We have lost one of the premiere makeup artist from the movie world. Being one of thousands in the industry, to have your work literally change the face of a specific horror sub-genre, is something pretty damn amazing. Italian makeup and special effects man Giannetto De Rossi was one of them. This talent that showed us what putrefying flesh of the living dead should look like, passed away on Sunday, at the age of 78 years old.
Coming from a family in the industry, with both his father and grandfather working as makeup artist, it didn’t take long for Giannetto to realize that he was pretty good at it as well. He started working on films in his early 20s and never looked back. In 1974, working with Spanish director Jorge Grau, he created some unforgettable zombies, as well as some over-the-top gore effects in Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, which remain still impressive almost 50 years later. A few years later, he would create the look for the Italian zombie in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979). Not only were there some incredible gore effects, but De Rossi made the zombies look scary as hell. With dirt packed faces, worms crawling on them, and plenty of the gooey red stuff, he made these creatures a walking nightmare, even before they clenched their teeth into your flesh.
Webster University Film Series is putting the spotlight on one of our favorite directors, Lucio Fulci, and one that I honestly think is still underrated outside of the horror fans. And now is your chance to learn why!
Every Thursday in April one of Fulci films will host a live discussion about the film. The idea is to watch the film at some point before the event, then join them to hear a different speaker each week discuss the specific title. The selections for April Fulcis are: Continue reading
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. Continue reading
House by the Cemetery (1981)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander, Giovanni De Nava, Daniela Doria, Carlo De Mejo
The films that Lucio Fulci directed in the late ’70s and early ’80s made him a god to horror/gore fans. In the early days of VHS tapes, these films were always ones you’d rent over and over again. While he was already a successful filmmaker, directing films in just about every genre, once Zombie (1979) came out, followed over the next three years by City of the Living Dead (1980), The Black Cat (1981), The Beyond (1981), and House by the Cemetery (1981), New York Ripper (1982), he simply could do no wrong. And I still think that statement holds up today as well, since at least four of those titles still are considered classics today. And now, thanks to Blue Underground, we get a brand-spanking new 4K scan, along with second disc of extras, AND the complete soundtrack on CD, this is one release that is well worth double or triple dipping on. Continue reading
Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989
Published by McFarland, 2019. 232 pages.
By Roberto Curti
Being that this is the 3rd book in the series by Curti involving the gothic horror films of Italy, this latest one, covering the ’80s, it’s sort of a nice little walk down memory lane for me. The ’80s is when I started to become aware of these films. With the boom of VHS tapes, the horror section was filled with these flicks from Italy, promising (and usually delivering) the bloody and gory goods to us eager viewers. So getting to read several pages on some of my favorites, namely the ones from Argento, Bava, Fulci, and Soavi, there is plenty to be learned here.
Not only will you get to read about some of your favorite classic Italian horror flicks like Argento’s Inferno (1980) or Fulci’s City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond and House by the Cemetery (both 1981), as well as Claudio Fragasso’s Monster Dog (1985) and Luigi Cozzi’s Paganini Horror (1989), you will get so much insight and information that I bet you’re going to want to re-watch some of these if you haven’t seen them in a while. You’ll learn maybe why Monster Dog turned out like it did, which could make you give it (and Fragasso) a little more credit. Maybe. Continue reading
The very following Saturday, on the 22nd of October, was when the other 24-hour marathon, called simply The Massacre, was being held at the Patio Theater. This is another old Chicago theater that is just beautiful. The lobby is just incredible, like stepping back in time. It thrills me to no end that someone is trying to keep this place open and alive. The theater itself is just huge, with plenty of seating for all the fans coming out to enjoy these movies. In the past, there had been issues with heat, either not having any or in the summer being just way too warm. Lucky for all of us, there weren’t any of those issues now, which was a great relief. Plus, I was not working this event, but was there just to sit back and enjoy the films, which was going to be a nice change of pace after the previous week. Since this time of year tends to be pretty busy for me, it’s tough for me to actually have time to sit and watch a flick every now and then. So this was going to be a great opportunity to do just that.
So…why would I drive 250 miles to a drive-in theater to see movies that I already own on DVD? That is a question that is tough to explain, especially to a someone that isn’t a movie person. And by a “movie person”, I mean it’s a person where movies mean more to you than your average person on the street. I mean, movies have a major impact on your life. So if you’re not one of these, I’m not sure I could explain it to you where it would make sense. If you are one, then there’s no reason to explain it anyway, because you already get it.
We are sadden to hear of the passing of Italian actor Carlo De Mejo, who appeared in several Lucio Fulci films, such as City of the Living Dead (1980), House by the Cemetery, and Manhattan Baby. He also appeared in Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination (1980), as well as two Bruno Mattei flicks, The Other Hell (1980) and Women’s Prison Massacre (1983).