Beginner's Guide to Italian Horror

by Tim Lucas

Editor of Video Watchdog

[FAFR Editor's Note:  This originally appeared on the now defunct and sorely missed Home Video Board.  It's used here by permission.  Directors and years have been added.  Check the Resources: Articles section for an unrelated history.]

Excluding Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci titles, here's a list of recommendations, appropriately categorized:


The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (Riccardo Freda, 1962) (try to find the Terror of Dr. Hichcock version, which runs 8 essential minutes longer)  [A detailed production history can be found in Video Watchdog #49. - Ed.]

The Mill of the Stone Women (Giorgio Ferroni, 1960)

The Third Eye by Mino Guerrini, this was later remade by Joe D'Amato as gore classic Buried Alive

The Witch (Damiano Damiani, 1966), based on the Carlos Fuentes novella "Aura"


Pupi Avati's Revenge of the Dead / Zeder (1983) and The House With the Windows That Laughed (1976).

Anything by Dario Argento up to and including Tenebrae (1982). I find all his later work (Phenomena (1984), Opera (1987), Trauma (1992), The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)) to be unsatisfying.

Anything by Michele Soavi.  [Such as Dellamorte Dellamore / Cemetary Man (1994), The Church (1988), Aquarius / Stage Fright (1987).]

Lamberto Bava's Macabre aka Frozen Terror (1980).   A Blade in the Dark (1983) and Body Puzzle (1991) are above average.


The Bloody Pit of Horror (Massimo Pupillo, 1965)

The Playgirls and the Vampire (Piero Regnoli, 1962)

The Vampire and the Ballerina (Renato Polselli, 1959)

Atom-Age Vampire (Anton Giulio Majano, 1960)

The Hyena of London; very nice, offbeat thriller with interesting construction) (Mancini, 1964)

Scream of the Demon Lover (José Luis Merino, 1970)

Lady Frankenstein (Ernst R. von Theumer, 1971)

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