Earlier this month I attended Austin Fisher’s excellent Spaghetti Cinema conference in Luton on Italian horror cinema. There I presented a paper on the role that rock fandom has played in director Dario Argento’s celebrity image. My argument, in brief, was that music fandom – when professed in public by high profile individuals – operates as an expression of affective commitment which guarantees a person’s other public roles.
Argento’s rock fandom positions him as a consumer, fantasist, aficionado and critic. Those four roles, in turn, have enhanced his reputation as Italy’s premier ‘master of horror.’ Indeed, both his auteurist films and musical choices – whether Goblin, Morricone or Brian Eno – have placed him just beyond the American mainstream. His own fans can therefore enjoy his particular combination of avant-rock and cult horror in a way that also allows them to express their own cultural capital.
Agreeing with Hutchings, I’d also add that ‘Eurohorror’ as a descriptive process has its musical wing in the shape of independent labels who release obscure soundtracks. This brings me to an event that I recently attended at Manchester’s Dancehouse, where Andy Votel and his team from the label Finders Keepers screened a creepy Sergio Martino thriller, All The Colours of the Dark (1972). Finders Keepers have dug a bit deeper references to Goblin, and released scores by the likes of Bruno Nicolai. If you are unfamiliar with Nicolai’s excellent, breezy compositions, listen to this one from another giallo, The Case of the Bloody Iris (1971):