Plot: All the Colors of Giallo is a feature length look at one of the most stylish horror genres, the seductive and violent world of giallo cinema. This piece provides a broad overview of giallo and begins at the origins of the genre, the yellow tinted books that inspired the movement. The film guides us from creation through the evolution of the genre and how it influenced horror as a whole, as well as how it was influenced by other forces, such as the German Krimi pictures. A host of subjects are interviews and this includes a wealth of high profile filmmakers and performers, from Dario Argento to Edwige Fenech and beyond. These first hand accounts are invaluable and hearing from so many of the actual artists involved makes All the Colors of Giallo a must have for fans of the genre and horror in general.
Entertainment Value: This is a fantastic introduction to giallo, a well crafted and packed with information documentary that makes what could an imposing genre into one that feels quite accessible. If you’re new to giallo or have just dipped your toe into the genre, you are bound to finish this movie and feel much more equipped and informed, not to mention have a long list of titles to explore. The documentary doesn’t go too in depth however, so if you have a basic grasp on the genre, you might not get as much out of this as someone newer to giallo. This is always an issue with these specialized examinations of genres, but I don’t think it is a problem, as it is more important to welcome fresh audiences than catering to established fans. And to that point, All the Colors of Giallo still has value even if you’re an expert on giallo, as the interviews with the artists involved are a pleasure to watch. So even if it isn’t a deep dive, the documentary has plenty to offer, regardless of your giallo experience.
The one issue I do see with All the Colors of Giallo is that it has a very restrained, almost academic approach. This would be fine if it was indeed a deep, in depth examination, but as a more introductory journey, it feels stuffy, to say the least. This is especially true in the wake of films like Not Quite Hollywood, which provide similar road maps, but in a much more kinetic, vibrant fashion. This one feels more like a collection of interviews we’d see as part of Blu-ray supplements, with some trailer footage mixed in at times, not always the most engaging method. The interviews also mostly look the same, with a bookshelf behind the subject and while that isn’t a big deal, more visual variety wouldn’t have hurt at all. But the information is great, so while the presentation isn’t memorable, it covers the basic needs of the material. I found All the Colors of Giallo to be well made and informative, well worth seeking out.
The Disc: Severin Films has released the documentary as part of an impressive package of content that genre fans will devour. The main disc includes over four hours of giallo trailers, sure to bloat your “to see” list into the stratosphere, as there is such a wealth of interesting films included. If you’re on the fence about diving into the genre, these trailers will nudge you and then some, not to mention give you a good idea of what to expect once you begin your exploration. The disc also includes an interview with John Martin, who edits The Giallo Pages. A second disc focuses on the Krimi genre, with over 90 minutes of trailers highlighting Germany’s giallo-like genre, with an interview with film historian Marcus Stiglegger. This is again a great way to boost your wish list of titles to see, as well as get a nice overview of what Krimi is all about. Still not done however, as a third disc offers a CD soundtrack of a nice scope of giallo music, with some of the genre’s most acclaimed composers represented.