Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
Horror movies, horror movie reviews, interviews, fiction reviews and more... Horror of Buried.com
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12.08.2016
The Undertaker's Lucio Fulci Feature
"The Man Who Put the Meat Sauce in Pasta Land Cinema" - by The Undertaker

So much has been written about Mr. Fulci since his death in 1996, I dare not try to go where others have already tread. THE truth has already been written far better and more thoroughly than I ever could. For the most in depth look at THE MAN'S work, get your hands on a copy of Stephen Thrower's Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci. For the most heart felt look on Mr. Fulci's life, find Chas Balun's Lucio Fulci: Beyond the Gates, A Tribute to the Maestro. That one has a great introduction by Fulci's Daughter Antonella and some good information from Fulci super fan Shawn Lewis of Blackest Heart Media, the guy who pretty much got the ball rolling on getting Mr. Fulci to New York for his one and only U.S. convention appearance. That may have been the only recent Fangoria show worth attending.

Sometimes it's kinda hard to totally express one's feelings in written words. That's why I have avoided even trying to write reviews for certain movies. The ideas get lost somewhere between brain and keyboard. Maybe that's why I have shied away from the films of Fulci, Argento, and a great deal of what we consider the classics of modern horror films. It's hard to say. Maybe I feel like some of these movies are untouchables and need know more mention. It's like trying to write about something so intimate, I'm afraid I'll screw it up.

Never the less, I guess it's time to touch on a few of his masterpieces. It's strange how easily available many of Fulci's movies are now in there proper form. It's a shame the same couldn't be said 10 or 15 years ago. I can remember hearing and reading about The Beyond as if it were a ghost. A few people had seen it, but not many had seen it's true form or even knew how to find it. There were a few copies off Japanese laser discs floating around, but not many good ones. Many of his other movies remained re-titled and heavily edited. Hell, poor old House by the Cemetery in its release over here wasn't even dubbed with the reels in the correct order! That's a damn shame and a real slap in the face for Fulci and his fans. It's good that there are DVD's, a few lasers, and videos now available. It shows the impact these films had on the true fans. Too bad Lucio never got to see that metal tin set of The Beyond. Or the comic adaptations of his films, or the re-mastered lasers, or the tribute CDs, articles, and books that have followed in the wake of his death. Better late than never, right? Not exactly. Good that he's missed and loved by the fans. Good that the younguns will get to see his movies. But, it would have been nice if he could have savored the fruits of his labors. That his family could have reaped what he'd sown a lot sooner. Maybe the money that the various companies who have released Fulci related items have made off his work would have made his last few years a lot more comfortable. Who knows? Fulci wasn't in it for the money. He did it for the right reasons. He was true to his own visions and to us.

The movies I'm going to mention now and in the future are not in any particular order really. Just talking about these films in the order (somewhat) in which I saw them. I feel like it's time to tell what made them special to me.


Zombie (1979) - [The Undertaker]
It's called Zombi 2 and Zombie Flesh Eaters in other parts of the world. This is the one that got things going for Fulci even though he'd been making movies for many years. Zombie was the 1st and thus far only film I wasn't let in to see. So, it's my 1st Fulci film, and it isn't. When it played the theatre here in our small town, I went with my mom and a friend with high hopes. I'd read about it in FM and was ready! It was rated R, so we thought, however we soon learned when trying to buy tickets that no one under 17 was being let in. Period. Mom or no mom, it was too bloody and gruesome the lady said. Damn, I was pissed, and a little scared. Could it be that bad? I saw it years later on video and I thought it was great. It would have scared me shitless though if I had been able to see it that night.

This is the most fun film of his to watch for me personally, not his best or my favorite, but the most fun. As for straight zombie films, I'd throw it right up there with anything. The voodoo aspect in this film makes it seem more authentic to the zombie mythos itself. Something very few zombie movies have attempted to explore aside from a few older movies. The drums on the sound track spook me every time. Where else are you gonna find a zombie vs. shark scene? Do I need bring up the splinter? The atmosphere on the island just seems like the perfect zombie film to me. The make-up FX speak for themselves. De Rossi and Fulci were a magic combination starting right here. To me, this is THE Italian zombie film. This is how they should look, feel, and bleed. This set my personal standard. For someone unfamiliar with Fulic's work, this is a great staring point. Hey, you have to work your way up to The Beyond. I've seen a few other Euro zombie films that come close, but Zombi 2 still ranks # 1 in these eyes.

City of the Living Dead (1980) - [The Undertaker]
Most commonly known and seen over here under the equally cool title The Gates of Hell. This is my favorite Fulci film. Yeah, yeah, all you sissy boys can cry about The Beyond, but this is MY favorite, and his 2nd best flick. I rented this movie many times before finally having the equipment to copy it way back when. Always loved that killer cover art on the box. When I finally did see the correctly titled, uncut version, I knew this was my fav. I don't like to categorize this one as just a zombie movie, so I don't compare it to Zombi 2 really. This had way too much of a supernatural vibe going for it to me. City has it all: gore, atmosphere, incredible make-up with unique death scenes, cool music, well hung priests, perverts, living dead, intestinal tract vomiting, & so much more. I'll stop before I use the word "Fu" and start sounding like Joe Bob Briggs. The darkly lit camera work is awesome. The maggot scene is just plain yucky! I love the sound FX for the zombies in City also. What a cool roaring, wheezing noise. Still, I always wanted the ending to be a little more brutal to match the rest of the films' intensity. Can't have it all. All things in movie terms considered; this is Fulci's runner-up, but not by much damn it! For my own personal viewing pleasure though, this gets a blue ribbon every time. Good to see it getting the DVD treatment and all that good shit. But don't throw out those old Gates of Hell vids friends; you have to have that cover! Want to scare a date? Throw this sucker in and find out how many ways you can be called a sick-o after that barf scene. What else can I say? Just go watch it again and enjoy that special Fulci magic that haunts this movie.

House By the Cemetery (1981) - [The Undertaker]
Dr. Freudstein I presume? The House was the 3rd film of Fulci's I ever saw. Always loved the box for this one too. Great artwork that kept me too scared to rent it for sometime. This one gets 4th place and rounds out the "Big 4" for his top movies to me. This movie grows on you after repeated viewings. I appreciated it a lot more the 2nd time around. More great gory FX work highlights this tale. That Bob kid is just weird looking folks, I'm sorry. It has great elements going for it all around. Suspense, great atmosphere, and a nasty looking villain with a very strange name make this memorable. The end scene when our friendly Dr. is stabbed in the guts and spews forth that nasty, maggot filled shit is gross! One thing that stood out to me especially on the new laser was how beautiful the movie was filmed. That last shot of the house is haunting and looks incredible. You really need to see this movie widescreen and uncut in it's intended form to get the most enjoyment from it. House was the last really great Fulci film. There were some more really good ones, but this marked the high point era of his movies. The basement scenes were always the creepiest. I wouldn't have gone down in that place, not for a pair of Traci Lords panties. Never move into a home with a shitty looking, scary ass basement. Of course, they were warned to stay away, but who listens. The moral here is leave nailed cellar doors shut! I'm glad more people are realizing now what a great movie House by the Cemetery is because it seemed to have been kind of pushed away by many fans. Goes to show you the cream rises to the top eventually.

The New York Ripper (1982) - [The Undertaker]
Wow, One of the most mean spirited and jaded slasher films ever. This one's in my top ten slasher films of all time list for sure. Not for the obvious reason of having a quacking duck voiced killer, but for just being so damn hateful. This has some brutal scenes people. Eyes and nipples are sliced into. One woman gets a broken bottle shoved in her privates, ouch!! Fulci made one classic piece here. Loaded with nudity, sex, and gore, this one was a great rental way back when. Hell, I didn't even realize it was a Fulci film for a while when I was younger because it had such a gritty look and style to it. Never the less, it was a fav back then. Holds up well over the years too; imagine seeing this now instead of some limp-dicked Scream clone in the theatre, hahahaha. I put this one close to the top of his movies. Not quite as good as the others I saw before it, but it's just too brutal to be overlooked. The new DVD that was released a while back looked awesome. Quack, Quack, Quack!!

The Beyond (1981) - [The Undertaker]
The holy grail of Fulci fans has always been The Beyond. It's his best movie in many ways, not my favorite, but still his best overall. It has all the gore, story, atmosphere, and music any fan could ever want. The shitty Seven Doors to Death video release that was available over here sucked; the Japanese laser was excellent and hard to find. I know I personally was gonna pay $200 for a laser once long ago. The deal fell through and I had to keep watching my grainy, dark looking dub. Fortunately, The Beyond finally got it's due and now there's DVD's and lasers for everyone to see. Even a nice tin boxed set is out now for those lucky few who get one before they sell out. Nice to see a movie finally get the attention and treatment it deserves. Widescreen is the only way to go with this one and all his movies really. The 1st U.S. video version mentioned above was horribly butchered, worse than even the victims in the film itself. It's a collectors' item only; I've never even bothered to watch the whole mess. It's pointless. The Beyond is a dreamlike film, or should I say nightmare-like. The story flows laced with some of the most memorable scenes in any horror film. It's not a straight zombie flick or supernatural movie, but combines some great aspects of both. It even has the feel of a haunted house picture some times. I've seen it many times and still notice something else every time I watch it. It requires multiple viewings to "get it". That's why it's not my fav. You have to put in the effort to really appreciate Fulci's zenith. I won't even get into the ending. I'm just happy the film is now widely and easily available for all to see. You younger folks are lucky not to have to trade and scrape and claw to get your hands on a decent, uncut print. If you think a gore film can't be haunting and have a really cool story, then see it. If you feel Argento and Bava were the only stylish directors to bring screams from Italy, then see it. If you've never seen this movie, watch Zombie and City of the Living Dead, then see it. Then you'll understand what all the fuss was (and is) about and why Lucio Fulci's name lives on forever in horror film history. So much gore, but so much more.





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