6 Donne Per L'assassino (aka Blood And Black Lace) (1964)
When one of the models (Francesca Ungaro) at a haute couture fashion house in Italy is brutally murdered, it is only the beginning of a series of violent killings. It seems the model left a diary and there lies the key to the motive. Co-written and directed by Mario Bava, this is the most stunning looking of Italian gialli. There is no credit for a production designer or art director so I attribute the "hot" look of the film (reds, blues, pinks) to Bava and his cinematographer Ubaldo Terzano. While not the first giallo, this was a radical film for its day in that Bava graphically emphasizes the murder aspect of the film which paved the way for the likes of Dario Argento as well as being influential to future directors like Quentin Tarantino. Its critical reception, at least in the U.S. was lukewarm to say the least but it is now recognized as one of the defining examples of giallo. The film's stylish original title credits had the cast members posing as mannequins as their names were given. This was cut for the U.S. release and a new set of credits given which weren't bad per se but lacked the originality and style of the Italian credits. With Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Mary Arden, Dante DiPaolo (Rosemary Clooney's husband), Thomas Reiner and Lea Lander.