In the 1970s and 80s Italy were producing some of the most violent, far-out and influential horror films the world had seen. Now, over thirty years on from their golden age, these films remain as violent, far-out and influential as ever. With American horror cinema producing a flood of by-the-numbers low budget found footage horror and inferior remakes of genuine classics, many fans are choosing to revisit past greats on DVD and Blu-Ray. Vintage Italian horror cinema has long been derided for supposedly plagiarising popular American models and quickly producing poor imitations to capitalise on their success. This process of exploitation has been dubbed premature emulation by renowned horror film critic Kim Newman but to say that this is true of all Italian horror films does not paint an entirely accurate picture of the genre. While it is true that many Italian horror films are undoubtedly rip-offs of American (and sometimes British) films, there are also examples of films that are groundbreaking, awe-inspiring or bonafide masterpieces. The Italians routinely went further than their American counterparts in an effort to entice audiences, usually turning off critics in the process. They were also early practitioners of the zombie and cannibal films, genres which have experienced renewed interest in recent years. Some of their films are, perhaps accidentally, artistic and offer the viewer more than just bloodshed and mayhem. Italian horror films are complex and challenging but undeniably fascinating and usually very entertaining. Some - like the ones on this list - are simply insane.