Style Icons: Female »Edwige Fenech

Giallo Goddess

On screen, raven haired siren Edwige Fenech is at her best when she’s pouting her lips and displaying slight fear in her heavily lashed and outlined dark eyes. She also excels at tossing her head as her clothes are ripped off, parading her supple round bottom, and running (with varied degrees of success) in fabulous high heels.

Her hair is unbelievable–so thick and dark you could get lost in it for weeks–and her skin is white as alabaster. She was custom-made for giallo films: an Italian thriller genre that relies heavily on prolonged murder scenes of fashionable women, stylish cinematography, and plenty of nudity and sex. These are the precursors to modern day slasher films and have a massive cult following.

Also a star in Italian comedies of the sixties and seventies, Fenech is adored world wide thanks to a prolific career that spans over 75 films. Here in the US, she’s slightly less famous, but has might have reached a new audience with a role in Hostel Part II.

I first became aware of her work while watching the dazzling and provocative trailers she stars in over at my friend Matthew‘s impromptu giallo trailer marathon. Her unique beauty intrigued me so I decided to try one of her many, many films. I settled on 1970’s The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, which is highly praised film among the genre’s fans.

Aside from the work of Argento, I usually have a difficult time finding giallos that really work for me and while this one wasn’t quite worthy of this week’s movie slot, it was better than most and a total must-see if you do happen to love this genre. But even though it didn’t completely win me over as a giallo fan, it definitely won my heart thanks to its dimple chinned star (and it’s rugged villain–see this week’s hunk).

Fenech’s story doesn’t end on the screen with blood splattered across her breasts, over the years she’s gone on to become a pretty major player in Italian film production.

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Posted on August 25, 2008

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  • From rob on November 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I too am a fan of edwige fenech. I first saw her in “all the colors of the dark”,which is when I fell in love! I own “strip nude for your killer” and “case of the bloody iris”. I am going to try and get all of the giallo movies in which she was in. I know she has been in other good ones!