After an evening with horror master Mario Bava, Freak-Out Friday presents a double-feature tribute to Lucio Fulci, another acclaimed craftsman of 1970’s Italian genre cinema. On the programme, two films from the highpoint of Fulci’s career, a period which sealed his reputation as a genre master, alongside Bava and Argento.
Zombie – 1979
An abandoned yacht drifts into New York harbour. Two harbour patrol guards inspect the seemingly empty boat when they are attacked by a zombie. The daughter of the boat’s owner, Anne, is questioned by the police, but she claims she hasn’t seen her father for months, and that he’s gone to a tropical island to pursue his research. She decides to track him down at the same time as reporter Peter West. They find a note written by Anne’s father indicating that he’s on the island of Matoul, and is plagued by an unknown illness. Once there, they meet Dr Ménard, who is trying to find a cure for an illness that resuscitates the dead as flesh-eating zombies.
Italian producers of the 1970s frequently copied American genre films of all sorts – westerns, sword and sandal films, sci-fi, and so on. After the success in Italy of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, released as Zombi, producer Fabrizio de Angelis hired Fulci to make Zombie 2, a film which tried hard to pass itself off as a prequel to Romero’s film. But Fulci’s zombies are quiet different things from Romero’s. Far more frightening, they incarnate perfectly a Fulci trademark, that of flamboyant gore. Other Fulci films from this period are Don’t Torture a Duckling (Non si sevizia un papen) and The Psychic (Sette note in nero), both released in 1977.
Version: in Italian, subtitled in English
Director: Lucio Fulci
Producer: Fabrizio De Angelis et Ugo Tucci
Scenario: Elisa Briganti
Cinematography: Sergio Salvati
Editing: Vincenzo Tomassi
Music: Giorgio Tucci
Actors: Ian McCulloch, Tisa Farrow, Richard Johnson…