Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fulci-Fest: Remembering The King Of Gore

Today (as of writing this of course) marks 17 years since we lost the great Lucio Fulci. Fulci died just as he was experiencing how appreciated and adored he was by us horror fans. I would have been 7 years old when he died and that to me is a crazy thought. My experience with the work of Fulci is a pleasurable and he has provided me with many an hour blood soaked, flesh ripping cinema. I don't just love him for his horror work. I have seen only a fraction of his work but I can say with hand on heart (let me just check... yep, it's still there!) that I have enjoyed every film I have seen from a whole spectrum of the genres. I thought that it would make sense to spend a day watching nothing but Fulci films. As I'm writing this, Four Of The Apocalypse is playing in the background. This is one of Fulci's westerns and what a film it is but I will get to that later on.

I thought I would just spend a little time talking about Fulci and his impact on my life. The first film I watched of his was a film you the reader probably watched first too, Zombie Flesh Eaters. This was such a great experience as I had only just recently watched the original Dawn Of The Dead for the first time. This was when a film was just a film to me. I hadn't really taken an interest up until that point but as I discovered more and more Italian cinema from the 70's and 80's such as this I was hooked. I can't exactly recall my whole journey with Fulci but let me say this, I don't think I would be this interested in film if it wasn't for Fulci. His work will always have a special place in my heart and I look forward to watching more and more of his work. As I said earlier, I have spent the day watching Fulci films so I thought I would write a little about each one.

Contraband (1980)
I started the marathon with one of my personal favourites. Contraband is a crime flick starring Fabio Testi. I won't give a full review for this or any of the films only my thoughts and why I love them. I am a massive Italian crime fan and this attempt here is just fabulous. Think of signature Fulci gore and violence mixed in with a great story about greed, treachery and violence in Naples. Some of the highlights are a great use of a Bunsen burner, a Godfather like execution montage and old school mafia bosses from another time showing that it doesn't hurt to be a gentlemen in the mafia game. A great start to the marathon I think you will agree... capiche!?

Manhattan Baby (1982)
I thought it would be only right to follow up with a film from the genre he is most known for, the horror genre. The film I picked was the criminally underrated Manhattan Baby. Yeah it might not have that level of violence most of his other films have but damn! What an atmosphere this film has! Sure, there are some insanely laughable moments but the whole Egyptian portion of the film is genuinely creepy... especially that damn blind woman! This is magnified with Fabio Frizzi's phenomenal score. If you haven't got round to watching this one, you should do right away.

Conquest (1983)

is the only film that I watched today that I hadn't seen before and unfortunately I had to watch this online here. I love cheesy post apocalyptic films from the 80's and this did not disappoint at all. Within 12 minutes of the film I was majorly confused and a woman was ripped in half... I knew I was in for a treat. I came out of this still majorly confused at what I had seen but it didn't matter. It's films like this that make me smile like a kid in a sweet shop. Film snobs need not watch because this isn't for you! Watch it anyway because it's just awesome!

Four Of The Apocalypse (1975)
I decided to finish my Fulci-thon with this gem. A story about a group of misfits who become good friends and come across many obstacles including Tomas Milian doing Captain Jack long before Mr. Depp... seriously, he looks just like him! Once again, this isn't one of Fulci's most violent outings but there are some nasty scenes in this one. The film isn't really about that sort of stuff though and it's one of Fulci's more straight faced films. Highly enjoyable and one of the few times you genuinely care about the characters on screen and not just wonder how and when they die. This also boasts a really solid score from the likes of Fabio Frizzi.

So there you have it! I didn't want to just watch the same Fulci flicks I usually go to. I adore the likes of Zombie Flesh Eaters, House By The Cemetery (possibly my favourite film in the filmography so far) or The Beyond but I wanted to watch the films I enjoyed that often get overlooked or at least hardly mentioned in peoples lists.

Thank you all for reading this and sharing the love and passion for the work of Lucio Fulci. I still have a long way to go before I have a complete collection of films but it's a journey I am absolutely loving so far. I want to also thank Lucio for providing me with hours of entertainment and inspiring me creatively. I don't care if you see him as a hack or a one trick pony, dig into his filmography and you can't help but marvel a guy who directed so many films from so many different genres and keep a high quality throughout. They don't make them like him anymore and probably one of the saddest aspects of his death is he never really got to see how adored he was my genre fans and who knows, he would probably still be making films now.

Thanks again Mr. Fulci!


No comments:

Post a Comment