ORIGINS OF GIALLO | Offscreen
Many historians have tried to unravel the mysterious origins of one of the most flamboyant Italian genres: the giallo film. Mario Bava and Dario Argento are the founding fathers of this genre in which gloved murderers turn killing into an art form. Some say its origins go back to the Italian telefoni bianchi of the fascist era, but the visual craziness of that genre is absent in the giallo. Others claim the roots can be found with filmmakers such as Clouzot or Powell. But when it comes to the giallo as a film industry, its origins are undoubtedly German, more in particular the krimi. At the end of the 1950s, Rialto Film produced an entire series of Edgar Wallace adaptations that revived German cinema as a whole, complete with mysterious, iconic killers sowing panic in London: "Der Hai", "Der Frosch" or "Der Hexer", for example. By the end of the late 1960s, however, the krimi had lost its artistic and financial appeal and Rialto Film turned to the Italians to co-produce the last krimis. Those become the first gialli, such as Massimo Dallamano's "Cosa avete fatto a Solange?"