• Fulci For Fake (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: June 26th, 2020.
    Director: Simone Scafidi
    Cast: Sandro Bitetto, Fabio Frizzi, Antonella Fulci, Camilla Fulci, Lucio Fulci, Paolo Malco
    Year: 2019
    Purchase From Severin Films

    Fulci For Fake – Movie Review:

    Writer/director Simone Scafidi's 2019 docu-drama Fulci For Fake isn't so much a traditional bio-pic as it is a look at the late Lucio Fulci's life both inside and outside of the Italian film industry.

    The film begins with an interesting idea - an actor named Nicola Nocella has been cast of Lucio Fulci for a film to be based on the director's life. Like any good actor, Nocella wants to learn more about the man he's to bring to life and in order to do this he sets out to talk to people who knew him in real life. This sets up what turns out to comprise the bulk of the feature's running time, and that's interviews with his family members and associates.

    With that rather unusual setup out of the way, they movie then treats fans to interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati, composer Fabio Frizzi, filmmaker Michele Soavi, actor Paulo Malco and the director's two daughters, Antonella and Camilla Fulci, the later of whom is interviewed here quite extensively and speaks on camera about her father for the first time ever. Now disabled after an accident, Camilla, who sadly passed away shortly after the film was made, speaks earnestly and honestly about her father, detailing how she worked with him on a few different projects and giving us an intimate look into what he would have been like as a family member.

    Interestingly enough, and this may put off some viewers, the movie winds up spending more time going over Fulci as a person, as a family man and as a father than it does as the Italian 'Godfather Of Gore' and his various movies. Yes, they're covered and sometimes quite well but you're left with the impression that Scafidi wasn't as interested in exploring his work as he was Fulci's persona.

    Fulci For Fake (its title clearly inspired by the Orson Welles picture F For Fake), does an interesting job of putting the timing of some of the director's alongside events in his personal life. It isn't a deep dive into who did what on set or a collection of talking head interviews about his infamous temper or his penchant for gore. They stylized moments with Nocella used as a framing device here almost seem unnecessary, but the content that these sequences offer up is really strong. This might not give the Fulci experts out there much that they don't already know about, but those who feel a connection to the man's work will appreciate what the film is able to accomplish.

    Fulci For Fake – Blu-ray Review:

    Fulci For Fake is presented on a 50GB disc in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.78.1 widescreen with the feature given almost 27GBs of space on the disc. The transfer looks really good. The feature was shot digitally so there’s no grain or print damage to note. Colors look really good, black levels are nice and strong. There’s solid depth here as well. No complaints!

    Italian audio options are provided in 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 Surround Sound and in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. As this is a fairly dialogue-intensive production there isn’t a ton of surround activity here but the rear channels spring to life now and then. No problems here, the audio is fine, it’s balanced well and it’s crystal clear.

    Extras start off with an interview with Director Simone Scafidi that runs twenty-three-minutes. He talks about the pride he feels in the project but also the responsibility that was on his shoulders, given the love that Fulci still enjoys from fans all over the world. He talks about his own love of Fulci's work, where some of the ideas came from for this project, the research he did into the man's life and times, having to really work to track down certain uncut versions of his movies, the significance of the title of his film Fulci For Fake, how he and his team went about 'recreating his existence,' getting the interviews down for the film, interviewing Camilla Fulci on camera for the first time, and how the movie isn't meant to be a comprehensive bio-pic.

    Camilla Fulci Uncut is, so far, the first and only video interview with Lucio Fulci's daughter presented here in its complete seventy-three-minute version. She opens by talking about a fun story from her experiences on House Of Clocks, how lucky she was to have had Fulci for a father, what her childhood was like, attending Catholic school as a child with a leftist father in charge of the household, what her mother was like, getting busted smoking as a kid by her dad, his father’s relationships with women, memories of spending time on her father’s sailboat, different professional relationships that her father had with people in the Italian film industry, her own work on her father’s films on pictures like Door Into Silence, how her father embarrassed her frequently while on vacation one year and much more. This is a very in-depth and interesting, not to mention very personal, look at Fulci as not only a filmmaker but a father and family man as well.

    Lucio Fulci & Friends is a selection of interview outtakes with Sergio Salvati, Fabio Frizzi, Paolo Malco, Michele Soavi and Enrico Vanzina that were conducted for the feature but not used. There’s forty-six minutes of content here in here. The best material is used in the feature but there are some fun stories here and some of it is pretty interesting, particularly the finale that covers Fulci and Bardot!

    Looking For Lucio is a collection of rare home movies from Fulci's private life and location scouts, with accompanying commentary by Michele Romagnoli and Fulci. There are sixteen-minutes of material in this segment and it shows off some footage that was actually shot by Lucio himself while doing location work for White Fang. There are some amusing stories told about Franco Nero here, archival audio clips of Fulci playing over top certain scenes and more. There’s also location scout footage from Zombi here, showing Fulci and company cruising around New York harbor, stories about visa problems some workers had and location scout footage from a few other projects contained in here.

    Lucio Fulci’s Audio Tapes is an interesting collection of audio highlights from conversations between Fulci and Michele Romagnoli that were conducted for the writing of Fulci’s memoir. There are twenty-three-minutes of audio here, the quality is a bit rough but the subtitles make it easy to follow. They talk about making Cat In The Brain, his legacy as a corner stone of Italian cinema, his work on musical comedies and other non-horror pictures, how he enjoyed working with worms and other amusing bits of trivia from the man’s career discussed.

    The Eye Of The Witness sees biographer Michele Romagnoli discussing his own personal relationship with the Fulci. Here he spends twenty-three-minutes discussing his background and then detailing how he got to know Lucio Fulci’s work and then the man himself. After that he talks about getting to know him and then writing L'occhio del testimone: Il cinema di Lucio Fulci, his biography of the director as well as his thoughts on the director’s enduring legacy and popularity.

    The Zombie Parade at the Venice Film Festival segment is a quick ninety-second bit where, at the film festival, a bunch of people in zombie makeup show up at a screening of the film. Demonia Backstage is a collection of ten-minutes’ worth of VHS tape-sourced footage of the director on the set of Demonia, showing off some of the locations used in the film as well as the cast and crew hard at work.

    In the Crew Interviews section we get eighteen-minutes of interviews with producer Giada Mazzoleni of Paguro Films, co-producer Claudio Rossoni and sound designer Dino Gervasoni who each give fairly detailed explanations of what their work on the film entailed and their thoughts on the finished product.

    Rounding out the extras is a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. A Severin Films catalogue is also included inside the black Blu-ray case.

    Fulci For Fake – The Final Word:

    Fulci For Fake is an interesting and, at times, extremely personal look at the life and legacy of a titan of both Italian cinema and horror cinema in general. The framing of the picture is a bit odd, but the content is quite strong and Severin has done a great job bringing it to Blu-ray with a selection of extra features that prove as interesting, if not more interesting, than the feature itself.

    Click on the images below for full sized Fulci For Fake Blu-ray screen caps!