The thriller genre “Giallo” is mostly an Italian subgenre. Giallo films are recognised for their odd musical compositions, confusing whodunit narratives, gory gore, sexual imagery, and operatic visual style. Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Sergio Martino, Lucio Fulci, and Umberto Lenzi were among the directors who popularised them in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We’re going to rank the ten greatest Giallo films of all time, the ones you should see if you’re just getting into the genre. So, get your leather gloves on. It’s time to splatter some blood.

1. A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin (1971)

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Director- Lucio Fulci

Carol Hammond, her husband Frank Hammond, and her stepdaughter Joan Hammond reside in a posh building in London. Carol is the adored daughter of Edmond Brighton, a wealthy and distinguished lawyer and politician. While Frank is his office partner and has a love affair with Deborah. Julia Durer, Carol’s next-door neighbour, is a nasty lady who supports drug-fueled parties and orgies. Carol has psychoanalysis sessions with Dr. Kerr and is fascinated by a nightmare in which she stabs Julia three times while a couple looks on. Inspector Corvin and his partner Sgt. Brandon is on mission to investigate Julia’s death after she discovers dead in her apartment.

2. Deep Red (1975)

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Director- Dario Argento

A renowned psychic receives a disturbing message that a killer is in the audience during a special conference on the paranormal. He is whisked back to her apartment, where she is brutally murdered by an unknown assailant. A local reporter pairs up with a witness, who turns out to be a pianist, to investigate the psychic’s death. They run into a snag after interviewing her business partner and decide to part ways. After both of their investigations came to a halt, they decided to put their differences aside. Now, they work together to tackle the problem.

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Soon, they realise that the killer has been targeting him after following a jumble of clues. It appears to have no link to one another. A friend offers an essential contribution as they continue their investigation. With this new piece of information, they begin piecing together the puzzle and rush to catch the killer before he strikes again.

3. Blood And Black Lace (1964)

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Director- Mario Bava

The models of the design firm managed by Countess Christina Como and her lover Max Morlan are rattled when the model Isabella is slain by a masked assassin. Nicole, the model, discovers Isabella’s diary late at night and borrows her friend Peggy Peyton’s car to drive to her boyfriend Frank Sacalo’s store to meet him. However, the masked assailant pursues Nicole and murders her in the hopes of discovering the notebook. Peggy, on the other hand, had stolen the diary in order to erase pages that could be used against her. She was also murdered by the perpetrator. Meanwhile, Inspector Sylvester has a suspect list that includes Frank. He blackmails Marquis Richard Morell into providing him with the required alibi.

4. What Have You Done To Solange? (1972)

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Director- Massimo Dallamano

Enrico ‘Henry’ Rosseni, an Italian gym instructor in London, falls in love with Elizabeth, an eighteen-year-old student who is the niece of the owner of the Catholic school where he works and she studies. Herta, his estranged wife, teaches music and German. Enrico and Elizabeth are in a boat in a grove one day when she notices a man searching down a woman. Enrico thinks she’s lying, but the next morning he finds that a teenager was murdered in the grove’s riverbank. Inspector Barth visits the school since the victim, Hilda, was a student there, and Enrico becomes the leading suspect, despite Elizabeth’s ability to provide an alibi. When a second student is killed, followed by Elizabeth, Enrico decides to look into it and works up with Herta to track down the mysterious Solange.

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5. Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972)

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Director- Sergio Martino

Oliviero is a burnt-out writer who lives on his estate outside Verona, his thoughts dominated by his dead mother. He’s also a degenerate, sleeping with his housekeeper and an ex-student, hosting a Bacchanalia for local hippies, and humiliating his wife Irina in public. She lives in constant fear. Oliviero is suspected of murdering a young woman. When his young, gorgeous, and confident niece, Floriana, pays him an unexpected visit, things get complicated. A stranger with grey hair looks around. More women perish, and ideas of injuring Irina inspire Oliviero. Who is the attentive stranger and what is Floriana’s game? Satan, a black cat, keeps an eye on everything.

6. Don’t Torture A Duckling (1972)

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Director- Lucio Fulci

The God-fearing residents of the tranquil Italian village of Accendura are absolutely powerless in the face of an unseen insane killer who has been murdering their children. Another young kid goes missing as reporters, including the curious Andrea Martelli, swarm into the superstitious hamlet to chronicle the tragic storey. Martelli links up with Patrizia, a sexy newbie from Milan, to track down the elusive psychopath, and before long, the first of a succession of prime candidates is apprehended. Can the cops and amateur detectives find the murderer before it’s too late?

7. A Bay Of Blood (1971)

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Director- Mario Bava

As the luxurious mansion of the bereft wheelchair user, Countess Federica Donati, is stigmatised by murder, the unscrupulous real estate agent Franco Ventura and his equally immoral lover, Laura, devise an audacious plan to take over the magnificent property. One small signature is all that stands between them and their wildest aspirations; but, someone who isn’t afraid to get blood on his hands is hell-bent on weeding out the competition. There is no turning back now that the smell of carnage and easy profit has turned the aristocratic lady’s kin into animals.

8. The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970)

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Director- Dario Argento

A few days before his scheduled departure to the United States, American writer Sam Dalmas observes a murder attempt on Monica Ranieri, the owner of an art gallery. Inspector Morosini, who is in charge of tracking down the serial killer’s three previous victims, approaches Dalmas and requests for his assistance, as well as his passport. Dalmas chooses to stay with Julia and assist the police in their investigation. Dalmas and Julia are threatened over the phone by the killer, and the cops hear a weird noise on the tape. Julia and Damas are soon pursued by a serial killer.

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9. The Girl Who Knew Too Much/ TheEvil Eye (1969)

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Director- Mario Bava

A runaway truck carrying the body of a killed gang leader crashes into Johnny Cain’s California nightclub, which he owns as a hardened former free-lance adventurer. Unless Johnny solves the murder, the gang threatens to kill him. The CIA is also looking into the slaying since it turns out it was part of a long-term Communist plot to take over the crime syndicate. Cain’s search for answers leads him into a maze of gorgeous girls, intriguing Oriental statues, and assassins.

10. Death Walks On High Heels (1971)

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Director- Luciano Ercoli

On a train, Rochard, a well-known diamond thief, is cut to death. His daughter Nicole, a well-known Parisian nightclub performer, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds, but she denies any knowledge of the matter. A masked figure with piercing blue eyes then terrorises Nicole, demanding to know where her father has put the stolen diamonds. Nicole and her new-found friend Dr. Robert Matthews go to England, ostensibly for protection, after suspecting that her jealous boyfriend Michel is the guy bothering her. However, the assailant will attack once more.

Giallo films are tough to get into, as they have all of the ingredients that you don’t tend to find in many mainstream American films. But if you enjoy a good mystery and you’re able to see past the sometimes excessive violence, then these films can be quite enjoyable. To learn more about this unique cinematic experience, check out Greatest Giallo Films for a comprehensive list of the genre’s most significant works.

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