Horror History: Ottaviano Dell’Acqua

ottaviano-zombieOttaviano Dell’Acqua
Born 1954

Ottaviano is a face that even the die-hard horror fans won’t recognize… outside of the famous makeup he wore in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979). You see, unbeknownst to even him, it was his face under the makeup and words, that was splattered across the movie posters and video boxes all over the states.

He started his film career as a stunt man and sometimes actor in small or bit parts, or at times a lead role. As an actor, he appeared in films like Nightmare City (1980), Rats: Night of Terror (1984), Cut and Run (1985), Zombi 3 (1988), and Zombie 4: After Death (1989). But as a stuntman or stunt coordinator, he worked on tons of horror and exploitation movies in the ’70s and ’80s, titles like Starcrash (1978), The Humanoid (1979), Cannibal Apocalypse (1980), Cut and Run and Demons (both 1985), and many, many more. He’s one of these many nameless actors who appear in some of our favorite films, but never really received any sort of fame because they were always either behind the scenes, usually having their names changed to more American sounding, and were usually appearing in the low budget titles. But now, this is a start!

Bruce Campbell at the Midway Drive-In

Bruce at the Midway

Are you anxious to get out of the house and see some classic horror films in the theater? Wait? Indoor theaters not open yet? No worries. Now is your chance to still go to the theater and see some classic horror films on the big screen, all from the comfort of your own car!

Oh yeah… Did I mention that Bruce Campbell will be there as well.

On July 10th & 11th, the Midway Drive-In in Dixon, IL, will be hosting the one and only Bruce Campbell for two nights of fright films that we all love. Now this isn’t the usual event at the Midway, so you’ll need to head over to the Flashback Weekend site (just click HERE) for all the ticket information, as well as the latest information about the event.

Also, because of Covid-19, there are new rules that MUST be followed. Click HERE for those rules and policies. Remember folks, this is about keeping everyone safe, from you and your family, to everyone else coming out to enjoy the evening. So please make sure you read and follow the rules and we can all still have a safe and fun night at the drive-in.

Here is the events planned for each night: Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Psychic (1977)

psychicbanner

Sette Note in Nero (aka The Psychic, 1977)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Jennifer O’Neil, Gabriele Ferzetti, Marc Porel, Gianni Garko, Ida Galli, Jenny Tamburi, Fabrizio Jovine, Riccardo Parisio

This film is a perfect example of how one’s own opinion can change over the years, and you as a film fan develops a more of a… shall we say… refined taste? As saying goes that you can’t watch a movie with the same eyes twice, and this title is a perfect example of that. The first time I watched this was when I had just started to get into Lucio Fulci, mainly watching his gore flicks, such as Zombie (1979) and The Beyond (1981), just to name a couple. So when there was very little gore to this one, other than the opening (which I have to say now is one of the worst parts of the film), I found the rest to be a little boring and never gave it a second thought. When an updated release of the film came out on DVD, it had been well over a decade, so I thought it was about time I give it a second viewing to see if anything had changed. And it did. Or should I say, I did. Continue reading

Movie Review: House by the Cemetery Blu-Ray

House by the Cemetery 7

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

Midway’s Dusk to Dawn Horrorfest

Midway sunset cropped

At the recent Flashback Weekend, they announced the date for this year’s Dusk to Dawn Horrorfest and 3 out of the 4 features they will be screening. And as always, it is one you are not going to want to miss.

Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 21st, they will be screening undoubtedly one of the scariest films ever made, The Exorcist (1973). I know the first time I watched this was on TV in the severely edited version and it still kept me awake at night. It is a film that still packs a punch and has not lost any of its effectiveness to creep into the audiences’ psyche. With great performances from Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Linda Blair, and of course, Ellen Burstyn, who gives a performance that I think is one of the reason this movie is so powerful, since we are living through her character. Not to mention the incredible makeup effects by Dick Smith (and his young assistant Rick Baker). Seeing this one the big screen will really be a religious experience! Continue reading

Do We Really Need Another Zombie Shirt?

ZOMBIE_BOATUh…that answer would be YES! Especially when it is something a little different than the usual images we have from Fulci’s Zombie! Pallbearer Press, who consistently puts out not only high quality products, but comes up with some great looking and original designs. And this is no different. This art is from Barlow and is just fantastic.

I know the new thing is to have these multi-colored shirts of our favorite horror films, but honestly for me, there is something special about a nice 1 or 2 color shirt. Maybe its nostalgia or just being an old man, but the look of these kinds of shirts just feel right. Continue reading

Movie Review: New York Ripper

NYR 6

New York Ripper (1982)
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Starring Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti, Alexandra Delli Colli, Paolo Malco, Barbara Cupisti, Zora Kerova, Daniela Doria

Back in my early days, when searching out the video store shelves looking for the latest and greatest gore film, it didn’t take long to become familiar with Lucio Fulci. Starting with Zombie, which was always pretty accessible, you’d move to unknowingly cut versions of Gates of Hell (1980) and House by the Cemetery (1981), but still were damn happy to find them. Then you came across New York Ripper. This wasn’t any zombie chomping into their victim, no supernatural elements here but a sick and twisted serial killer that quacked like a duck!?!?! W-T-F? But at that time, who cared if it was crazy or just plain weird, Fulci delivered the goods with plenty of gore and exposed flesh. Continue reading

Book Review: Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989

Italian Gothic Horror Films 1980-1989Italian 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

Celeste Yarnell & Venantino Venantini – Rest in Peace

 

I was just commenting the other day that either I have missed them or the number of our genre stars that we’ve been losing has been much lower than previous years. And then we lose Stelvio Cipriani last week, and now there are two more.

Continue reading