Zombies Everywhere Attempt to Cry But Realize… They’re Dead.
Yes fans of Lucio Fulci it’s true. The final numbers are in and Argento has won the day over the beloved Italian zombie man. Incidentally, there were write in votes for Fugento, Joe D’Amato (Antropophagus - yum yum eat ‘em up!) and Jess Franco (Oasis of the Zombies and other assorted artsy skin films) which were in and of themselves intriguing.
So what does it all mean? I’ve been somewhat secretive about what casting your vote would actually mean. Does it mean that one director is superior to another? Or that I will enjoy the entire filmography of the winner? No. Each director stood for a New Year’s Resolution that I simply could not decide upon. It may seem a tad bit obvious, but if you had picked Lucio Fulci for the win I would have had to watch EVERY SINGLE ZOMBIE MOVIE EVER MADE!!! This year. Except the ones that I have already seen. It’s a cumbersome task to even compile that list of movies. There are various websites that do a mighty fine job, but you still have to define your viewing criteria and every list needs editing. I was somewhat relieved when Fulci didn’t get the nod. “Brains for dinner, brains for lunch, brains for breakfast, brains for brunch, brains at every single meal, why can’t we have some guts! Oi! Oi!” to quote the Misfits.
The winner was not Lucio Fulci. The winner was not Joe D’Amato. Imagine what I would have had to watch if D’Amato won? If Franco won my wife would have taken me for a raging sex fiend watching porn all day (all be it excellent, sexy Euro porn… and yes, I am a sex fiend). The winner was Dario Argento. This means that the task before me, my New Year’s Resolution is to WATCH EVERY SINGLE GIALLO FILM EVER MADE!!!
Basic description of characteristics in Giallo pictures as notated by Wiki (because
I’m a cheater and you didn’t do all that well at math in high school anyway!):
Giallo” films are characterized by extended murder sequences featuring excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork and unusual musical arrangements. The literary whodunit element is retained, but combined with modern slasher horror, while being filtered through Italy’s longstanding tradition of opera and staged grand guignol drama. They also generally include liberal amounts of nudity and sex.
Gialli typically introduce strong psychological themes of madness, alienation, and paranoia. For example, Sergio Martino’s Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (also known as Eye of the Black Cat) was explicitly based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Black Cat.”
They remain notable in part for their expressive use of music, most notably by Dario Argento’s collaborations with Ennio Morricone and his musical director Bruno Nicolai, and later with the band Goblin.
Let’s talk about what that actually means. First of all, I’m currently reading La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film by Mikel J. Koven which is a pretty academic offering on the subject and reads very much like a film school text rather than a fan boy book. Koven, in his forward, relates that he was unable to find any number of classic films and requested that his readers send him films if they think that they should be included in the text. So with over a hundred movies on my plate, I feel that this will be a more research intensive journey than conquering the Fango 300. This also means lots of subtitles. Late night movie watching marathons might be cut short due to blurry vision. Feel free to send me your recommendations for any further reading on the subject, articles… pretty much anything that might make this exploration more fun. I’ll be offering a weekly update on the films I watch throughout the year and make suggestions.
It’s all in good fun. I’m not entirely sure how possible this will be given the rarity of some the pictures. I also realize that no list is a complete list of any genre. I’m working right now to figure out whose list I’m going to use as my base list and then modify it to my liking (adding not deleting).
Also, if anyone has any black leather gloves… I’m fresh out, and it’s hard not to feel like a poser when you’re movie related objective revolves around a mere pair of Orsini’s and you don’t even own a pair.
Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci (see you still made the list), Aldo Lado, Sergio Martino, Umberto Lenzi, and Pupi Avati…. HERE I COME!!!
Psssst…. Stay tuned for the Fango 300 recap. Coming Soon.