Giallo Finder: - Criteria

Herein lies the heart of the GialloScore experiment - a set of rules by which most Gialli adhere to. These criteria are completely arbitrary and subject to change at any time. For each rule, the more crucial it is to the classification of the genre, the higher its point value.

It's important to note that there are two criteria in the "Staples" section that award partial credit:

  • Motivation: The killer should have a calculated, pre-meditated reason for committing murder. However, more points are awarded if the murders are emotionally motivated.

  • Avoid Capture: No points are awarded if the killer is simply carted away by the police. An accidental death or suicide awards the most points, but partial credit is given if the killer is mortally wounded intentionally before the end of the film.

The "Signatures" section contains many point opportunities. Some Giallo have the potential to meet all of the criteria in this section, but no more than 10 points will be awarded here.

Staples - 60 points max

Italian Director - 10 points.
The director must be Italian.

Hidden Identity - 10 points.
The identity of the killer must be hidden for as long as possible, usually until the last few minutes of the film.

Black Gloves - 5 points.
The killer should wear black gloves when committing a murder.

Amateur Detective - 5 points.
The identity of the killer should be pursued and/or discovered by someone other than the police.

Classic Period (1970 - 1975) - 5 points.
The release date of the film should be between 1970 and 1975

Motivation: Psychological Trauma/Revenge - 10 points.
The killer's motivation should be based on a psychological trauma experienced in the past or as an act of revenge.

Motivation: Blackmail/Gain - 5 points.
The killer’s motivation should be based on the need to silence a blackmailer or for monetary gain.

Avoid Capture: Acciental Death/Suicide - 10 points.
After the final revelation, the killer should avoid capture/incarceration through accidental death or suicide.

Avoid Capture: Killed by Police or other character - 5 points.
After the final revelation, the killer should avoid capture/incarceration through purposeful death committed by the police or other character.

Director > 1 - 5 points.
The director is credited with at least one Giallo preceding or following this one.

Standards - 30 points max

Body Count >= 3 - 4 points.
The "body count" is at least three. This does not include the ultimate demise of the murderer or anyone accidentally killed while pursuing the murderer.

Flashback Revelation - 3 points.
A flashback scene is used when revealing the killer's identity or the motive.

Italian Location - 3 points.
The majority of the films' events transpire in Italy.

Mistaken Identity - 2 points.
During the course of the film, the police identify the wrong person and the remaining characters are falsely led to believe that the threat of death has passed due to the capture or death of suspect.

More than one killer or accomplice - 4 points.
There is more than one person responsible for the murders or the primary perpetrator has at least one accomplice.

Morricone/Nicolai/Ortolani - 3 points.
The soundtrack for the film is composed by Ennio Morricone or Bruno Nicolai or Riz Ortolani.

Nude Scene >= 1 - 3 points.
There is at least one nude scene.

Suspects >= 3 - 4 points.
There are at least three suspects.

Urban Location - 4 points.
The majority of the films' events transpire in an urban or heavily populated location.

Signatures - 10 points max

Airplane - 1 point.
An airplane is shown landing or taking off at some point in the film.

Animal, Number, Color, or "Death" in title - 1 point.
The name of an animal, a number, or a derivative of the word "Death" is used in the title of the film.

Attend Funeral - 1 point.
At some point in the film, the characters attend funeral services for one of the victims.

Bathtub Murder - 1 point.
The killer uses a bathtub to commit a murder.

Car or Motorcycle Racing - 1 point.
One of the characters in the film is a participant or a spectator at a car or motorcycle race.

Chase scene - 1 point.
The killer and one of the characters are involved in a chase on foot.

Comic Relief Character - 1 point.
One of the characters serves the primary role of humor instead of murder victim or detective.

Death from Falling - 1 point.
The killer or one of the victims dies from falling.

Dolls/Dummies - 1 point.
Dolls or dummies are featured in the film.

Gay/Lesbian - 1 point.
One of the characters is gay or lesbian.

Foreigner - 1 point.
The “amateur detective” character is not a citizen of the country where the murders are taking place and may be coerced into helping with the investigation by having his/her passport seized.

J&B - 1 point.
A bottle of J&B scotch is prominently featured. The label must be legible to qualify for the point.

Odd Clue - 1 point.
A clue to the murderer's identity hidden within, or associated with a piece of art or jewelry (e.g. Painting, Necklace, etc).

Pathologist - 1 point.
A pathologist is consulted by the police to help with the murder investigation.

Peeping Tom - 1 point.
A character who spies on others for sexual gratification is featured in the film.

Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art - 1 point.
The characters in the film engage in some sort of activity that can be considered artistic or counter-cultural.

Priest - 1 point.
A priest or fake priest is feature at some point in the film.

Pseudoscience - 1 point.
A process which has no scientific validity (for the time period) is used to help identify the murderer.

Prove Innocence - 1 point.
The amateur detective pursues the killer in an effort to prove his/her own innocence.

Psychologist - 1 point.
A psychologist is featured in the film, either to help identify the killer or explain the killer’s motive.

Spiral Stairs - 1 point.
A spiral staircase is featured at some point in the film.

Taunting - 1 point.
The murderer taunts the police and/or the victims with phone calls or letters.

Visual Misinterpretation - 1 point.
A character witnesses an event that obscures the killer's identity and will "replay" the event in his/her mind in an attempt to discover the truth.