Film Review: Giallo (2009)

Usually, there exists a line between casual fans and obsessive fans within the genre. Those that watch horror films and then move along to their normal every day lives are, for the most part, the casual fan. Then, there are those that take on a new level of fandom. The obsessive fan. I'm probably in that second category when it comes to Mr. Dario Argento. You see...I've always dreamed of marrying his daughter, the exquisite Asia Argento, in hopes of legally changing my last name to Argento and becoming his son-in-law. I own every Argento film ever created in every format (including Laserdisc)...even the bad ones. Speaking of his bad films...I've been meaning to get a review in on his last one. The unfortunately bad...Giallo.

I say unfortunate...because when there exists a film called Giallo...and it is by the master of that little subgenre of the same name...Mr. Dario Argento. stars one of my favorite genre actors, Adrien Brody. The fucking film is supposed to be amazingly awesome! No. It is not to be. So, for my complete review of the film...I will give an unbiased score stripping my sheer fandom of the guy and simply giving a viewpoint from the lover of horror film that I am....and I will give a separate score as the man that would deliver the blood of 20 infants if he told me it would bind my soul to his.

Ok...let us begin...shall we?

Giallo follows the lovely Linda (an older Emmanuelle Seigner) as she teams up with detective Enzo (Brody) to save her sister from the evil clutches of a serial killer known only as "Yellow"...because he's yellow. And also "yellow" is giallo in Italian. Makes sense...I guess. Anyway..."Yellow" kidnaps young hot girls in his taxicab and proceeds to drug which to mutilate them and eventually kill them. He enjoys taking pictures of the entire process for masturbatory gratification. So, you see...the stage is set for Mr. Argento to come in and knock the fucking premise out of the stratosphere. Only...he didn't.

While there are several script issues that plague the film. Such as the way that the kidnappings are actually done and the way that "Yellow" picks up his medication from the local hospital....both completely idiotic and lame when you actually see it all happen onscreen. The main thing that kept distracting me as someone who simply wanted to sit down and enjoy a return to Argento's finer years was the way that "Yellow" himself fucking looked. I mean...he looked like fucking Gomer Pyle from the Andy Griffith Show...if someone painted his skin yellow. He looked goofy as hell and it was nigh impossible to watch the film and take him for someone who's supposed to strike fear and be the symbol of terror for the film. Instead, I imagined the goofy serial killer whacking off to pictures all day on his Dell...which promoted nothing but laughter. So, once "Yellow" was was hard to watch the rest of the film with any kind of weight as a horror fan. It sucks even more because "Yellow" is actually introduced early in the film.

I very much loved the look of the film and both Seigner and Brody were mostly great in their roles. There's even a really cool subplot involving Detective Enzo's back story that could have led somewhere worthwhile.  But, I just couldn't enjoy the rest of the film based on how idiotic the main villain was. I mean...would Halloween have been the classic that it went on to be had Michael Myers worn a Chuck E. Cheese costume and went around smacking off to his dead victims? Well...who knows. What I do know is that "Yellow" is fucking hilarious. And without having a true threat in your Dario Argento directed/written film named Giallo with a brilliant lead actor in Adrien Brody...then, your film just becomes 92 minutes of great actors running around in Italy filmed in beautiful-looking cinematography without any real purpose or captivating conclusion.

I didn't care about this film once it was over and went on to finish the game of Words that I was having with my friend Nathan, who incidentally kicked my ass because I was laughing too hard to play seriously while watching Giallo.

However, as a dedicated worshipper of the Argento Holy Cult...I enjoyed the film well enough to recommend it to anyone who's been a lover of all things Argento for awhile. While it does have some weird stuff in it that will surely have you questioning your allegiance to the master, it is ultimately a film called Giallo by the man who created the subgenre in the first place. You gotta love that.

It is interesting to point out that even though Brody truly cherished his time shooting the film, he legally barred the release of the film in the U.S. because the film studio didn't pay him his full salary. He finally came to a settlement with the producers of the film and Giallo was released earlier this year on DVD. Argento has also said of the film that he thought the producers' final cut of Giallo sucked big donkey balls and has since detached himself from the project.

3.0 out of 5
(Argento Worshippers)

1 out of 5
(Everyone Else)

Also...just wanted to mention that Elsa Pataky and her boobies are in the film. Unfortunately, she's strapped to a table and mutilated most of the film. And her boobies are pretty much kept under wraps. So, there's that.

Thanks for reading,