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ITALIAN HORROR MOVIES
by Dan Greene
We love our zombies here at FTTW... Doesn't matter if they're in black and white, living bloody color or Italian... Italian ? Yeah, Italian... And not just any Italian zombies, either... Shark fighting Italian zombies.... Here's DK with all the gory details....
Okay folks, I’m not one of them hifalutin’ foreign movie afficianados. I don’t know much but I know what I like. And I like them foreign horror movies…Zombie movies in particular. They seem to have made a bit of a comeback in the last few years – Dawn Of The Dead remake, Land Of The Dead, Shaun Of, that crappy one based on a video game that I won’t even mention by name and so on.
Part of me wants to complain about the dearth of good horror movies in recent years, but there are a few reasons why I won’t…first of all I am so optimistic and positive that you could slap me in the face and I would thank you for not booting me in the nuts. I take what I can get and make the best of it; most horror movie fans do this in the same way that you root for the sports team you love even though they suck ass. Second, you have the Horror Movie Paradox – bad is often good. A horror movie has to suck really badly before I can understand why you would seriously complain. A strong plot is about as common in horror as it is in porn, and you watch porn, don’t you? Yeah, whatever... Liar. As long as porn, not horror, is the genre that gives you a hardon then we’re cool. Some would also argue that if you were to make a list of all the elements that make a good horror movie, you could find most of the same elements in a horrible one. It’s all in the application, not in the budget.
I used to work in a store that sold a lot of videos, and I used to keep an eye out for the good stuff. Every now and then a horror movie that I hadn’t seen or heard of would show up. Before the days of IMDB it would always be a gamble, but that was always part of the fun. One day a movie with a simple and attractive title showed up – Zombie. On the cover was a simple and attractive picture of a zombie. Sold. What the hell, it’s nine bucks and it’s Saturday. Let’s make fun of a shitty horror movie tonight.
Well it had zombies and tits and bad jokes and a chick getting a stick in the eye and an underwater fight between a zombie and a shark and more. As if an underwater zombie/shark mix-up isn’t enough. There’s a cop murdered by a zombie and a zombie murdered by a cop, an intrepid reporter, a scientist who is grossly misunderstood if not mad, ethnic superstitions surrounding an island that none of the locals go to, and oh yeah, the zombies do not fucking run. A running zombie is just…illogical. So I decided that this warranted a comprehensive investigation and I read the back of the box. Some guy named Lucio Fulci was the man to thank. He’d done his share of great movies that I had never seen; even his garbage movies have some pretty good scenes. The best feeling in the world comes from discoveries like that (unless the horror movies actually turn you on, but I’ve evaded that topic once already).
That discovery started me down a gory path that I’m still walking almost ten years later, and the best part is that there are still so many out there that I still haven’t seen. We North Americans have no idea of the high culture we are missing out on across the pond. Sick of shitty horror movies that are rated PG-13 and don’t deliver anything except sudden loud noises and CGI? Leave the country and go back a few years. If you like what I’m talking about then I can give you a few more titles (not a list though, just a couple that I’ve seen and like). If you have seen any of these then jump into the comments and let us all know, because you know how it is here. We need you in on this. And I need to hear about some more before this weekend.
The Beyond – Considered to be one of his best. Good and gory.
Again, this isn’t a list and I’ve only touched on a couple of movies by one of many Italian horror directors. I’m sure a lot of you are aware and can add to this, and if you aren’t aware then methinks you might want to start digging around. Thanks for reading.