While the release of Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage gave rise to a glut of imitators, there was more to the giallo than just shameless copycats setting out to ape a rigid formula. This volume of Giallo Essentials celebrates the range and breadth of the genre with three lesser-seen films from its early 1970s heyday.
In Silvio Amadio’s Smile Before Death, familicide with a sprinkling of Oedipal love is the order of the day when teenager Nancy (Jenny Tamburi, The Suspicious Death of a Minor) returns home to discover the apparent suicide of her mother, and quickly comes to suspect that her stepfather (Silvano Tranquilli, The Bloodstained Butterfly) and his mistress (Rosalba Neri, The French Sex Murders) are to blame.
Next, horny priests and self-flagellating nuns abound in Francesco Mazzei’s The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive, as police commissioner Franco Boito (Renzo Montagnani, Massacre in Rome) investigates the brutal murder of a young clergyman, only to enter into an affair with the dead man’s lover (Bedy Moratti, Calling All Police Cars).
Finally, in Giuseppe Bennati’s The Killer Reserved Nine Seats, an assortment of wealthy degenerates – including Italian cult mainstays Andrea Scotti (Django, Prepare a Coffin) and Howard Ross (The Pyjama Girl Case) – answer the summons of an eccentric nobleman (Chris Avram, A Bay of Blood) and assemble in the theatre attached to his ancestral home, only to find themselves trapped in the decaying building while a savage killer picks them off Agatha Christie-style!
With gory murders, wanton debauchery and left-field plot twists a-plenty, all three of these oft-overlooked gialli are restored in 2K from their original camera negatives – including brand-new, Arrow-exclusive restorations of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive – alongside a range of in-depth bonus features.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new 2K restorations from the original camera negatives of Smile Before Death and The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive
• 2K restoration from the original camera negative of The Killer Reserved Nine Seats
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of each film
• Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks on Smile Before Death and The Killer Reserved Nine Seats
• Original lossless mono Italian soundtrack on The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive
• English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
• Rigid box packaging with original poster artwork in a windowed Giallo Essentials Collection slipcover
• Reversible sleeves for each film featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais, Peter Strain and Haunt Love
DISC ONE: SMILE BEFORE DEATH
• Brand new audio commentary by authors and critics Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
• Original Italian and English front and end titles
• Smile of the Hyena, a brand new video interview with Stefano Amadio, film journalist and son of director Silvio Amadio
• Never-before-seen extended nude scenes, not used in the final film
• Image gallery
DISC TWO: THE WEAPON, THE HOUR, THE MOTIVE
• Brand new audio commentary by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
• A Man in Giallo, a brand new video interview with actor Salvatore Puntillo
• Front and end titles for the lost English-language dub
• Image gallery
DISC THREE: THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS
• Brand new audio commentary by author and critic Kat Ellinger
• Hanging with Howard, a video interview with actor Howard Ross
• Writing with Biagio, a video interview with screenwriter Biagio Proietti
• Italian theatrical trailer (in Italian and English)
• Image gallery
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: individual illustrated collector’s booklets for each film, featuring new writing by Rachael Nisbet, Barry Forshaw and Peter Jilmstad