Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Psychic (1977, Lucio Fulci)

Lucio Fulci, the Italian Godfather of Gore. You may have noticed that I have already reviewed several of his films, but the thing about Fulci is that he made so many films in so many different genres. Some of his earlier films (particularly Lizard in a Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling) were strong entries in the Giallo genre. The Psychic fits in well with these films though made a few years later, before Fulci went all out and started focusing more on horror/zombie films. More than any of Fulci's other films though, The Psychic actually reminds me of an earlier Argento film.

The Psychic starts with a girl named Virginia having visions of her mother committing suicide. Of course since this is a Fulci film she can't just hang herself, she has to jump off a cliff and have her face ripped off by rocks on the way down. Years later, she has grown up into a beautiful woman (played by Jennifer O'Neill) and is married to a businessman named Francesco (Gianni Garko). While Francesco goes away on business, Virginia travels to his old house and decides to restore it. On the way there she has disturbing visions of someone being murdered in the house and sealed into one of its walls. When she gets there, she breaks open the wall and sure enough, finds a skeleton. The age of the corpse conflicts with the victim she saw in her vision so she seeks the help of her friend, Dr. Luca Fattori (Marc Porel) to try to decipher her vision and determine who the killer is.

As I said before, The Psychic reminds me a lot of some of Argento's 70's Giallos, so naturally I loved it. The story was well thought out, there were twists left and right and many tense parts. Fulci proves here that his films are most successful when he combines his trademark of gore with a good story. Though I wouldn't say this if Fulci's best film, it is well worth the watch.


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