Monday, April 27, 2009

Murder Rock (1984, Lucio Fulci)

Yep, another Fulci film. The thought that this film came out just a year after Fulci's sword and sorcery film Conquest is pretty amazing. Where Conquest featured smoke machines, hazy lens filters and Goblin's Claudio Simonetti's trippy score to give the film a hallucinatory feel, Murder Rock is all about bright lights, flashy 80's dance numbers and Keith Emerson of prog forefathers Emerson Lake and Palmer's electronic disco score to make the film a contemporary (for the time) giallo.

Murder Rock follows dance instructor Candice Newman (Zombie's Olga Karlatos), who is working with a bunch of spoiled rich dance students to find the best of the best. However, someone is stalking and killing each student one by one. Is it another student hoping to narrow down the competition? Is it the man (Ray Lovelock) whom Candice dreamt murdered her? Is it a disco dancing Zombie? Didn't mean to get your hopes up, there are no disco dancing zombies in this film, but how much would it rule if old Maggot Eye from Fulci's Zombie came back to life wearing a leotard and legwarmers?

Now that you have completely lost your train of thought, Murder Rock is a decent giallo that is a fine addition to Fulci's collected works. Though not as gory as many of his other films, there is plenty of slow painful boob stabbing to keep Fulci fans happy. Some may be turned off by the dated score and dance routines, but I think it's a fine touch and is well executed. Also the use of blinking lights/pitch black excentuates the claustrophobic feel of the dancer's locker room, where most of the killings take place. Olga Karlatos, most fan's favorite Fulci victim, is a beauty to watch and plays the heroine role very well. Ray Lovelock is great too as the killer in Candice's dreams who seems to have something to hide. Though not perfect, the film is enjoyable and has all of the needed aspects for a finely crafted giallo.


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