January 24, 2015

Retro Horror Hotties: The Women of Italian Horror

Back in the 70's & 80's, Italian directors, especially those of the Horror variety, had an excellent habit of filling their movies with some of the most gorgeous women in the World. For us, many of the women who starred in these movies were a part of our formative years, and just seeing their faces today takes us back to a time when Horror movies began to warp our fragile little minds.

Some of them had long and storied careers, while others had short yet impactful ones. Either way, we love the women who populated the Italian Horror films of the 70's & 80's, as they truly seemed to be a rare breed.

The women featured below are only a small sampling of what the Italian Horror movies of old had to offer in the way of beauty, so don't take this as a definitive list or anything. This is just a quick tribute meant to give some well-earned attention to both the ladies and the films that they starred in, and you should definitely make it a point to check them out.

*Finding good Hottie pictures of some of these ladies was damn near impossible, so we apologize for the overall lack of sexy poses and excess skin. Heathens.

Also, be sure to check out our Best of... Italian Horror post HERE

Notable Retro Roles: Demons 2, The Church, Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome, The Phantom of the Opera.

Daughter of legendary director Dario Argento and seminal Genre actress Daria Nicolodi, Asia Argento is practically Horror Royalty. Cast in her father's films from a young age, Asia started out as a cute kid, and basically grew into a sexbomb before our very eyes. To us, she's kinda like the Italian version of Eva Green; she's fearless, she's talented, she's sexy, and she's not afraid to get naked at any given time.

You can't really discuss the Women of Italian Horror without Asia's name being part of that discussion.

*By the way, the correct way to pronounce her name is  "AH-zee-ah." We got that one wrong for many, many years.

Notable Retro Roles: Deep Red, Suspiria, Beyond the Door II, Inferno, Tenebrae, Phenomena, Delirium, Opera.

Speaking of Asia's mother, Daria Nicolodi has had a long and storied career in Italian Horror that rivals even that of her beloved bambina's. She was not only a mainstay of husband Dario's films throughout the 70's & 80's, but she's also worked with plenty of other Italian filmmakers including both Mario and Lamberto Bava.

She may not be as "hot" as daughter Asia, but she's definitely a sexy classic in her own right.

There are a handful of ladies in this Dario Argento classic that were sexy in that special, 70's way, and we'll probably do a post about them all when the new Blu-ray is released later this year, because they definitely deserve it. For now though, we'll just say that because of Suspiria, Eva Axen is one of the most recognizable faces in Italian Horror (thanks to her death scene), and that Jessica Harper still makes us swoon.

Notable Retro Roles: City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, The House by the Cemetery,

If you've seen any of the three films that make up Lucio Fulci's "Gates of Hell Trilogy," then you know the face of Catriona MacColl. She had a sexy sweetness about her that made her stand out, and she could scream with the best of them. Without her, these Fulci classics just wouldn't feel the same.

Notable Retro Roles: Inferno, The House by the Cemetery, Tenebrae.

She may have only acted in a few movies during her short career, but to this day she may still be the sexiest Witch to ever appear on film thanks to her brief appearance as one of the Three Mothers in Dario Argento's Inferno. It's too bad that Dario never gave her her own spin-off movie called "The Sexy Adventures of Mater Lachrymarum" though, because we would have gladly watched that.

Notable Retro Roles: Cemetery Man.

Sure, she may only have this one credit on her Horror resume, but what a credit it is. I think it's fair to say that Cemetery Man is regarded by many to be one of the best Italian Horror movies ever made (it was certainly one of the best of the 90's), and that to anyone with eyes, Anna Falchi is one of the hottest women to ever exist. She was everything that a Horror Hottie should be in this movie, which is basically hot & naked.

Beautiful woman, great movie.

Notable Retro Roles: Black Belly of the Tarantula, Inferno, Beyond the Door.

For us, Eleonora Giorgi was one of the sexiest women of the 70's. A quick search of Bing images reveals many, many pictures of the gorgeous Eleonora in various stages of undress, and in most of them, she's completely naked. Why is that so important, you ask? Well, women are basically the most beautiful creatures on the entire planet, so how can seeing an especially gorgeous one in all of their naked glory not be a wonderful thing?

She was a pretty big fixture in Italian Horror and Exploitation/Soft Core flicks in the 70's & 80's, and she had more talent than a lot of people probably gave her credit for. She was fantastic (and hot) in Inferno though, and so she'll always have our respect and admiration.

Notable Retro Roles: A Bay of Blood, Who Saw Her Die? Flesh For Frankenstein, Deep Red, The Night Child, Demons.

Most of Nicoletta Elmi's career took place in the 60's and 70's, when she was a child. In 1976, at the tender age of 12, she took a break from acting, most likely because all of the Horror movies that she starred in as a child traumatized her in some way. Nearly 10 years later, a grown up Nicoletta returned to the Genre that she cut her teeth on, to play a sexy theater usher in Lamberto Bava's Demons.

Whereas the young Nicoletta creeped the hell out of us, the grown up Nicoletta proved to be way hotter than she was creepy. She was still pretty creepy in Demons though, albeit in a totally different way. *A sexy, "I'm going to regret this" kind of way.

Notable Retro Roles: City of the Living Dead, The Black Cat, The House by the Cemetery, The New York Ripper.

Lucio Fulci's favorite actress to kill on screen, Daniela Doria is a Horror Hottie in every way. The girl was never afraid to get naked on screen, and she always died in the most glorious ways. Most notable among her on-screen deaths has to be her intestine-vomiting performance in City of the Living Dead; she actually swallowed sheep entrails and then vomited them back up, to make the scene as believable as possible. If that's not dedication, then I don't know what is.

This girl was a trooper, through and through. A sexy, sexy trooper.

Notable Retro Roles: Demons.

Just being the innocent heroine of the Lamberto Bava classic, Demons, is enough to earn Natasha Hovey a spot on this list. Why she never got naked in Demons, we'll never know (because Google told us that she's been naked elsewhere, and more than once), but we love her anyway, even if it is only for this one role.

The ladies above weren't the only ones to make their marks on Italian Horror, and so we've included some more Genre actresses of yesteryear below, because they deserve some love too.

*Click the pics to be taken to each of their IMDB pages, for info on what they've starred in.


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