March 24, 2016

The Best of… Italian Horror!

Bloody, exploitative, atmospheric, and far different than anything that was being released in the West at the time, Italian Horror movies made their mark on the Genre in the 70's & 80's. Names like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Bava (Both Mario and Lamberto), Michele Soavi, Sergio Martino, and many more, each lent their own unique visions to the Genre, giving Horror fans some of the best Gialli, zombie, supernatural, and slasher films of all-time.

A big part of the charm of the Italian Horror films of old, was their lack in quality. Many of the plots made no sense; the acting was not very good at all; the dubbed English voices were more humorous than they were ever meant to be; and a great many Italian Horror movies had endings that involved freeze-frames that made absolutely no sense.

But damn, were they ever enjoyable on every other front.

If you're looking for a proper introduction to the world of Italian Horror, then any of the movies in our Top Six will do you right. We'd urge you to start with Deep Red, Suspiria, and The Beyond, as they are probably the "best" of them, but most of the movies below represent Italian Horror very well, each in their own way, so why not enjoy them all!

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

Top 6BeyondBlack SundayCemetery ManCity of the Living DeadDeepSuspiria
Below are the rest of the best movies that Italian Horror has to offer. Keep in mind that no "Best of" list is ever perfect, but merely a solid starting point for anyone looking to watch some great flicks, and in this case, great flicks of a particular type.

*Most of the links go to Amazon so that you can stream or grab yourself a copy of the movies; our review of the movie (when applicable); or in the case of some of the older & more obscure titles, IMDB, because they simply aren't available to stream or purchase.

Bay of BloodBird With the Crystal PlumageBlack SabbathBlade in the DarkBlood and Black LaceBuio OmegaBurial GroundCannibal FeroxCannibal holocaustCatDemonsDont TortureFiveFourHouse by the CemeteryInfernoKill BabyA LizardMacabreNew YorkOperaPhenomenaPiecesShockStage FrightTenebreTorsoWhatZombie170 x 250HonorableChurchEyes od ChrystalHatchetHouse WithLet SleepingLisa and the Devil


  1. Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) - just saying since you have an empty space there. :)

    1. Ah yes, that's one I forgot. There's a new Arrow Blu-ray coming out in 2 weeks too :)

  2. Great list! (As usual!). As someone who grew up in Italy in the 80s and watchedo these movies on local TV channels (they were a popular choice for post-prime time), I really appreciate your selection. However, I believe that "Pieces" is actually a Spanish/American production, not an Italian one...

    1. It must hve been great growing up in the 80's in Italy!

      Pieces is a Spanish, U.S., and Italian co-production. I stretched a bit including it here, probably because I had just watched it :)

    2. It was, honestly, quite fun, especially if you are an horror fan :-) As for pieces, well, if it is at least partly Italian, it counts! I'm also glad you included one of my favorites, Pupi Avati's The House With Laughing Windows. It was shot not far away from where a I grew up, in Italy's poor (at the time) northeaster region. Avati made two other horror flicks, which are also very dear to my heart: Zeder (Revenge of The Dead in the US; The resurrected priest still gives me the creeps) and L'Arcano Incantatore (Arcane Sorcerer). Since you seem to have seen *everything*, you have probably already seen these two... But I thought I should mention :-)

    3. Andrea, we have NOT seen everything. I wish :)

      Italy is such beautiful country to shoot any movie in, especially Horror. There's an outdoor scene in Argento's Phenomena that always makes me wish I lived there, right in that area. So beautiful. Or is it cosi bella? :)