Event Title

“Unrestrained by Either Taste or Plausibility:” The Zombie Films of Lucio Fulci

Location

FA160 - Recital Hall

Start Date

19-4-2019 9:20 AM

Department

Communication, Media, and Theatre

Description

Owing to the growth of boutique Blu-ray labels, Italian horror from the 1970-80s has seen a resurgence in recent years. One of the key figures in this movement is Lucio Fulci, whose key films are Zombie (1979), City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), and The House by the Cemetery (1981). The films are seminal works of the Italian horror genre, and may even help to clarify the genre’s parameters since many Italian horror films are both “ripoffs” of American movies and incredibly gory. Despite this, the scholarship on Italian horror is largely limited to focusing on the contributions of Mario Bava and Dario Argento, whose works are more in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers rather than horror. Therefore, it was necessary to conduct a comprehensive literature review to examine the current scholarship on Fulci’s films in order to suggest future areas of research. The current literature concentrates on four areas. First, it positions Lucio Fulci as an auteur whose style is defined by gothic atmosphere and intense, lingering gore scenes. Second, the literature examines existing definitions of Italian horror and how Fulci fits into that genre, primarily that his films are Italian versions of what American films marketed to an American audience. However, the concept of Italian horror is imprecise, as scholars define it differently and Fulci’s films may help us come closer to precise definition. Third, these four films contribute to the critical dialogue on zombie films by examining the postcolonial context, as well as how these films typify the breakdown of the concept of meaning in zombie narratives. Fourth, there are several textual analyses of the films, ranging from a psychoanalytic reading of The Beyond to viewing The House by the Cemetery as the model for postmodern Euro-horror, but this area of research is far from complete. The implications of this literature review are clear: the films of Lucio Fulci warrant further academic study, and film- specific textual analysis would be a good place to start.

Comments

Shayne Pepper is the faculty sponsor of this project.

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Apr 19th, 9:20 AM

“Unrestrained by Either Taste or Plausibility:” The Zombie Films of Lucio Fulci

FA160 - Recital Hall

Owing to the growth of boutique Blu-ray labels, Italian horror from the 1970-80s has seen a resurgence in recent years. One of the key figures in this movement is Lucio Fulci, whose key films are Zombie (1979), City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), and The House by the Cemetery (1981). The films are seminal works of the Italian horror genre, and may even help to clarify the genre’s parameters since many Italian horror films are both “ripoffs” of American movies and incredibly gory. Despite this, the scholarship on Italian horror is largely limited to focusing on the contributions of Mario Bava and Dario Argento, whose works are more in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers rather than horror. Therefore, it was necessary to conduct a comprehensive literature review to examine the current scholarship on Fulci’s films in order to suggest future areas of research. The current literature concentrates on four areas. First, it positions Lucio Fulci as an auteur whose style is defined by gothic atmosphere and intense, lingering gore scenes. Second, the literature examines existing definitions of Italian horror and how Fulci fits into that genre, primarily that his films are Italian versions of what American films marketed to an American audience. However, the concept of Italian horror is imprecise, as scholars define it differently and Fulci’s films may help us come closer to precise definition. Third, these four films contribute to the critical dialogue on zombie films by examining the postcolonial context, as well as how these films typify the breakdown of the concept of meaning in zombie narratives. Fourth, there are several textual analyses of the films, ranging from a psychoanalytic reading of The Beyond to viewing The House by the Cemetery as the model for postmodern Euro-horror, but this area of research is far from complete. The implications of this literature review are clear: the films of Lucio Fulci warrant further academic study, and film- specific textual analysis would be a good place to start.