All the Colors of Giallo [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Severin Films
Review written by and copyright: Anthony Arrigo (13th February 2019).
The Film

The heyday of the Italian giallo film was approximately a decade, lasting through the 70's mostly, but the impact that movement had on horror has influenced countless filmmakers. There are still some giallo films produced these days, but the genre experienced a precipitous drop-off in the 80's and virtually every title still talked about today was made during the early 70's boom. The world of Italian horror can be a bit obtuse and confusing to the uninitiated, though, which is why a concise overview like “All the Colors of Giallo” (2018) is a useful documentary. Horror fans well-versed in the pulpy world of yellow violence might find the information here redundant or glib; there is an awful lot to cover. This piece paints in broader strokes, too, tracing a lengthy route from early beginnings to the genre’s apex and eventual dwindling output.

I see this release as more of a celebration of giallo – and its German sibling genre, the “krimi” – and less of something designed to be all-encompassing and hugely informative. You get the expected interview with Dario Argento discussing his output, “rivalry” with Lucio Fulci, stylistic choices, etc. There are a number of scholarly interviewees who offer up critical thoughts and comparative discussion on the emerging talent in the giallo scene. Practically all of the major titles are touched upon, with some minor works getting a brief highlight, too. Again, if you’re a horror fan who has been devoutly purchasing every giallo title from the major studios – Arrow Video, Scream Factory, Severin, etc. – and you’ve watched a majority of the bonus features contained therein then much of this might seem like old hat. If that’s the cast then just consider this documentary an attractive bonus to the real meat & potatoes here: that trailer reel.

Running a mammoth four hours, Severin has included “Giallothon”, a gargantuan reel of giallo trailers available to watch individually or in one marathon session via the “play all” option. Additionally, Kat Ellinger, author of “All the Colors of Sergio Martino”, is on hand to provide optional audio commentary. If the documentary didn’t provide enough recommendations for titles to watch, certainly a few dozen in this lengthy assemblage of murder will inspire interest.

In order to ensure the Italians aren’t having ALL the fun, the bonus DVD in this set also includes “Kriminal! Trailer Compilation”, which is 90 minutes of krimi film trailers. This is a sub-genre of which I am far less familiar than giallo, so having a reel of films to digest in small bits and add to my watch list is fantastic.

Video

The documentary proper is presented with a 1.78:1 HD 1080p 24/fps image that is nicely lit, capably shot, and visually in line with how viewers might expect a modern movie filled with talking heads to appear. The intercut giallo film footage has been cleaned up well enough that it is commensurate with the interview footage. Once we get to the trailer reels, footage quality is variable, which is to be expected.

Audio

Similarly, the Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo track serviceably carries audio with no detectable defects. The accompanying score tracks are powerful and robust, with some cues sounding fuller than they have on any previous home video editions. Subtitles are included in English.

Extras

DISC ONE: BLU-RAY

“The Giallo Frames – Interview with John Martin, editor of Giallo Pages” (1080p) featurette runs for 19 minutes and 30 seconds.

“Giallothon” (1080p) trailer reel runs for 4 hours and 1 minute, with giallo trailers available to watch individually or concurrently with the “play all” feature. Optional audio commentary with Kat Ellinger, author of “All the Colors of Sergio Martino”, is also available.

DISC TWO: DVD

“Kriminal!” trailer compilation runs for 1 hour, 30 minutes and 48 seconds.

“The Case of the Krimi – Interview with Film Historian Marcus Stiglegger” runs for 23 minutes and 29 seconds.

DISC THREE: CD

This set also includes a specially curated CD soundtrack, filled with cuts from giallo films. These musical selections are often the highlight of their respective films, so the inclusion of a CD that culls from so many films is a boon for this package.

Packaging

The three-disc set comes housed in a standard Blu-ray keep case, with a swinging hinge tray holding discs two and three.

Overall

The documentary is mostly for those looking to brush up on their giallo knowledge, or those who want an easily digestible entrance in to this baroque world, but that is only a small piece of this big package. The real meals to seal the deal are the two trailer reels and a sumptuous CD soundtrack, stuffed with sexy and sinister sounds.

The Film: B Video: B+ Audio: B+ Extras: A- Overall: B+

 


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