Lucio Fulci's Bio

Born in Rome Italy in July 17, 1927, Lucio Fulci found his true studying medicine. After his upper-class girlfriend dropped him because he wasn't rich enough, Fulci switched into film school in an attempt to woo her back. Although she never returned to him, he became a lover of film under Italy's greatest film theorists. After school, Fulci work and for filmmakers such as Max Ophuls, Marcel L'Herbier and his mentor, Steno.

In the early 1950s, Fulci worked as a screenwriter and assistant director on many popular Italian comedies, including UN AMERICANO A ROMA featuring the comic genius, Toto. In 1959 Fulci made his directorial debut (The Thieves), again featuring Toto. I LADRI was a flop; Fulci left the world of film to work with the well-known writer Ugo Pierro Vivarelli, collaborating on Italian rock-and-roll songs. His talent for composing eventually led him into musical comedy. Over the next seven years, Fulci directed numerous including I RAGAZZI DEL JUKE BOX (The Jukebox Kids), URLATORI ALLA SBARRA (Howlers of the Dock) and AGENTI SEGRETISSIMI (The Worst Secret Agents.)

In 1966, with the film TEMPO DI MASSACRO (The Brute and the Beast), Fulci broke away from comedy, first making westerns and then with UNA SULL'ALTRA (Perversion Story) into a succession of successful thrillers. The thriller was new to Italian audiences and Fulci cashed on their curiosity. Coming off his first major success, Fulci directed a medieval film entitled BEATRICE CENTI, which flopped at the box office and had the audience shouting, "Kill the Director" during one of its screenings. Lucio regarded BEATRICE CENTI as one of his best, a film too sophisticated for Italian audiences.

Over the next eight years, Fulci directed ten more films, most falling with the thriller genre. UNA LUCERTOLA CON LA PELLE DI DONNA (Lizard in a Woman's Skin) was one of the most notable; it featured the wizard Carlo Rambaldi, and represents Fulci's first foray into effects-based filmmaking. In 1972, Fulci released NON SI SEVIZIA UN PAPERINO (Don't Torture the Duckling), a biting political and religious satire; it won numerous awards and was very successful with the Italian public. Unfortunately for Fulci, a homosexual politician assumed the film was poking fun at him and had the director blacklisted for over two years. In 1977, Fulci directed his last thriller, 7 NOTES IN NERO (The Psychic), which received a limited theatrical release in the United States and proved to be a major hit in Italy.

In 1979, Dario Argento's re-edited edition of George Romero' DAWN OF THE DEAD forever changed the face of Italian cinema. It was a film that ignited Italy's passion for producing low-budget horror and subsequently sparked Fulci's long-time career with the "walking dead." Based upon the financial success 7 NOTES IN NERO, Fulci teamed up with legendary film producer Fabrizio De Angelsis to make ZOMBIE, cashing in on Italy's zombie craze. Infused with a theme, the film grossed over thirty million dollars and Fulci was established as a premiere horror director. The success of Fulci's ZOMBIE also forged a five-picture collaboration with De Angelsis that led to such films as GATTO NERO (The Black Cat), PAURA NELA CITTA DEI MORTI VIVENTI (The Gates of Hell) and most notably THE BEYOND, a film which many consider to be Fulci's best.

After the success of THE BEYOND, Fulci directed one more picture in collaboration with De Angelsis, the notorious SQUARTATORE, DI NEW YORK (The New York Ripper). The film was a total disaster for both director and producer. Banned in many countries, Fulci had made a slasher film that both lost money and failed critically. Its unsatisfactory release and production nightmares put an end to the relationship with his best producer. Fulci went on to make fifteen more horror films within a nine-year span, none of which had the impact of THE BEYOND.

On March 3, 1996, after eating a piece of cake before retiring to bed, Lucio Fulci died from a diabetic attack. The Italian film community and horror fans aboard were shocked by the sudden loss. Fulci was three weeks away from going into production on WAX HOUSE, collaboration with Dario Argento. Many considered the film to be the start of a new era for Fulci. The crossover of two great a strong public response and most probably financial success. But fans around the world were left to discover Fulci's talent within his previous body of work. For the past ten years, his cult status among "video nasties" - the extreme films available through specialized stores - has been steadily growing. With the re-release of THE BEYOND in North America this summer, fans will once again experience the journey into a nightmare from the mind of Italy's greatest horror director.

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