Monday, June 17, 2024

Junesploitation 2024 Day 17: Fulci!


  1. (thanks Patrick for the Director Essentials: Fulci article! i only know a little of his work and your write up helped me pick todays flick....)

    The New York Ripper (1983)

    An odd duck of a slasher (#dadjokes-near-fathers-day). Actually its a great slasher. Its a leery, skeevy, gory, newyork-in-the-early-80s-y, atmospheric slasher film. The killer uses a donald duck voice which is ridiculous for 95% of the movie and then its kinda perfect. The soundtrack is all over the place but the visuals and direction are awesome. Definitely plan to dive deeper into Fulci's work.

  2. Devil's Honey (1986)

    Haven't ventured this late into Fulci's career before. This one's supposed to be really sleazy, which is all the recommendation I need.

  3. The Devil's Honey (1986, dir. Lucio Fulci)

    The mentally unstable Jessica is in a codependent and borderline abusive relationship with Johnny. When Johnny has a motorcycle accident and dies at the hands of a surgeon distracted by his marital problems, Jessica loses her mind and kidnaps the doctor to subject him to torture and humiliation.

    I've seen most of Fulci's biggest horror movies, but this is more of a psychological thriller (and almost softcore porn on the side). Even without supernatural horrors or serial killers, Fulci creates a liminal space where characters behave like no human ever has, but still remain somehow compelling to watch. Blanca Marsillach is amazing as the unhinged Jessica. The movie opens with a sex scene that promises craziness, but while the ensuing movie is bonkers, it never quite lives up to that promise.

    Rewatch. Severin DVD. Still 7/10.
    “The worm enters the apple.”
    This movie was almost as good as the mystery-hunt Blogger put me through rewiring my un-profane review. Blogger won.
    “It’s a nice hair shirt.”

    1. I'm glad we live in such a free, openminded time in history.

  5. Cat in the Brain (1990)

    Lucio Fulci IS Lucio Fulcio in Lucio Fulci's Cat in the Brain! The line between reel and reality is becoming muddled for the Maestro, as he meanders randomly into a maelstrom of gruesome murders. It almost seems karmic: all the blood-splattered scenes Fulci (the character) has put us through (as the director) are causing him psychosis and coming back to haunt him. This allows Fulci (the director) to lazily edit in multiple scenes of mutilation from his previous movies, turning this into a true gorehound's delight. Of course, due to Lucio's (the character's) psychosis, Lucio (the screenwriter) can also exert his trademark apathy towards logical, linear storytelling.

    It's all a hallucinogenic, nonsensical nightmare, so toss your cares (and perhaps your cookies) out the window and can have some fun with this. David L Thompson is hysterical as the lunatic psychiatrist/serial killer, and his line about how real-life violence is blamed on horror films is a conceit that seems to come straight from the Maestro's mouth. There's also a bevy of nipples for titillation and just enough atmosphere to create a sense of discomfort. And, as mentioned, this one's filled with cheap Italian gore; I loved the scene where Lucio (the character, who at the time is directing) complained about the unrealistic special effects!

    I've seen a whole lotta Lucio, and this one's more Lucio than any other! For better AND worse. That said, I loved it!

    In the future, prisoners are forced to fight to the death on a TV game show for big ratings. Whereas The Running Man had its metaphor secondary to the action and one-liners, Fulci’s version emphasizes the Orwellian dystopia of it all. The atmosphere rules in this one, with every scene containing cool futuristic imagery. Once we get to the big game, it’s low-budget action in the best way. And this is a #Junesploitation Venn diagram in that it’s directed by Fulci, released by Troma, and stars Fred Williamson!

    All right, I’ll watch one of the Westerns. Franco Nero plays a wandering cowboy who returns home to find the family farm taken over by cruel landowners. I must admit to being amused by how very, very low budget this one is, feeling more like Western cosplay rather than a Western. But it moves along at a quick pace, and Nero knows how to hold the screen, so it’s all good.

    Bonus Universal Monster-sploitation: SON OF DRACULA (1943)
    Now Lon Cheney Jr. is Drac, but the plot is more about an heiress named Katherine and her journey into becoming a vampire. Did this movie invent New Orleans vampires, or has NOLA always been vampy?

  7. The New York Ripper (1982)

    It's 1980s New York as told through the eyes of Lucio Fulci, so it's nothing but sex and murder. A lot has been said about the killer doing a Donald Duck impression every time he stabs somebody and that's because it's totally ridiculous. But by the time the movie reaches its climax, it's way creeper than you could've imagined. It feels like Fulci saying, "Look at what I can do. They're laughing now..."

  8. Aenigma (1987)

    Fulci day is a highlight every year. I've worked my way through most of his major filmography over the past many Junesploitations. Aenigma is maybe one of his most straightforward movies? Ghostly happenings in a girls' boarding school. The maestro's style is hitting on all cylinders making this a wildly entertaining ride. The snails... my god the snails...

    Re-watch. Arrow Blu. Still 8/10.

  10. The Psychic (1977)

    A woman who has visions tries to solve a murder while proving her husband's innocence. Bit of a slow first half. Then ANXIETY!

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  12. Four of the Apocalypse (1975)
    I liked this crazy-ass Western much more on my most recent viewing than I did originally in 2015. This time I didn’t fall asleep once. The score of the American version is hilarious.

  13. Conquest (1983) was a weird fantasy movie. I had a bit of trouble following the story, but there was enough interesting stuff on screen that it didn't matter. This movie was really dripping with atmosphere and the score was truly wild.

  14. Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

    I really love Fulci's brand of weirdo, grotesque horror but really need to be in the right mood for it. Wasn't particularly in the mood and this was a bit more rural mystery than I expected. Will have to revisit.. multiple viewings usually do Fulci movies justice.


    A great entry in the "telling women to calm down" genre.

  16. CONQUEST (1983)

    Perhaps the biggest surprise I may have all month. Having not read many good comments about this particular Fulci production, I was expecting a bit of a slog, like how The New Gladiators was last year. The weirdness of Conquest ended up winning me over. Once I stopped worrying about the lack of logic, the dream atmosphere of the film took over. The plot moves along at a quick pace and gets progressively weirder. The doses of nudity and gore added a needed exploitation element. Although Conquest is bad filmmaking on many objective levels, it was a fun watch for Junesploitation.