Sunday, March 25, 2012

GATES OF HELL

"Violence is Italian art."
~Lucio Fulci

This Tuesday Portland's Grindhouse Film Festival returns Italian auteur Lucio Fulci's 1980 occult zombie masterpiece THE GATES OF HELL (aka, City Of The Living Dead) to the big screen on glorious 35mm! You know the fucking drill (no pun intended). Expect disjointed and arrhythmic bursts of highly implausible gore-soaked violence and poorly dubbed dialogue barely strung together by the tenuous sinews of a "plot" that defies even the bizarre narrative style typical of Italian horror cinema. This was a further elaboration in the controversial director's quest to make "an absolute film...a plotless film...a succession of images." And what a succession of images the maestro has conjured! A priest hanging himself in a graveyard is probably never a cheerful omen, but in Fulci's bleak mythos such suicidal Catholic blasphemy causes a cosmic rift that belches the undead from the bowels of earth to wreak havoc on the small cursed town of Dunwich. But not before a storm of death literally covers the cast in maggots, the town weirdo is inexplicably lobotomized and a sweet young thing bleeds from her eyes and vomits her intestines. You'll also see how not to rescue a pretty woman from a premature burial. Yup. It's as awesome as it sounds! This film, the first in a loosely themed trilogy comprised of The Beyond (1981) and The House By The Cemetery (1981) is the mother maggot that spawned countless death metal bands and traumatizing psychotropic experiences since its initial theatrical release and consequent triumph as the VHS tape on the darkest shelf of the video store. The generally brooding atmosphere of metaphysical dread and shaky extreme close-ups courtesy of cinematographer Sergio Salvati are further amplified by Fabio Frizzi's brilliantly plodding soundtrack. Funky bass runs draw inevitable Goblin comparisons while the droning guitar occasionally aspires to noodly Pink Floyd proportions and should sound killer on Hollywood Theater's recently revamped sound system! Keep your eyes peeled for a cameo appearance from a young Michael Soavi, who would go on to direct such genre classics as StageFright, The Church and Cemetery Man. Director Lucio Fulci makes a cameo appearance himself, as he frequently did in his later films, but don't blink or you'll miss him. FULCI LIVES!

GATES OF HELL
March 27, 2012
7:30pm
Hollywood Theater
4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Oregon


Now enjoy this great song from one of my favorite UK peace punk bands that has absolutely nothing to do with Fulci's film. Or does it???



Um...spoiler alert...



Evil is as evil does.

1 comments:

The Horror Convention Shows said...

Mace really kicks ass man. I love and have both LP's.