The Fulci Killer
The Freudstein Monster — from THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Since a VHS viewing of ZOMBI 2, I’ve had mixed feelings about Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci. His stuff seemed nasty, without any underlying philosophy. On the other hand, he certainly evinced style, albeit unsubtle style. For all his excess and protraction, an authentic visual genius like Sergio Leone was always much more economical in his use of film language than Fulci.
Still, I had to admit one thing: the monsters and zombies in Fulci are authentically horrid: they really feel not too much the products of makeup, and more the product of something having gone badly wrong with the actor’s body. Maybe a makeup artist has dusted the guy down with baking flour or something, but you get the feeling that even after a bath the lumbering fellow would be hard to look at.
Then I saw LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN which, lacklustre ending aside, struck me as a triumph, visually inventive to an absurd degree, and just hysterically enjoyable (the plot hinges on a murder witnessed during an LSD trip, whose imagery must be decoded to find the killer — I think).
And now I’ve seen another one that holds up awfully well — go here to read about it.