Friday, August 7, 2015

Only now does it occur to me... A CAT IN THE BRAIN

Only now does it occur to me... that I know now what it's like to live a day in the life of Italotrash Art-Horror director Lucio Fulci.

The circumstances by which I know this involve a latter-day film of his called A CAT IN THE BRAIN, a self-reflexive meta-fantasia that stars Lucio Fulci as... himself.  He is revealed to look kind of like that uncle of yours who never married and wears horn-rimmed glasses on a cord around his neck and sometimes traps you in freaky chats at the family BBQ that begin amusingly enough but evolve into the conversational equivalent of kidnapping.

Ready for his closeup

Fulci wanders Rome while directing his latest picture and has a series of hallucinations; a guy chainsawing a tree begins chainsawing a corpse, steak tartare becomes a cannibalistic entrée, housecats chew on brains, et cetera, et cetera.  You know.

That is one angry cat puppet.

Anyway, aficionados of Fulci's oeuvre will find much of this to be interesting (I suspect the casual fan will not), though overall it has the feel of a sitcom "clip show"––there's not much plot connecting the various gore moments.  (Actually, it's not that varied––it's mostly decapitations.  From the point at which I said aloud 'wow, that is a substantial number of decapitations in one movie' and began tallying them, I counted fourteen.  Which means that there are more than fourteen.

One of shall we say a substantial number of decapitations.

There's also a murderous psychiatrist running around who kinda looks like Sigmund Freud, but that's neither here nor there.
 "Now you have a... DEAD-ipus complex!"  ––unfortunately, not an actual line from the movie

Also, I find it incredible that this film was made in 1990––between the fashion and the film stock, my movie radar would have placed it somewhere between 1978 and 1983.

In any event, here are some things that I learned about Fulci's day-to-day life, as depicted in this movie.

#1. Fulci loves flannel almost as much as he loves eye trauma.

Lookin' sharp, Lucio!

He loves it at four-star restaurants, and he loves it on set at Cinecittá Studios.  He just loves it.

Note: Fulci does not say "Cut," but "Stop!"  (of course it doesn't matter because he's dubbed from the original Italian)

#2.  But he still really loves eye trauma.  Here he is wrangling a whole bunch of sheep eyeballs (makes sense).

#3. The ladies love him.  I'm sure that this account about Fulci by Fulci contains no exaggerations.  Everywhere he goes, young women recognize him

and fantasize about appearing in his films.

He is chased around by fans like he's a Beatle in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, though I feel like those situations could be alleviated somewhat if he didn't have "DIR. LUCIO FULCI" emblazoned on his front door.

Dear movie gods, please let that detail be true to life.

Later, he cruises around in a yacht called "Perversion"

whilst mackin' on young Italo-babes.  Hoo boy!  (While it might seem like it's not the case, I do believe Fulci has a sense of humor about all of this.)

#4.  Lucio Fulci directs orgies exactly like you think he'd direct orgies.

#5.  Finally, I kept wondering if we'd see the interior of Fulci's home.  How well did he do for himself directing incomprehensibly dreamlike art-horror flicks?

When we see it, I suppose we can say he did pretty well, carving out a comfortable upper-middle class existence.  In American terms, I'd say that directing NEW YORK RIPPER and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD probably is economically equivalent to owning, say, a Dick's Sporting Goods franchise?

Also, for the record, before he died, Fulci accused Wes Craven of taking his inspiration for NEW NIGHTMARE from A CAT IN THE BRAIN (probably a stretch), but perhaps Fulci is indirectly responsible for the wave of self-reflexive 90s horror including SCREAM, HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION, HELLRAISER: HELLWORLD, and the like.

1 comment:

Chile del Terror said...

"Also, I find it incredible that this film was made in 1990––between the fashion and the film stock, my movie radar would have placed it somewhere between 1978 and 1983."
That occured to you, because Fulci used pieces from some of his films, as "Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio" (The chainsaw dismemberment scene).