RE: Maestro Lucio Fulci
Fulci was, without question, the best of the Italian horror directors. He was able to provide a combination the stylized work of Argento and the more gore oriented work of Deodato. This made Fulci's work not only extreme horror masterpieces, but also commercially acceptable. He was also able to avoid the late 70's-early 80's ripoff atmosphere of directors like Lenzi,D'Amato and Mattei. Fulci's work could not fall prey to the criticisms of "too artsy", "too cheap", or "too disgusting". Fulci's genious allowed his work to stand out in a world of Italian horror and exploitation. I recently had the privilege to see Zombie at a special screening in Toronto. As a young horror fan who was too young to see Fulci's work in its original theatrical release, this was a dream come true. Seeing Zombie in its true g[l]ory was a near religious experience for me.
I also got to see a special screening of Cutting Moments, Aftermath and Nacho Cerda's newest short film Genesis. I got to meet Cerda and the director of Cutting Moments. Genesis was not complete at the time of my viewing because it was the world premier screening. Although it is not horror, I feel that fans of Aftermath will find this to be a fitting conclusion to Cerda's love trilogy.
RE: Lucio Fulci
You are absolutely correct. Lucio Fulci never got the credit he deserved. There was always and still is someone who says "He ripped off this, he ripped off that."
He always was critisized for imitating George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead in his classic Zombie. The film has nothing in common with Dawn of the Dead except for zombies roaming around and tearing the flesh off people's throats. I once heard someone say "The Beyond" has ripped off just about every movie of its genre. It is most visible as to recall The Sentinal for dealing with gateways to Hell. Inferno for having relation to a supernatural book and an intro with a woman reading in vioce-over." That is a false statement. "The Beyond" is the best zombie film ever made and Fulci's greatest work. Another passing away besides Lucio Fulci's has also upset me. David Warbeck's. He was the doctor in "The Beyond". At the Fant-Asia film festival he was supposed to introduce the film and answer questions about it's creation. Instead, he passed away from cancer. Fant-Asia payed him their respect by having a tribute of clips of films he was in before playing "The Beyond". Lucio Fulci was, is, and always will be the godfather of gore and the Maestro. Fulci Lives, alright. He lives on in our hearts with the films he has made. Fulci lives!!!!!
|Troy R. Howarth
RE: Fulci's masterpieces
When he made his film debut in 1959 with a little-seen comedy called The Thieves, nobody--including Maestro Fulci himself--could've predicted the strange path his career would subsequently take. Yes, in 1959, one full year before the greatest of all horror directors, the late Mario Bava, jump-started the Italo-horror scene with Black Sunday, Lucio Fulci was well on his way to creating one of the most distinctive signatures in all of film. Violent, uncompromising, bleak, yet sickly humorous-- these are all characteristic elements of Fulci's work. Unfortunately, with the emphasis which his loyal followers place on blood and guts, the more general pulic tends to forget that his films were about something. The Beyond and Gates of Hell capture the feeling of a nightmare with facile eloquence. Don't Torture a Duckling and Beatrice Cenci are heart-felt attcks on the Catholic Church. The Smuggler speaks of a world ruled by violence and greed, while New York Ripper presents an image of the titular city as a Hell on Earth which makes Taxi Driver look positively staid. Doubtless it has escaped most critics notice that NYR and Murder-rock (a cheesy, but hard to dislike film with some of Fucli's most elegant visuals) speak of the heartless quest for success that rules American life. Fulci was more than a cheap-jack schlock specialist. Though he had his flaws (thrillers like Lizard in a Woman's Skin, though brilliantly realized, suffer from mechanical narrative techniques, plus he had a tendency-- unlike Bava--to lapse into exploitative tactics like gratutous nudity), they were more than compensated by his intelligence and--dare I say it--artistic sensitivity. Fulci may be gone now, but his legacy lives on. The time has come, I believe, for people to recognize his enormous abilities. True, he knew how to shock the hell out of an audience, but he also knew how to get at us on an emotional level--anybody who has seen his greatest work, Don't Torture a Duckling, knows that. Equal to Argento in his own humbler way, and second only to his maestro Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci remains one of horrors most distinctive voices.
Troy R. Howarth
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05/14/05 02:32 AM
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