Friday, May 17, 2013

The Psychic aka Sette note in nero: A Tale of Two Movies and One Amazing Frizzi Score

A most interesting review falls on my shoulders this evening. The Psychic by Lucio Fulci as released by Severin Films is a movie that has bored me to tears... OR it has stimulated my senses causing extreme enjoyment especially with the amazing score in tow. How could it do both? It's all about when you watch it really. If you watch The Psychic aka Sette Note in Nero sleep deprived, late in the evening and lying in bed you are bound to fall asleep, become bored and eventually feel completely unenamoured with this Italian classic. Even the great Lucio Fulci does not afford the sleepless well. But let's say you get yourself all hyped up to enjoy your first Giallo Challenge film of the year. The Video Nasty Challenge ended. The 1980 Challenge is nearly complete save for a few stragglers. Time to complete the massive 200+ movie endeavor. You go to the next movie on your list and after doing some research you discover that it's Sette Note in Nero. Great. Time to locate, research and enjoy it. Only thing is that after you find it, you realize that you've recently seen it under it's more common, English title. You only truly discover this after watching 30 minutes and loving everything about it. Now this isn't even the first time I had the pleasure of enjoying The Psychic though I will admit that I found it unmemorable in my youth what with Fulci's Zombie riding the boat in my brain into New York City. This last viewing gave me a frame of reference within the Giallo subgenre with which to affix my critical eye. It's a damn good thing too because I didn't want to be mad at a Fulci picture.

I'd like to focus in on the music. That's what I truly loved about the movie though many of the traits I admire about Gialli are present and equally likeable. Composed by Fabio Frizzi, Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera, just a few of the great Italian masters of musical composition in film, the score to The Psychic has become something of a cult favorite. Frizzi created the score to Zombie The Beyond and City of the Living Dead among many others but closely worked with the other two gents mentioned in this article on Four of the Apocalypse by Fulci.  It was even noticed by Quentin Tarantino who sought to use a key musical phrase in his Kill Bill picture. Sette Note in Nero means Seven Notes in Black. That clearly demonstrates how important the music is to the film. What's interesting about this is if you watch the movie under the predicate that it is entitled The Psychic, no matter what plot device is used in the picture, you won't focus nearly as firm on the music itself. I can say that having experienced the difference myself. The time of night in which I viewed the picture and context definitely assist in narrowing my focus on the picture, but the title itself changes the entire perspective.

Take a second to focus on the music. Listen to the clip below and get excited. Remember it from Kill Bill even if you haven't seen The Psychic or Sette Note in Nero? Doesn't that make you excited to see The Psychic? That's why the good folks at Severin made it available to us.

Enjoyed that? Now watch Frizzi and the orchestra play it fucking live along with many of his other classic works. This is a special performance. Something that sticks with us all as Fulci fans and by default, Frizzi fans. 

This is the full Euro version. It had been previously cut up and now restored. Who knows what we were even watching in the late 80's. You can pick it up from DiabolikDVD Here or through the link below if it's out of stock at Amazon. Make sure to also stop by Severin Films' website to see what's shaking over there and CAV Distributing because they're swell folks too. 

Full features aren't many but it does include an interview with Lucio Fulci. Will you enjoy the movie? That depends on how you feel about mysterious movies from Italy with glaringly amazing scores, gorgeous women and killers so masked you might as well call Don Post to figure them out? If you like Italian Horror and/or Giallo give this a try. Maybe have some esspresso first. Maybe two. Maybe don't watch it after a long hard day with the kiddies. Definitely pay attention to the score and see how Tarantino used it in Kill Bill. 


Note that the score pictured throughout this post goes for about $130. That's just not fair at all. Make sure you look at Amazon's mp3 option to make it more affordable. Here's the listing in case you're feeling rich (yeah right!).  Sette Note in Nero Import.

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