Friday, April 1, 2011

Rare Flix: Lucio Fulci's The Maniacs

Lucio Fulci- the Godfather of Gore.  He's famous for his numerous films about people dying in really bloody and disgusting ways.  The movies contain moments like a woman vomiting her organs up, a man being ripped in half and even a man getting a drill press through his ear.  So it's no surprise that today's film is one of his most bloody and disgusting.  That film- 1964's The Maniacs.  It's a series of vignettes about death, murder and mayhem.  Put up your guard as we meet up with...
As I said, the film is a series of bloody, violent vignettes.  For example, one man is driving down the road (see 1991's Door Into Silence).  When the person behind him won't stop tailgating him, he starts yelling at him.
 A few minutes later, we see that the driver is...a plane.  He was driving on the runway, huh?
In another vignette, a pair of soldiers are discussing how their fellow men have been captured by the Americans.  I bet they're being tortured or something.
 Oh wait, the men realize that if they are captured, they will get better food and treatment.  They run off to be captured as the segment ends.  Odd...and terrifying in a certain way.  Do I need to go on?
Where is my blood?  The plot of this movie...well, there is no plot.  It's a series of skits that all have the same set-up, execution and punch-line.  We get a premise, it plays out for a bit and it twists in a certain way that you should not expect.  For example, a pair of women (one of whom is Barbara Steele) think that their husbands are having an affair.  They go through their records and find a named 'Italia.'  They follow the men and discover that Italia is...the name of their soccer team.  Shocking!  The film is pretty much 90 minutes of this.  If you're looking for blood, don't bother.  This black-and-white comedy has none.  It's Rare though.
Seriously though, this is one of TWO slapstick comedies by Fulci.  I'll save the other one for another day.

By the way, April Fools.

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