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.
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.
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?