Giallo a Venezia

Giallo a Venezia, also known as Giallo in Venice, has a reputation for being one of the sleaziest films produced in an already sleazy sub genre. Giallos, for the uninitiated, are Italian horror films known for their extreme violence and usually punctuated by scenes of explicit sex; they heavily influenced the American slasher films of the 70s and 80s, but, for the most part, American horrors paled in comparison to their Italian counterparts.

There may be only a few deaths in Giallo a Venezia but the scenes are quite gory: there’s an immolation, a graphic dismemberment, and the usual requisite stabbings. Giallo a Venezia does feature plenty of  sex and nudity, but the bare bodies on display frequently further the plot. After finding a married couple’s dead bodies on the Venice beach, a detective is baffled by the crime’s seeming lack of motive. We spend the rest of the movie inter-cutting between the detective working on his case and flashbacks of the deceased couple. The film’s flashback structure is unique for a giallo, detailing the married couple’s last days before their death. Their marriage is, to put it politely, very rocky. The husband suffers from a cocaine addiction and frequently indulges in kinky sex acts meant to debase his wife.

While Giallo a Venezia may lack the social commentary of Lucio Fulci or the swooping camera-work and visual styling of Dario Argento, it is still a giallo that can comfortably stand on merits of its own.

Unlike some other giallos from the period that have been lovingly restored on Bluray, tracking down a copy of Giallo a Venezia may present quite a challenge. I had to settle for a sub-par VHS rip.