that's the plan. Sound good?

The first batch of films that will be reviewed are as follows:

- 1964
Dark Purpose
24 Hours of Terror
A Game of Crime
Death on the Fourposter

- 1965
Assassination in Rome
Lady of the Lake
The Monster of Venice
Night of Violence

- 1966
The Murder Clinic
Circus of Fear
The Third Eye
A... come assassino

- 1967
Date for a Murderer
Deadly Sweet

- 1968
Death Laid an Egg
Naked You Die
The Sweet Body of Deborah
Killer Without a Face
A Hyena in the Safe
A Black Veil for Lisa
A Complicated Girl
Deadly Inheritance
Run, Psycho, Run

- 1969
Shadow of Death
Satan's Doll
Double Face
The Insatiables
Perversion Story
Trumpets of the Apocalypse
Yellow - Le Cugine
So Sweet... So Perverse
Death Knocks Twice
The Rage Within
Naked Violence
Psychout for Murder

As for Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much, The Telephone and Blood and Black Lace, you can read about them HERE

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