Episode 6 of Discover the Horror Podcast is UP!

In this episode, we talk about the Italian Godfather of Gore, Lucio Fulci. But while everyone has seen his films like Zombie (1979) and City of the Living Dead (1980), we thought we’d discuss a few of his lesser-known films, such as Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), The Psychic (1977), and House of Clocks (1989). So, you can either click below, go to Discover the Horror’s website, or find it on whatever platform you listen to podcasts. And once you’re done listening, let us know what you think? Thoughts? Comments? Got any suggestions for future shows? Let us know!

April Fulci!

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

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!

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: 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

Horror History: Richard Johnson

Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson
Born July 30th, 1927 – Died June 5th, 2015

Two of my all time favorite films: Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) and Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979), which are about as two different films that you could get. And this man, Richard Johnson, stars in both of them. I think I actually saw The Haunting on television one night at my future wife’s house, watching it with her and her mom, amazed at how creepy this old black and white film was. Then finding out that this suave and distinguished gentleman was also the same actor who played Dr. Menard in one of the greatest zombie films ever committed to film! Boggles the mind. 

While Johnson had attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, performing with John Gielgud’s company before joining the navy in 1945. After the war, he was back to acting before making his film debut in the early ’50s. He was actually offered the role of James Bond in Dr. No, before Sean Connery, but turned it down because he didn’t want to be stuck in a 7-year contract! While he really didn’t appear in a ton of horror films, half-dozen or so that he did appear in, he was always memorable and entertaining. Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, some of my favorites of his work are Beyond the Door (1974) and Island of the Fishmen (1979), but there are a few more gems in there for you to do a little research on if you’re not entirely sure of Johnson’s other work.

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

Rest in Peace – Richard Johnson

richardjohnson-ripThe horror genre has lost an iconic figure today. Sure, this man might not have been as prolific as actors like Peter Cushing or Vincent Price, but the horror few roles that he did appear in, he made quite an impact. At least for me, he did. We are saddened to announce the passing of actor Richard Johnson, at the age of 87. Starting his career as a stage actor, touring with John Gielgud’s repertory once he got out of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he made quite a name for himself on the stage.

But of course, for us horror fans, he will always be remembered for two characters that he played, both being doctors, but each investigating a very different malady. In 1963, Robert Wise adapted Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House for the film version simple entitled The Haunting. Richard Johnson starred as Dr. Markway, a budding parapsychologist who is tryinig to investigate the dreaded Hill House, where the living don’t seem to be welcomed there. Appearing along side other theater greats like Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, and Russ Tamblyn, this 50+ year old film is still one of the most effective and scariest haunted house films ever made. Of course the 2nd film is appearing as Dr. Menard, who is frantically trying to discover the cause of the zombie outbreak on the small island of Matul, in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie. Even with the outrageousness of the film, Johnson still gave a serious and compelling performance.

Continue reading