The Lucio Fulci Collection [3 Discs] [Blu-ray]

This release features three cult horror films from director Lucio Fulci: City of the Living Dead - A priest's suicide opens the gateway to Hell and frees bloodthirsty zombies to roam the town of Dunwich. House by the Cemetery - When a family temporarily moves into a mansion near Boston so the father can do some research, the son Bob (Giovanni Frezza) starts seeing the ghost of a young girl motioning to him and he eventually discovers the basement's terrible secret. The New York Ripper - Jack Hedley stars as a hard-bitten police lieutenant tracking a sadistic sex-killer.
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Synopsis

City of the Living Dead
This gruesome horror film from cult director Lucio Fulci posits a priest's suicide opening the gateway to Hell, freeing bloodthirsty zombies to roam the town of Dunwich. The main attractions are startlingly explicit special effects by Franco Rufino, including two of the horror genre's most memorable deaths. One involves perennial victim Giovanni Lombardo Radice (also known as John Morghen) having his head run through with a power-drill, and the second is the notorious scene of a woman vomiting up all of her internal organs in a nauseating torrent of blood and guts. Fulci does manage one nice moment of splatter-free horror, as hero Christopher George struggles to free a woman who has been buried alive. As his pick-axe enters the coffin repeatedly, it comes ever closer to her face, causing the audience to wince with each strike. Aside from these scenes, though, Fulci's direction is somewhat plodding, as he substitutes slow pacing and clouds of fog for real suspense. Horror fans will still want to seek this film out, however, if only for the effects work and a familiar cast including Catriona MacColl, Janet Agren, Carlo de Mejo, Antonella Interlenghi, and Daniela Doria. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

The New York Ripper
Jack Hedley of The Anniversary stars as a hardbitten police lieutenant tracking a sadistic sex-killer in this gruesome thriller from splatter-maven Lucio Fulci. The misogynistic script (by Fulci and prolific collaborators Gianfranco Clerici and Vincenzo Mannino) posits a femme-hating psycho (who talks like Donald Duck) slashing beautiful women with a switchblade and a straight-razor because his daughter is in the hospital and will never grow up to be beautiful. Fulci was apparently trying to work in a statement about American competitiveness by making his heroine (Antonella Interlenghi) an aspiring Olympic athlete, and having a killer who is concerned that his daughter will never be "the best," but the point gets lost amidst the buckets of blood and gratuitously kinky sex scenes. Pandering to the lowest common denominator as never before in his career, Fulci showed with this blatant play for the sicko slasher crowd that the days of well-plotted, stylish Italian horror were gone, replaced with the most vicious sort of sexual violence and perversion. Despite all of that, there is one fairly masterful sequence in which the suspect's S&M sex partner learns his identity from a radio broadcast and must untie herself and escape while he sleeps. This scene is tense and nerve-wracking, a high-point of genuine fear amidst a nauseating collage of metal blades slicing female flesh. A shameful piece of work that makes Mario Landi's Giallo a Venezia look positively liberated, it co-stars Renato Rossini, Andrea Occhipinti, and Paolo Malco, with cult figures Alessandra Delli Colli, Daniela Doria, and Barbara Cupisti on the chopping block. Cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller, editor Vincenzo Tomassi, and composer Francesco De Masi have all done better work. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

The House by the Cemetery
This cult horror film from director Lucio Fulci lurches along with a certain amount of disjunction due to cutting, perhaps, if not to an innate Fulci disposition. When the Boyle family temporarily moves into a mansion near Boston so the father can do some research, the son Bob (Giovanni Frezza) starts seeing the ghost of a young girl motioning to him, and eventually he discovers the basement's terrible secret. A certain Dr. Freudstein (Giovanni de Nari) has been hanging out there since 1879 when he was banned from the medical profession, and he has kept himself alive although in miserable physical shape, by murdering the various inhabitants of the house and using their cells to keep his body going. An oversize bat attacks the father, floors come apart and crush unsuspecting victims, and at one point little Bob's blond head is held to the basement door by the evil doctor while the father is wildly swinging his axe through the door to save his son. Scenes like these and others are the real objective of the movie -- the strange and irresolute ending, and leaps and gaps in the plot, are indications that all else is dispensible pretext - gore is the goal and it is delivered in sickening doses. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Christopher George
    Christopher George - Peter Bell
  • Image coming soon
    Carlo de Mejo - Jerry
  • Image coming soon
    Antonella Interlenghi
  • Image coming soon
    Robert Sampson
  • Venantino Venantini
    Venantino Venantini

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