Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1957–1969


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About the Book

The “Gothic” style was a key trend in Italian cinema of the 1950s and 1960s because of its peculiar, often strikingly original approach to the horror genre. These films portrayed Gothic staples in a stylish and idiosyncratic way, and took a daring approach to the supernatural and to eroticism, with the presence of menacing yet seductive female witches, vampires and ghosts. Thanks to such filmmakers as Mario Bava (Black Sunday), Riccardo Freda (The Horrible Dr. Hichcock), and Antonio Margheriti (Castle of Blood), as well the iconic presence of actress Barbara Steele, Italian Gothic horror went overseas and reached cult status. The book examines the Italian Gothic horror of the period, with an abundance of previously unpublished production information drawn from official papers and original scripts. Entries include a complete cast and crew list, home video releases, plot summary and the author’s analysis. Excerpts from interviews with filmmakers, scriptwriters and actors are included. The foreword is by film director and scriptwriter Ernesto Gastaldi.

About the Author(s)

Roberto Curti is an Italian film historian and the author of numerous published books and articles. He lives in Cortona, Italy.

Bibliographic Details

Roberto Curti

Foreword by Ernesto Gastaldi

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9437-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1989-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ernesto Gastaldi  1
Preface  3
Introduction: Gothic, Italian Style  11
Abbreviations  19
The Films  21
Selected Bibliography  201
Index  205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Book of the Year—Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award
  • “the best book I’ve read on that subgenre…lovers of Italian Gothic horror film will find much to praise…an enjoyably precise, lovingly penned examination of a stylistic wave of cinema that didn’t live long, but endures in an afterlife thanks to digital media, fervid fans and, yes, texts like Curti’s”—Bookgasm
  • “passionately researched…every cinephile must read”—ARBA
  • “Curti writes with great passion on the subject, showing great knowledge”—Hellbound
  • “the best book I’ve read on that subgenre…a wealth of poster art and production stills exists to liven up the layout, as well as set mood”—Flick Attack