Friday, July 13, 2012

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK: The Rebirth of the Italian Horror Empire Part I of III

Featuring Davide Melini, Raffaele Picchio, Gianluigi Perrone and Francesco Picone

If I were writing a passion play about the history of Italian cinema, Dario Argento would play Jesus, the poor director would have been crucified, thrust into a tomb and left to rot for the ages. He would be remembered for a few "miracles" of modern film, but ultimately cast out by his fan base, turned over to the authorities (movie critics), and you know the bloody show that would ensue (Claudio Simonetti might just compose the score). It isn't a happy ending to a story that has been retold by countless news sources in the horror world for the last twenty years. Italian cinema hit a wall in 1994 or there abouts and it came in the form of a subtitles. Nobody wanted to read and watch films. The non-Italian movie goers of the world despite being enamored with the cinematic efforts of a legacy of truly talented directors gave up on the written word and handed themselves over to the world of pure entertainment. That is not to say that good cinema has not been produced since then. It most certainly has... you just wont' know about it because of a horrible little word: marketing. Marketing is that damn thing that spoils movies in trailers. Marketing turns your favorite piece of fiction into a McDonald's Happy Meal toy (and not the good kind that we had in the 80's). Marketing states that people don't want to "read" their movies and they certainly won't settle for dubbed films. The marketeers  all but put Argento and his Italian brothers into that tomb, rolled the stone in place and washed their hands of the golden age of Euro influence upon the world of horror cinema.

 It's this part in the passion play or your Friday night mass during the Holy Week that you stand around with candles and pray for them not to be extinguished. Everyone stumbles out of their pews, half blind mostly saddened by the loss of their savior. While this is a loose metaphor and Argento was not the only person to suffer at the hands of mass market film advertising he's a name you know well enough with which to identify. His budgets would shrink. His films would suffer, and the world forgot about Italy for about twenty years... the three days in the proverbial tomb. "I saw the best minds of  my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked". But that's not where this story ends...

We are not talking about the decline of the Roman Empire. We are talking about its rebirth. I'm here to let you know that Italian Horror cinema is a thing of pure reality; that it exists in this day and age and is just as terrifying, inspirational and groundbreaking as when Deodato first put a girl on a bicycle seat and yelled, "ACTION!" (or Italian equivalent there of). Argento went into the tomb followed by Lenzi and Deodato.We lost a few good directors and actors, nearly too many to name. What has emerged is a young, strong, vivacious bunch of creative thinkers who are inspired by their Italian predecessors  but who benefit from a new age in cinema distribution. Ladies and gentleman I give you the internet. Digital media has brought these great filmmakers to your door step today. Social networking paved a road of communication that allowed me to discuss with them some very fundamental questions about their cinema and the history that inspires their work. I give you the modern day saviors of Italian film in three parts.

Please enjoy their work as much as I have when you can. Make sure to comment often as they just might read what you write here, and tell your friends... the horror community, that Italian Horror is alive and well. Remember, whatever opinion you may have preconceived about Dario Argento's new picture, Dracula 3-D, it was on the cover of Fangoria magazine and that's a shot in the arm for a bunch of young folks who need a break and need to get the Euros into their project budgets.

Let's start at the beginning with a dear friend who has helped me along the way and who I could not have done any of this without, Davide Melini, a man who helped create the new Argento picture and who's shorts are very basic in structure, powerful in effect and pungent with pure horror.


What does terror mean to you?

It’s hard to put it into words, because I don’t have the exact definition. Terror is a deep emotion that grow inside our self and we can’t control. It’s something that when manifests itself, it takes all our body. Terror is just the step before the horror: it means suspense and fear. I can describe it like an anxiety to something that can happen. Horror instead is when a nightmare becomes reality: the real panic! While terror can be compared as a “pain presage”, horror is the "accomplished presage".      

Did you watch horror growing up?

No. Actually, it’s always more difficult to find a horror movie in our theatre. The problem is that the producer element has completely disappeared. These days, the people have to go through the Cultural Departments in order to receive a grant for their film. And who give you money to realize an horror film? It’s very difficult…

Who do you consider your contemporaries in Italy? Who’s making the best horror right now?

If we talk about features, the most famous director is Dario Argento: he’s the only one who can realize a real horror movie with a big budget. All the other ones (me included) are independent film-makers.

What movies influenced you and were they from Italy?

I love too many movies, Italian and not. It’s impossible say which one gave me the influence. When I’m watching a movie, I always study and analyze it from all the points of view. But after I have to be able to develop my style. The truth is that I’m influenced by everybody and anybody.

What is your take on the giallo revival? It seems that more filmmakers are looking to the classic works of Bava, Argento and Martino to create visually stunning movies with progressive rock scores. Do you think it can make a comeback?

Yes, I think the giallo genre could make a comeback, but I also believe that it’s never going to be popular as in the past.

What is your favourite aspect of the horror genre?

I believe that the horror genre is one of the most difficult genres to realize. This is because is a genre that contains all the language of cinema: camera works, lights, art, sound and music, editing, special effects, acting, etc. And now it’s always more hard to fright modern audience. They will shortly get used to the blood. But my favourite aspect is the rhythm. Rhythm is a very essential features of a film, for it decisively contributes to its mood and overall impression on the spectator.

“The Puzzle” and “The Sweet Hand of the White Rose”: two shorts that had achieved an incredible success in the world. What do you think?

That I’ve been lucky…

Lucky??? I know that your works have been screened in many international film festivals around the world and in a lot of TVs (recently “The Puzzle” was broadcast on the Monster Channel). They have been even included in the famous “Diabolique Magazine” sited in New York… And you talk about luck?

The true is that I have to look at the future. I must improve myself! I’m very proud about my latest two films, but they are the past.

In your future there is “Deep Shock”, a very intriguing title… The film is announced for 2014. Can you tell me anything about it?

I can’t be too much precise about it, because, at the present, is just a project.  

Is it going to be mysterious as “The Puzzle” or sweet like the “White Rose”?

No, no… It will be completely different of my latest films. I need to change! “The Puzzle” and “White Rose” are different films (while the first one is a thriller film, the second is a drama one) and in the same time they are very close: in both of them, in fact, there are some classic elements of fantasy. In “Deep Shock” the fantastic elements will make away for the horror ones. It will be a very dark movie.

You usually don’t show too much blood and violence in your movie. The horror is more psychological and less gore. Are you going to change it in “Deep Shock”?

Hahaha, it’s a surprise… I can just say that it will be the most scary film I made…

How many actors do you need? Did you already choose some of them?

I need five actors. I perfectly know who I want, but it’s not easy at all, because some of them are very famous in Spain. Keep the fingers crossed…

And what about the crew? Who is going to help you?

For this movie, I decided to work with a new crew (only few people that worked with me in the past are part of this one too). The film will be produced by Fabel Aguilera and me, in collaboration with Marta Pavon’s “Kai Visualutions”. There are many people who are involved in the production department on the movie and I have only listed a few here: Maikel Ramirez (Executive Producer) and Mabel Rincón Bonifacio (Production Manager). I can also add that Juan Luis Moreno will be the 1st Assistant Director, José Antonio Crespillo the Cinematographer and Fernando Moleón the Steadycam Operator. And if you want more information, I can tell you that Christian Valente is the sound-mixer and all the soundtrack will be released by the Italian Band, called “Visioni Gotiche”.

It’s great, Davide! Can’t wait to see it! Tell me the truth: are you scared when you watch one of your films?

No. I’m more scared when I write a movie than when I watch it. When I write, I have to enter, in a very deep way, inside the plot. Nothing must disturb me: the only thing that matters it’s the story. I have to transfer my soul into other people and situations. Davide Melini doesn’t exist anymore in that moment: in his place there are all the movie characters. Maybe some people doesn’t understand me, but all the writers have to pass through this process. We have to give life to new people and for this reason we have to talk, think and act like them. And when you give these people a problem, how can they respond? It’s for this that while I work on the script, I can smile or sad or even be afraid. But once I’ve shot the film, it stops scaring me.

Now I have another question: before we talked about Argento. You had the change to collaborate with him as one of the assistant directors. What is working with the master like?

Working with Dario Argento it’s been a fantastic experience. The best thing to do is see him working and try to understand his mind. Film like “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”, “The Cat O’Nine Tails”, “4 Flies on Grey Velvet”, “Deep Red”, “Suspiria”, “Inferno” and “Phenomena” are famous in all the world and I feel very honoured to see Dario working in the set.

Which Italian horror movie would you love to have worked on? Is there any that you would like to remake or see remade?

There are so many movies… After watching a film, I always try to give a look to the making of. I always like to see how people realize a film. And about the remakes, I can say without any problem, that I hate them! It’s something that I cannot accept. Why do they spend money to do something that has been already done in the past? Remakes are always worst than original movie.

What’s your favorite horror movie soundtrack?

“Psycho”, “Jaws”, “Halloween”, “The Exorcist”, “Suspiria”, “Saw”, “Deep Red”… I have to stop.

Where can our readers find your films and new?

People can visit my official web (, where they can watch videos & trailers, see posters & stills, read reviews & interviews… in there, they can discover all the news about my professional life, including of course festival awards and premieres.

When can we watch a Davide Melini’s full length feature?

When I will find people that want produce a good film in a right way. I have only a way to do that: pass through short films. They are my business cards!


It's not very often that we receive two pieces of short film at that same time to review for the same director. Needless to say that this fits in with the retro/grindhouse vibe we like to offer our readers here at the Blood Sprayer. Give a great big bloody hug to Davide Melini, Italian film director who has worked as assistant director on Mother of Tears alongside the great Dario Argento. Before you get all star struck make sure to realize that Argento is only a man, he's films are not divine and yes, his daughter is hot (my words not his). Sit back, relax and take the time to check out Senore Melini's films. Reviews to follow below.

The Sweet Hand of the White Rose


How many times have you had a bad day? How many times have you thought you would run away from everyone and everything? That is exactly what happens to Mark. In order to forget about a heated discussion with his girlfriend, he decides to get in the car and go far away. But a little mistake will change his reality forever…

This is a touching story to be certain made more heartening because it's a ghost story that's founded in a the simple truth of every day life. That truth: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND DRIVE!!! When The Sweet Hand of the White Rose kicks in you might find yourself getting misty. It's not a "jump out of the closet scare"; it shares some very emotive characteristics that I would liken to Full Circle aka The Haunted of Julia. I want you to watch this film in its entirety and then I want you to pay attention its message and live full lives. I also want those lives to be just a little more startled and aware than before you watched The Sweet Hand of the White Rose. A fine effort from Melini with some effects that give you the goose bumps just when you need them.



A woman refuses to give money to her son, despite of his continuous pressure. One night she decides to relax and forget her troubles with her favorite pastime: making puzzle. However, this simple table game hides strange features that can turn her peaceful night into a nightmare. “There is always a piece in the puzzle of your life that does not fit”

Did you ever see Night Gallery when you were a kid? Network TV used to show it quite often especially the pilot trilogy with the Roddy McDowell episode. What happens in the picture portrait happens in reality i.e. Roddy bites the big one. Well, take a look at a twist on this classic story. It's a story we've heard before and is quite famous, but it's been updated, shot well and with some pretty fancy cinematography. What I love about The Puzzle is its ability to get your heart racing in just four minutes and that's being familiar with the plot. Face paced camera movement with heart beats inserted and heightend as well as a pumping score make for a quick but fun watch. Consider this to be the short story of the horror world and not just a short film done by a talented director. You're just as likely to tell this story around campfire as you might tell your friends about the flashing high beams in the car behind the nervous woman behind the wheel who is unknowingly dodging a man with a knife in her back seat. Short, sweet and scary.

I'd like to see you shoot a movie for 300 Euros and have it end up in the finals of sixteen festivals. It's also seen some TV screen time.

To follow along with Davide Melini's progress through the celluloid universe check out his blog HERE. To listen to HORROR RISES FROM SPAIN's interview with him go HERE (I strongly encourage you to enjoy this cast... very good). Davide's shorts have been winning him accolaids and awards as well as being selected for numerous film festivals. Clearly a talented man to keep your eye


At the opening of "lo sono morta":


Francesco Picone, an independent Italian horror filmmaker, has created a visually stunning short film called “lo sono morta” or “I’m Dead” produced by SmallMovie.  Beyond the rich textured color, inspired acting performances and some gruesome special effects work (as the warning before the movie suggests), the audience is treated to an original idea.  The video is posted here so that you too might enjoy Picone’s work of art, but here’s the brief synopsis supplied for its release:

A couple of friends in a nature hike, what was to be a quiet day of relaxation, you will soon become a nightmare without end ...

There’s not much to it. The ordinary becomes absolutely anything but. I won’t spoil the story for you and I encourage you to enjoy the film, but let me tell you a bit about what grabs me and why I’m undoubtedly going to be keeping an eye on Picone’s work going forward with the hopeful continuation of the rise of the Italian horror movement in years to come. Picone captures beautiful gore and love on the same canvas and in the same scene even. He inspires his actors to have very realistic relationships on screen which any director much less a newbie can assure you is difficult to do. Elisa Forti’s performance in particular is grueling even for a short film. She is passionate before and after the nightmare begins. The plot twist for “I’m Dead” is not obvious, but for that you will have to go on an emotional journey. It’s not the goriest movie, and it’s certainly not torture porn despite how the disclaimer may foreshadow the film.

Make sure to follow “I’m Dead” and Picone’s future work by liking their FaceBook page HERE. If you like what you see tell your social network. Repost, subscribe and like the YouTube clip. This short has seen some excellent festival time (check out the FaceBook page for a complete listing) and has won several deserving awards. You can tell it’s an award candidate. It isn’t trying to copy what’s popular and it has a distinctive look at that is almost misleading. Let it mislead you.

Who do you consider your influences within the world of Italian Horror? Who do you consider internationally?

Within the world of Italian Horror I’d say Mario Bava and Dario Argento . Within the world of International Horror, instead, I’d say more recent directors like Neil Marshall, Adam Green and James Watkins. 
Did you watch horror growing up? What movies influenced you and were they from Italy?

Yes, I did. I’ve been watching so many horror movies while I was growing up. Especially all of the 70’s horror movies was important to me, in making me train up as a director, and in fact I’m a fan of movies like “Dead of Night” by Bob Clarke, “Dawn of the Dead” by George Romero and “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” by Dario Argento. I had even paid homage to 70’s movies by “A Joke of Too Much”, which is one of my previous short movies and is particularly referred to “Grindhouse” project by Tarantino and Rodriguez. 

What is your favorite aspect of the horror genre? What is your favorite subgenre?

I enjoy horror movies with any twist in their plots, like “The Sixth Sense” or “The Cabin in the Woods”. For this reason, I decided to insert a twist in my latest short movie “Io sono morta”. However, the horror sub-genre I enjoy the most is the one in which the conflict between man and nature is approached. For example, in movies like “Frozen” by Adam Green. 
What is your next project? " io sono morta " is a short, do you anticipate doing a full length feature soon?
“Io sono morta” is a short movie but it’s very close to a full-length movie because of its structure. If any producers asked me to shoot a feature of “Io sono morta”, I would do that. The real problem is that this genre of movies had gone dead in years in Italy, where nowadays you can only shoot comedy or drama movies. Because of that, Italian Horror directors must produce their movies by themselves, but after finishing they have to find any ways to distribute the same movies of theirs. That’s the hardest part, because the majority of film studios isn’t interested at all and that’s the reason why not only Horror movies, but Crime and Western ones too, had gone dead. In fact, I had to shoot “Io sono morta” by my own efforts, in a very independent way and by spending just 500 dollars. The absence of money is a great problem but I’m not afraid of that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be focused on my next Horror short movie, in which the leading actor from “Eaters”, Alex Lucchesi, is starring. 

With bloodsuckers being a part of your story in la sona morta what’s your take on Argento’s new Dracula film? 

I haven’t watched “Dracula 3D” yet but I’ll watch it as it comes out in theaters. 

The disclaimer at the beginning of la sona morta had me thinking that I might be in for a film like Saw. La sona morta is far from torture porn. It’s endearing and beautiful. How were you able to combine such beauty and violence?

There’s no doubt that “Io sono morta” is quite cruel. In fact, at its premiere I noticed how many ones in the audience were shutting their eyes by watching some sequences. But at the same time, “Io sono morta” has got some sentimental elements. Otherwise, how could someone explain the efforts made from the main character to save his girlfriend or his memories of the moments spent together with her when he’s in big trouble? The sequence in which himself asks the persecutor not to strike her girlfriend by a brick is filled with such an emotion. I’m sure that I managed to balance the cruel and the sentimental elements because of my romantic vein (laughs) 

Who do you consider your contemporaries in Italy? Who’s making the best horror right now?

Italian Horror can live by independent directors. In fact, there are so many ones who try to tell their own stories by their own expenses but often their efforts remain invisible because of what I’ve already said. 
Which Italian horror movie would you love to have worked on? Is there any that you would like to remake or see remade?

Working on the set of “Black Sunday”, or on the “Profondo Rosso” one, would have surely been great to me, in making me train up. If I had any chances, instead, I’d shoot a reboot version of “Dylan Dog”, because I’ve been reading its comics in years and I disliked so much the starring Brandon Routh movie. It was so far from all of that Dylan Dog really is and means. 

What’s your favorite horror movie soundtrack?

The soundtrack of "insidious" I was very impressed. It 's powerful and scary!
My greetings to all of the readers and thanks for your time.


Morituris directed by Raffaele Picchio and screen written by Gianluigi Perrone has been described by many as pure torture porn. While there are sequences that challenge the viewer to a test of gross will, I can assure you that this is not A Serbian Film. This does not shock to shock, and it won’t apologize. Picchio and Perrone have created a monster or rather uncovered monsters in the gladiator ghosts that lurk under the surface of the woods. You can only imagine the horror that must be endured to survive a night that is steeped in the repetition of history that we are always told is doomed to repeat itself.  Well, it’s repeating and ladies, cross your legs.

Synopsis from the website (which is a must check out):

Rome, in 73 BC, Spartacus led the rebellion of 200 gladiators which saw them opposed to the inhumanity which Rome had forced them into. During the riot they resisted for a long time against Roman soldiers. Few against a whole army. Some of them went crazy and started murders, rapes and violence. Spartacus punished them with death. But in those lands when blood gets shed, they come back.

This movie starts off pure slow burn. Some of the subtitles had me reaching for context and plot points but ultimately I realized that the film I was watching was trying to endure me to characters while completely misdirecting me. I started off thinking that I was about to watch yet another rape revenge flick. As I have said before, stop me if you’re heard this one, a group of young adults walk into the woods… Wait for the punch line here because it usually involves somebody with a hatchet or a machete or an axe. Morituris doesn’t really swing any of those; well not for some time anyway and certainly not by who you would suspect. The slow burn gives way to absolutely decadent carnage, some committed by living human and some, by gladiator undead.

The makeup and “creature” design are phenomenal. Of course it’s Sergio Stivalleti at the latex cannon. He’s worked on everything from Demons to the current Argento release Dracula 3D. The gladiator undead are larger than life. They are monstrous. In short, the perfect killing machine juggernauts. Exceptional acting and character building complete a well told tale. It also might interest you to know that Riccardo Fassone, a relative newcomer to composition for film, worked on the original score. The music is fits the beast. It is as haunting and domineering as the monstrosities who attack our unsuspecting victims. He’s  got it and you’re going to love it. This music is HUGE!

Picchio and Perrone are the kind of sick that we horror fans love. They've made a movie that is shocking, tests boundaries without forcing us to see a turtle completely torn apart (see Cannibal Holocaust for details) and ultimately has made a picture that gave me the creeps. Morituris took a little while to wind up, but once it was ready to go, it steam rolled me. Last thing I’m going to see before I start really spoiling the film although I can pretty much assure you that most of what I’ve told you already is in the trailer and the synopsis provided by the filmmakers. You will never look at a goddamn pair of scissors the same again. Think of What Have You Done to Solange? and turn the volume up to 11. 

Morituris starts off with a slower pace, but once the characters are fully developed you unleash a brutal onslaught of sadistic violence. Was the slow build up to build empathy for your characters?

Gianluigi Perrone: Exactly. Having this development almost entirely in the car was for budget reasons, but it was necessary to create empathy with the characters. When you feel related to them, the shock of the twist will be stronger. It was important to show realistically that the guys are a team and have a true relationship between them. Later you will find that this relationship is based on the  urge of violence, but you can feel there's something wrong in their friendship. The driver was meant to seem the classic slasher hero, becoming a real bastard with great disappointment of the audience. It was all about playing with the clichès and expectations of the audience. Also in the end of the film when the Good fails and the Evil is going to be saved but real Evil prevails at last.

The gladiator effects are quite unique as are certain kill sequences. From where did you draw your inspiration for this look? Was the “scissor insertion” influenced by a previous Italian film? Sergio Stivaletti’s work is always a visual treat.

Raffaele Picchio: The gladiator's armor are reproduction of real armature. When I saw for the first time in this little Roman museum this creepy helmet, very similar to Jason Voorhes masks (the helmet of the first gladiator in the film) the first idea was “Fuck me! Figure out a psycho-slave-killer dressed in this way try to slash an “actual” girl?”. I was with Tiziano Martella, the guy who wrote the history with me, and the idea to put this creepy figure into a slasher construction was born naturally. We have a very brutal, dark history....why can't we use it?!? Sergio Stivaletti is a big name in history of special effects, he works in every big cult movie and he was happy to work with this gladiator stuff, because is a big fan of ancient rome imaginary.

GP:Actually the scissor insertion came from a curse I was saying to my ex-girlfriend’s sister. This is the first time I have talked about it.

The Bloody Pit of Horror is playing the background of one of the more interesting sexual assaults in the film. Was this to pay tribute to that film?

RP: That movie is a super-funny-cult movie. The italian title is “Il boia scarlatto” (The crimson executioner) and the “colours” of this film and the extreme tortured sequences (like the warm bull) is a link for this sequence. But the real inspiration and homage came from Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, an amazing novel I red several times, because ideally the character in the movie interpreted by Francesco Malcom is inspired by Patrick Bateman. They are both the sick sons of hypocrit society.

I could help but notice that sound was almost an actor in and of itself. The sound is big and loud and prominent. Was this due to the collaboration between you and Riccardo Fassone?

RP: Riccardo is a great musician. In this last years I heard a lot of drone music and experimental black metal and Gianluigi is a great fun of industrial music. Riccardo maybe is the only who can take this influences and put together. We were searching a dark, oppressive sound very distant from the rock-prog of old italian films. This is the result and I think it's a very great work. The main theme of the movie is a black metal song called “Roma Divina Urbs” by Aborym, the party song is called Stupro e Addio and is played by grindcore italian band Cripple Bastards (we shot the official video of this song).

For Cripple Bastards – Stupro e Addio

Aborym – Roma Divina Urbs

Who do you consider your influences within the world of Italian Horror? Who do you consider internationally?

GP: Italian: Aldo Lado, Ruggero Deodato, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Carmelo Bene and of course Joe D'Amato. Internationals: Alexandre Aja, Rob Zombie, Fabrice Du Welz, Koji Wakamatsu, Suzuki Norifumi, Tobe Hooper of course, Robert Aldrich, Howard Hawks. And many, many others.

RP: I subscrive all the names of Gianluigi and for the italian I should say also Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava, Massimo Dallamano, Antonio Margheriti, Riccardo Freda. For the international: Douglas Hickox, Roger Corman, John Carpenter, Lars Von Trier, Alex de la Iglesia, Sam Packinpah,The Monty Python and the Marx bros. But there are a lot of other names unfortunately missing in this list...

 Did you watch horror growing up? What movies influenced you and were they from Italy?

RP: I start to watch movies since I was a little baby. All kids have a peluche or some kind of action man, but I had the Roncor of Star Wars. The first image of horror movie was Nightbreed in the cinemas and a screener on tv of Evil Dead. Since then I started to go every year to Fantafestival (a famous horror festival in Rome) and only after years of visions I discovered the Italian world of horror with Cannibal Holocaust, Zombi, L'aldilà and some mondo movies...Actually I never stop watching and discovering movies and cinematographies.

What is your favorite aspect of the horror genre? What is your favorite subgenre?

GP:Being experimental and full of subtextes. Almost all the greatest directors of all times made horror. Say one name and check the filmography. There's at least one horror film.

RP: Everything can be “Horror” even a love story. Is a very malleable genre, a place for every kind of experiment. The cinema itself  was born with the fear and horror (The train of Lumiere, the experiment of meliès, das cabinet der dr. Caligari or Nosferatu, etc....).

 What is your next project?

RP: There's a project but it's too soon to speak about it. I can say only there will be a very sad,  drammatic, grim and brutal "love story"....

What is your take on the giallo revival? It seems that more filmmakers are looking to the classic works of Bava, Argento and Martino to create visually stunning movies with progressive rock scores. Have you considered working within this subgenre?

RP: Why? There's a “giallo” revival? Make a true “giallo” is really hard, and truthfully except the great movie “Amer” (a real and cleaver homage to Sergio Martino's cinema very close to the videoart) I don't see all this “giallo” movie. The italian horror is much more exploited maybe because it's more “easy”, we'll see the new work of Federico Zampaglione a homage to old italian “giallo” movies. Personally I never had the idea to shoot something similar.....

Who do you consider your contemporaries in Italy? Who’s making the best horror right now?

RP: It's a very hard question, because actually in Italy the genre no longer exists. I can say maybe the last great Italian horror is Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore or Mariano Baino's Dark Waters, but both "older". Now the genre, in particular horror movies, lives thanks to the works made by the indie scene. And it's very fucking hard work without money, made terrible sacrifices only to try to shoot "another kind of movie". In this last years the quality of this movie is much better and we made a lot of different, interesting movies, but find a distribution in cinemas is really difficult. Nobody here goes to the cinema, and the only few horror movie who tried to do this (like Shadow or At the End of the Day) are a commercial's a very sad situation....

Which Italian horror movie would you love to have worked on? Is there any that you would like to remake or see remade?

GP:Old ones mostly, 'cause there should be a lot of learning. Sergio Martino and Enzo Castellari most of all. New ones are Giallo and Dracula 3D by Dario Argento, to understand why.

RP:_I don't like so much the idea of making a remake of some masterpiece cult film. I love, so much, movies like Aldo lado's "l'ultimo treno della notte" (NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS), Mario bava's "La maschera del demonio"(MASK OF SATAN AKA BLACK SUNDAY), Freda's "danza macabra" (CASTLE OF BLOOD) and all the works of lucio fulci and massimo dallamano (Cosa avete fatto a solange (WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLNAGE?) is one of best italian thriller of 70's) but all this movies are perfect.There's a lot of "bad" cult movies with a lot of cleaver ideas inside, maybe is better start from one of these for a possible "remake".... 

 What’s your favorite horror movie soundtrack?

RP: If I got choose a classic soundtrack, maybe Prince of Darkness by John Carpenter. In my last visions I can said Vinyan and Enter the Void (yes, it's not a "horror" but it's fuckin awesome).
But my favourite soundtrack in absolute is Akira made by Shoji Yamashiro

GP:Chi l'ha vista morire (WHO SAW HER DIE?).

To be continued.. 



  1. This is great. I hadn't kept up with any modern Italian film.

  2. Just wait for the other two parts... the third part is someone who you might be just a wee bit familiar with.

  3. Very interesting interviews, anyone that says "Of course, Joe D'Amato" is A number 1 in my book!

  4. I actually thought of you when writing this up. Uncle Joe is the wild card in the deck. Everyone loves'em.

  5. I loved everything about this- and there's more? Cant Wait

  6. 2 more parts tomorrow and the other a little later in the week. Glad you enjoyed it thus far.