Friday Favorites: Lucio Fulci

Lucio Fulci

Next Wednesday, the 17th, is Lucio Fulci’s birthday. He would have been 93 years old. Any young gorehound perusing the video store aisles in the ’80s knew Fulci’s work, even if they didn’t know his name. Granted, it didn’t help when some of his titles had a more American sounding name (such as Louis Fuller) listed as the director. But we knew his movies. Titles such as Zombie (1979), Gates of Hell (1980), House by the Cemetery (1982), or even New York Ripper (1982), these four titles were pretty easy to find in most video stores. Sure, you might come across a copy of Seven Doors of Death, but that one wasn’t as common, not to mention cut to hell. But as we all learned more and more about this guy, we learned and sought out more and more of his titles which weren’t as easy to come by, looking on the grey market to fill those needs.

dont torture a duckling

While Fulci is mostly known for his gory epics, there is no doubting how talented of a filmmaker he was. Working in just about every genre out there, Fulci could make high quality pictures, when given the budget. Some of his earlier works, such as Beatrice Cenci (1969) or A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971), shows his craftsmanship. But once his gore films start to explode, that is the only type of film he could get to direct. And after a few years, even the budget on those got smaller and smaller.

beyond - emily

It is somewhat sad that he in mostly known for his horror films, but honestly, there is so much talent in even those, that I still think that is a pretty nice badge of honor, even if most critics wouldn’t agree. But hopefully fans of Fulci have dug a little deeper in his filmography and checked out some of his earlier work, watching a wider variety of his talent.

But whether you’ve only seen a few or have gone down and watched an many as you can find, on this Friday Favorites, let’s celebrate and honor this great director, and hear what is YOUR favorite Lucio Fulci film?

9 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Lucio Fulci

  1. I agree, while his other movies are great; Zombie is the most linear, and straight forward. It really captures the sense of dread and isolation. It just creates a scary “mood” better than his others.

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    • Yes, I agree its probably the most linear film when it comes to that era of his film making. The only other film that I think has a better atmosphere would be the Gates of Hell, which would be second on my list.

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  2. Fulci has made a lot cool films that, sadly, do not get enough coverage, but his klassicks do cast such a very large and long shadow. As you said, there’s a wealth of other cool films to discover once one digs deeper beyond (pun definitely intended) his most well known and rightfully beloved work. Some of his non horror stuff that I dig is Four of the Apocalypse, Contraband, and, yes I know that it’s goofy as hell, but I like Conquest for being so damn wild and wacky! Lol! Grabbed Scorpion’s release of Murder Rock and enjoyed it! I still need to grab a copy of Mondo’s release of Perversion Story and 88’s release of Beatrice Cenci. New Gladiators has long been on my “wanna see” list as well!
    All that said my favorite Fulci film will always be Gates of Hell. It was the first one of his that I saw when I blind bought the VHS back in the day and the gut puking scene still gets me good every time that I see it! Lol!

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  3. I like a lot Lo squartatore di New York, but I must admit that even though Fulci clearly had a lot of talent, unfortunately the extremely low budgets with which he was forced to work for most of his career really show when re-watching his works now that some decades have passed…

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  4. My top pic, I would have to say Zombie. Granted, The Beyond is a very close 2nd, but coming from a guy that never thought Dawn of the Dead was that scary, I think Zombie steps it up, making the zombies themselves creepy as hell, plus the gore is amazing, as well as must making the movie itself very atmospheric.

    As much as I do enjoy City of the Living Dead / Gates of Hell, I would put House by the Cemetery over that one. House is just bat-shit crazy, but I’ve always enjoyed that one.

    But checking out his other films, such as The Psychic and Don’t Torture a Duckling are amazing pictures. So many more great ones. As Sam mentioned, with his low budgets, he couldn’t hire the same quality people he had one his famous gore films. But since he made 4-5 films back to back inside of a few years, which were big hits, that is all the producers thought he could do and didn’t need the extra money. Damn shame.

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  5. Zombie, followed by Don’t Torture a Duckling & The Beyond are my favorite Fulci films. Another great film is Wax Mask (produced by Dario Argento), a project which was initially planned to be directed by Fulci, before his untimely death. The film was then passed on to the special effects technician, Sergio Stivaletti ,who did an admiral job in the directors chair.

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    • I was at the Fangoria convention in NY when Fulci was there and he was talking about his next project, The Wax Mask, which he seemed excited about. That would have been so cool to see him make a comeback. But just wasn’t meant to happen.


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