Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci by Stephen E. Thrower
English | January 31, 1999 | ISBN: 0952926059, 0952926067 | PDF | 312 pages | 87 MB
What can I say? FAB Press has the most justifiably great reputation for released the most consistently excellent and comprehensive genre reference books available. "" is yet another reason why I'm comfortable recommending each and every FAB release sight unseen.
Stephen Thrower has done the unimaginable with "Beyond Terror"; he's turned Fulci's body of work into the canon of a true auteur, instead of the slipshod semi-talent that some less-than-informed genre enthusiasts have labeled him. The book chronicles Fulci's entire filmography. That means that we'll find more than just a passing reference to Fulci's comedies, police-thrillers and giallos, as well as his far better-known horror films. That's right, people..."Lizard in a Woman's Skin" gets almost equal treatment and care as does "The Beyond" or the much-loved "Zombi 2 (aka "Zombie", "Zombie Flesh Eaters")". But wait...I'll bet the average fan didn't know that Fulci, in addition to crafting some of the most memorable (and arguably greatest) splatter films of all time is also responsible for several westerns, too! The shock! The horror! The enlightenment!
With all of the praise he heaps on Fulci, you'd think Thrower was just another rabid fanboy who thinks that the maestro could do no wrong...well, that's simply not the case here. Thrower knows that, quite often, Fulci was capable of hugely overreaching his own talents...frequently resulting in sloppy, silly, and less-than-cohesive films. But, he also knows when this lack of cohesiveness worked in Fulci's favor, as is exemplified by the surreal, out-of-synch timelines in both "The Beyond" and "City of the Living Dead". The great thing is that Thrower is so unapologetic about his love for Fulci's work that, like most true Fulci Fanatics, he is able and quite willing to overlook the inherent imperfections in the man's work in favor of just sitting back and enjoying it...and he encourages readers to do the same. As frequent readers of this sort of thing will know, one must be completely unapologetic about such things, or else one tends to rob oneself of some of the pure enjoyment of Fulci's films. One special note, too, is that Thrower is never shy about confirming what has been said about Fulci so often; that he tended to be a strange, isolated man, with quite a mean and misogynistic streak. Still, we all have our faults, and without those faults, Thrower realizes that Fulci's films would likely have lacked that "edge" for which they're so known (and loved, and sometimes even reviled).
As usual, FAB's presentation of "Beyond Terror" is absolutely above reproach. This oversized volume (nearly 12"x9.5") rings in at a whopping 312 pages, and features over eight-hundred images...many of which are in full color. And what images they are! We've got lobby cards, theatrical posters, video/DVD sleeves, behind-the-scenes photos, promotional stills, and every other sort of imaginable imagery related to Fulci's films. In fact, the "kitchen sink" approach has never worked better...while browsing "Beyond Terror", I half-expected to stumble across pictures of Fulci as a bouncing baby boy. Alas, no dice on that one, but one gets the feeling that, if only for the sake of taste and brevity, FAB may have actually left some stuff out!!! Scary thought, don't you think?
It's the easiest thing in the world to write a review for such a joy of a book. Even if you're a casual fan of Fulci, you owe it to yourself to pick up this truly (in terms of both size and quality of content) weighty tome. You'll learn something about not only Fulci the man and Fulci the director, but also about this beloved genre of ours. Plus, it captures the essence of horror filmmaking in 1980's Italy...a wonderful little added confection to sweeten the deal that much more.
"" is absolutely essential reading for fans of the maestro and for genre-lovers in general. FAB has done such a bang-up job here that I can only say "buy it, you fuckers" and give this book the Atrocities Cinema Essential Award!