Lucio Fulci, "Godfather of Gore"
Hated by the critics, but loved by the fans, director Lucio Fulci is best known for directing Zombie, The Beyond, and City of the Living Dead. He was often criticized for the excessive violence (especially towards women) in his films, but claimed that real life was more horrifying than any film he had ever directed. Here¹s what the critics have to say.
Lucio Fulci is considered by many to be the Godfather of Italian gore movies. Of course, this doesn't mean a lot to the traditional film establishment since most Italian gore movies of the 70's and 80's were nothing more than blatant rip-offs of American blockbusters (Dawn of the Dead, Jaws, and The Exorcist were all copied copiously by various directors in Italy). In fact, most standard film critics and historians consider Fulci nothing but a two-bit hack. Unfortunately, it was that kind of attitude that Fulci dealt with during his entire career: next-to-no financing for shooting his films and a total underappreciation of his work until after his death.
Fulci was the master of eye-gore. In The Beyond, one unfortunate man had a nail driven through the back of his head until it poked out his eyeball from behind and a librarian had his eyes eaten by tarantulas. In Zombie, a woman's eye was pulled onto a sharp piece of wood from a closet door in one of the most infamous scenes of Fulci's career. Clearly, a man with this kind of extreme filmmaking technique needs music that supports his style.
Why do I like the work of Fulci? Let me think..... Oh yeah the GORE!!!!(i.e imagery) Fulci had mastered the technique of bringing the audience to the edge of their seats and than shocking the shit out of them. I will never forget the eye ball puncturing scene or the shark attack from "Zombies", the drill scene from "The Gates of Hell", the little girl having the side of her head removed by a gunshot in "The Beyond", or the guy being quartered in "Demonia". Fulci used gore to its fullest potential without making it the main focus of his films and for those who think it was, you are missing out on the atmosphere and beauty of his work. He never sold out his work to the censors either. Also, Fulci just as Argento, was wonderful at using music for the atmosphere of his films.