Friday, October 21, 2011

Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered - Vol. 1 (2008)

The life & times of the "Godfather of Gore" as seen through the eyes of his colleagues & peers.

Love him or hate him, if you are a hardcore horror fan then you might be familiar with the work of Lucio Fulci. The director most commonly known for such titles as: Zombie, The Beyond & The City of the Living Dead. His film's reveled in a shocking amount of extreme violence & gore, which resulted in many of them being banned or heavily edited across Europe.

However this was not always the case for Fulci. His career started in the early 60's as a Comedy writer, and by the end of that decade he had moved onto directing Spaghetti Westerns. His big break finally came in 1979, when his undead masterpiece Zombi 2 (later released in the U.S. under Zombie) was released to the world. Distributed as a (un)official sequel to George Romero's Dawn of the Dead, Fulci had finally found his niche.

By no means is this a typical documentary. If you are looking for a visual look back on Fulci's body of work through clips or photos, then sadly this DVD is not for you. Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered - Vol. 1 is a massive collection of interviews led by it's creator Mike Baronas. Years of filming, traveling to all different countries and talking to over 80 actors/directors/friends that worked with Fulci, this is the ultimate companion piece for the fans.

The DVD menu is broken down into three categories, which gives you the option on who's stories you wish to hear. Peers, Accomplices & Victims are your choices. Each participant in the film is asked the same question, What is your fondest memory of Lucio Fulci?. The interviews range anywhere from 30 seconds to 7 minutes long. A few only have mere words to say in front of the camera, while others go into great detail about their experience with the director. Some go as far as to suggest that he was a nightmare to work with. Regardless Fulci had left an impression whether good or bad with each and every person interviewed. And with over 4 hours of material on the disc, there is a lot to cram in here.

The later part of Fulci's life & career (Mid 80's to early 90's) was marred with various health issues and unsuccessful movie projects. In 1991, he directed what would be his final film and unfortunately just five short years later at the age of 68, Fulci passed away from complications from diabetes.

There is a great deal of sadness when his passing is mentioned, and it's very clear that the man is still very sorely missed. My feeling from watching this is that Fulci was a very complex individual. Someone with a hard outer shell but warmhearted inside. Who would have guessed from the man who wrote & directed scenes like a woman puking up her own guts. Critics often refer to Fulci's work as schlock and while that maybe hard to debate, you can't deny that he has built quite the rabid cult following.

Personally I would have liked to have seen more out of this DVD. As a Fulci fan I enjoyed seeing and hearing from everyone involved in the film, though after 4 hours it can get a little monotonous. Needless to say this one is pretty much strictly for the diehards. Besides, there's always a potential Vol. 2...

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