Since today is the last day of February 2017, I felt it necessary to give all the cute little boils and ghouls at home another Retro Review of a film by Lucio Fulci. It has been a fun Fulci February! Just this month, I have given you all my personal Fulci Top-10 list, a couple of retros and a Horror Icon love letter to the man. All of it culminating last Wednesday, with a stellar podcast episode of The Horror Syndicate Live! with the show dedicated to the Italian Godfather of Gore.
But sadly, all good things must come to an end. When trying to narrow down what film to review, I came across a sad realization. I have seen all of Fulci’s horror movies. Since he passed away from this earthly realm in 1996, he left us with a finite number of films to enjoy. The sad moment came when I realized I couldn’t ever watch a new Fulci ever again. It was a real bittersweet thought. So, I decided to review the film that left me with this realization. It would be the last film Lucio Fulci ever directed. 1991’s Door to Silence.
As the flashing, beginning credits go by, you immediately notice something odd. Directed by H. Simon Kittay. Hmmmmm. Interesting. Well folks, on more than one occasion, Lucio Fulci used an alias on a film production. Door to Silence was written by Jerry Madison (also Fulci) and stars genre familiar John Savage (Bereavement, The Orphan Killer, The Deer Hunter), as a troubled real estate executive named Melvin Devereaux trying to get home after a funeral. Upon leaving the funeral, Devereaux meets a strange, yet beautiful woman who persuades him to meet up with her farther down the road. Now diverting his trip home, driving through flooded roads down in the Louisiana bayou, he comes across a hearse. The hearse seems to be everywhere he is going. Always one step ahead. Frantically and rather insanely he begins chasing the hearse throughout Louisiana. What does this strange woman he met and the hearse have in common? Who is inside the coffin?
Since this is Fulci’s last film, I had to take it with a grain of salt, so to speak. The entire film, save 10 minutes is John Savage driving around, trying to find this hearse. Not very exciting stuff. But an intriguing idea. Because this hearse has a supernatural quality, where it can disappear and reappear at random. Savage begins to believe that he, himself is in the coffin. While watching this film, you immediately get the impression Fulci had little, to no budget. But amazingly, he still is able to weave a frantic, yet also dull chase through the flooded bayou. I only mean to call it dull, because that was literally the entire movie. DRIVING.
The music was interesting and fit well with Savages’ characters spark of curiosity and losing his grip on sanity. The ending was very predictable. *Hint Hint* He was in the coffin. But the way it played out was very well done. Door to Silence felt like an elongated episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. It felt like a really good made for TV movie. Not one of those Lifetime films though.
It was well done…
Here is where my realization set in. Although this wasn’t a terrible movie, it was undeniably Fulci. Theme and tone. 100%. What gave me the blues afterwards, was knowing this wasn’t his Swan Song. I felt sad and a bit cheated. Knowing he could’ve left this world with a better footprint on his career. But, then I realized his whole body of work was his footprint. When it comes to Lucio Fulci, you have to take the downright bad with the amazingly good. This film, while a bit of a letdown will always and forever be scarred into my brain. The last work of a legend.
…And for that, I am truly grateful for Lucio Fulci…
Hope you all enjoyed our Fulci February!