The Return of the Rural Repressed: Italian Horror and the Mezzogiorno Giallo

Xavier Mendik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


The chapter offers the first theoretical consideration of a type of Italian thriller which can be termed as the Mezzogiorno giallo. This format specifically focuses on fears surrounding the rural Italian landscape and its inhabitants as the key source of narrative disruption. The chapter argues that this imagery can be derived from longstanding Northern intellectual, critical and cultural methodologies, where perceptions of rural life have conjoined with anthropological, sociological and even eugenic-based studies which have been used to largely to sustain an established myth of the Italian South as a site of primative barbarism. The article will argue that this polarised conception of nation became particularly marked during the 1960s, with fictional formats such as the giallo expressing both the aspirations and fears that surrounded the Italian economic miracle.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Horror Film
EditorsHarry Benshoff
Place of PublicationHoboken
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780470672600
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


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