Lucio Fulci is horror biz royalty ’round these parts. City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), The House by the Cemetery (1981), A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971), Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), fuckin’ Zombi (2) (1979)… these are Grade-A fright flick classics right there let me tell ya cats n’ creeps!
Now along comes writer/director Simone Scafidi’s with his docu-drama Fulci For Fake, a film which explores Fulci’s life and the impact he had on those that knew him best; his family and the people he created his unforgettable masterpieces alongside.
Now, ol’ triple “F” begins with an off-beat conceit; actor Nicola Nocella has been cast as Frenzied Fulci in a fictitious movie about the maestro’s life (and he ends up playing him in this film as well as the meta snake eats it’s tail). To prepare for the role, he chats it up with the likes of composer Fabio Frizzi, cinematographer Sergio Salvati, screenwriter Enrico Vanzina, filmmaker Michele Soavi, actor Paulo Malco, the director’s two daughters, Antonella and Camilla Fulci (more on her in a sec), and many more!
Camilla’s appearance is of note, as she has never spoken about her father publicly before her appearance in this film (and sadly she will never do so again, as she died after the film’s production), and her conversation is very candid and pulls no punches.
This is the overarching tone the entire film takes; as this is a look at the man underneath the legend, rather than the products of his fevered imagination, and it’s pretty damn wonderful. The anecdotes and remembrances of his life, as well as the stories of some of his film’s productions, and the warts and all stories of his family life help us, his legion of fiendish fans, an important understanding of how he conceived the works that have haunted the nightmares of plenty of you boils n’ ghouls (and is mirrored in Nocella’s journey to portraying the man… a narrative element I ended up enjoying very much).
Adding to what we learn in the feature presentation comes an additional wealth of knowledge courtesy of the bonus materials Severin have included on this Blu-ray release. First up we get an interview with Scafidi, followed by the full uncut interview with Camilla (which is worth the price of admission alone in my not so humble opinion).
Next we get interview outtakes with Salvati, Frizzi, Malco, Soavi and Vanzina, a collection of Fulci’s home movies, and a conversation with Fulci biographer Michele Romagnoli about his relationship to the director.
Lastly we get footage of a promotional zombie parade at the Venice Film Festival, behind the scenes footage from Fulci’s Demonia, interviews with the crew of Fulci For Fake, and the film’s trailer.
Bottom line; if you are a Fulci fan, this flick is a must see, and if you’re not this may give you a new appreciation for the man and his work!