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

The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut

Beyond Composer's CutIt was almost two years ago when I have the joy of watching Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, one of my all-time favorite films in the theater. But this time it was a little different. Composer Fabio Frizzi was there with his Frizzi 2 Fulci band playing a live score during the film. He called it “The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut”. There was music being played where there normally wasn’t, or maybe the cues were a little longer than originally. Either way, it was an amazing experience to be watching these nightmarish images that Fulci came up with on the big screen, and hearing this chilling score being played live right in front of you.

Now, thanks to Beat Records, you can have a chance to hear that live version over and over again, with the release of The Beyond – The Composer’s Cut: Live in Austin on CD. This release has two different versions here, one by a 51 piece symphonic orchestra and the second one performed by his Frizzi 2 Fulci band.

The CD is has over an hours worth of music and is only $19.95 and will be released Sept. 10th. You can order your copy from Screen Archives by clicking HERE.

Movie Review: The Beyond

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The  Beyond (1981)
Starring Starring Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale, Antoine Saint-John, Veronica Lazar, Larry Ray, Giovanni De Nava, Al Cliver, Michele Mirabella, Gianpaolo Saccarola

The first time I witnessed a Lucio Fulci film was seeing it under a completely different title, the edited American version called Seven Doors of Death. Even the director’s name had been modified, here listed as “Louis Fuller”. This played at the theater I worked at and I remember being very puzzled at just what the hell was happening on screen. I had heard of Zombie, and remember it had been playing at the local drive-in, but I wasn’t driving at that time and couldn’t get anybody to take me to see it. But even then, I had no idea of the connection between the two films. That would definitely come later though.

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Movie Events, Marathons, and Madness

When this time of year comes around, there is one thing that you can be sure of….busy weekends! With the Halloween season right around the corner, there are plenty of different movie events coming up, from Dusk to Dawn shows at the drive-ins, to 24-hour marathons, to simple movie screenings of classic monster flicks. With so many to choose from, it’s time to start marking them down in your calendar and start making those plans. Here’s a little run down of the events that we know about coming up in the Chicagoland area. I’m sure there are more, but here’s the ones that I know about. Feel free to leave a notice about one near you in the comment section if you’d like. The more word we can get about these events, the more we can help support them!

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Films That Made a “Lasting Impression”

Let’s just say that I hate making lists in general. It forces you to chose or narrow down a “favorites” list. I have way too many movies that I honestly love the hell out of, so getting it down to a list of ten is just impossible. And honestly, I really don’t care for these kind of lists that are always going around Facebook, mainly because I just don’t want to spend the time on them and my above mentioned hatred for lists. But since this quest was to name films that had a “lasting impression” on you, I figured I could come up with ten titles that did have a major impact on my life. But instead of just listing the movies, I figured I’d try and expand on why these certain titles affected me the way they did. Of course, this list could change at any time…day or night.

Plus, since a friend tagged me on this, I figured it was the least I could do to reply. Thanks Jessica…this was a nice little trip down memory lane.

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The Beyond at the Music Box Theatre

Later on this evening, I will be heading into Chicago for a midnight screening of Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, thanks to not only the Music Box but also Grindhouse Releasing for all of their hard work they have done on this. But why drive the hour+ long drive into the city to see a movie that I’ve already seen twice on the big screen at this same theater, not to mention having seen it upon its original release back in the ’80s (although in a highly cut version, under the re-titling of Seven Doors of Death)? Because of many reasons.

beyond3First and foremost, The Beyond is one of my favorite movies, so having the chance to see this on the big screen is one that I’m going to take advantage of whenever I can. Also it is to show support. Support to folks at Grindhouse Releasing for all of their hard work that they do in preserving this amazing films. And support to the Music Box Theatre for continuing to screen these kind of films. If we don’t support this kind of work, then they are going to wonder why bother and stop them.

And the most important reason….YOU GET TO SEE A LUCIO FULCI CLASSIC ON THE BIG SCREEN!!!!

So…we’ll see you there, right?