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News Article

FEARNET Fan Obsessions: Giallo Posters


Each month, FEARnet will profile one horror fan who has amassed such an awe-inspiring collection of genre collectible, oddities, or tchotchkes, it makes our heads spin. The more specific the obsession, and expansive the collection, the better.

Ron Salvatore’s phantasmagoria of giallo posters is what an Italian slasher fan’s dreams, well, actually, nightmares, are made of. It includes foreign versions of many giallo greats with amazingly beautiful graphics. It’s very tough to pick a favorite, but both the Italian and English versions of the Schock poster are really amazing. Salvatore told FEARnet why he is so attracted to giallo imagery.

The Collector: Ron Salvatore

Location: I live in southern New York, about an hour outside of the city. I wish I could tell you my place was decorated with shag carpeting and mod designer doo dads, like a flat from a '70s Argento film, but it's really just a normal house.

What: I have a pretty large collection of movie posters. This segment is focused on Italian horrors and thrillers. I tend to lump all of this stuff into the "giallo" category, even though, strictly speaking, a horror movie like Black Sunday isn't a giallo. But, to me, these films share so many traits that it's silly to split hairs. They're part of a distinctive tradition.

Years Collecting: I'm kind of a collector by nature. I like to hunt for and accumulate things. I think I've been doing the poster thing for about four years.

How Many: I think I have about 70 giallo posters. My total poster count is probably closer to 1000.

How the Obsession Started: I'm something of a movie nut, and I'm also something of an arts/graphic design nut. So it was probably inevitable that I'd end up collecting posters. The first movie poster I bought was a French one for Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor. I simply ran across it on eBay, thought the art was really fun, and put in a bid for it. When it arrived, I was blown away by the graphics. It was created using stone lithography, a printing technique, now mostly outmoded, which rendered deep, incredibly rich colors. After that I was hooked, and I started looking for more.

I'm a pretty experienced collector, so I knew from the outset that I needed to focus my collecting energies on a few specific areas. The ones I picked were the French New Wave and giallo. The posters related to each of those film areas were in my price range, and I loved the graphics. The giallo posters especially were very striking, with wild, hyper-violent imagery of a kind you'd never seen in film advertising today. It's funny, by splitting my focus between New Wave stuff and giallo stuff, I've managed to cater to the two distinctive ends of my taste range: the highfalutin', arts-fartsy end, and the low-down, completely disreputable end.

Most Prized Find: Oh, geez. That's tough. I don't really have a favorite. I guess I'll choose the Spanish poster for Your Vice is Locked in a Room and Only I Have the Key. It's by legendary Spanish poster artist Jano, and it has unusually staid (but sexy!) graphics. It also features a naked Edwige Fenech, which is always a plus. (Edwige is the Nefertiti of the trash cinema.) I also get a kick out of the Turkish poster for All the Colors of the Dark, which depicts a large hand palming Edwige's head like a basketball.

Rarest Piece in Collection: I don't really know what the rarest item in the giallo collection is. It's hard to get a good read on rarity in a field like this. But I've never seen another example of the Italian poster for Blood and Black Lace, so I think that one can be reasonably called a pretty scarce item.

Craziest Thing You've Done for the Collection: Mailed cash to Italy!

The Horror Holy Grail:  This is always a tough one; answering it tends to DECREASE your chances of actually finding that item. But I don't mind admitting that I've long desired the U.S. poster for Bava's Kill, Baby, Kill! It has trippy, enormously messed up graphics. It isn't too hard to find, but it always seem to sell for more than I'm willing to pay. I'll get it sooner or later.

What Else Do You Collect: I spent many years collecting toys, especially old Star Wars toys. I have a bunch.

See Ron’s collection of giallo here on Flickr and a few of his posters below.

Do you know an obsessive horror collector? Is that obsessive horror collector you? We want to know more about your obsession. Email FEARnet here and tell us about your obsession.