Retro Review: Touch Of Death (1988)

Retro Review

After my last retro review, I felt a little bit slighted. I had really high hopes for it. But, in the end Lucio Fulci’s Aenigma was just really not very good. I mean it was ok, by my standards. But I like to keep my standards pretty low and down to earth anyways, so I’m not disappointed all the time. Since I felt slighted, I decided to dive back into Fulci’s filmography yet again. With hopes that the maestro of Italian gore can redeem himself. So this time around we take a look at Fulci’s next film which he directed a year later, 1988’s Touch of Death. Having never seen this before, I felt apprehension towards it, for obvious reasons. I mean, after my last retro it couldn’t possibly get any worse. Could it? Let’s find out!tod1

This gory romp follows Lester Parson, a charismatic and cunning sociopath that murders unwitting well-to-do widows. He disposes of their remains by way of cannibalism and his pet cat. Lester has a gambling problem and will stop at nothing to fuel his lust for fresh meat and the lure of easy money. Scouring the desperate love want ads, he constantly searches out his newest victim. Some of which, have bizarre deformities. These deformities are annoyances to Lester, which seems to make it easier for him to carry out his dastardly deeds. But can he be stopped though?

That’s pretty much the movie in a nutshell. What you see in the first 5 minutes of the film, is what you get for the next 80. But as I said above, this is quite the gore fest and a very surprising one at that. This film blew Aenigma out of the water! Don’t get me wrong though, this movie is still not quite up to the standards of “Fulci Gold”, but the bar of comparison to my previous review was about ankle high.

The story was decent enough for a Fulci production, leading the audience down an uncertain path of mayhem. The pacing was slow and methodical, following a mostly calm and collected serial killer going about his day. The soundtrack was hit or miss at times, as is with a lot of films from that era. But, in the end there was the gore! Oh the gore! That’s what will bring all you hungry gore hounds back for another viewing.


In closing, if you are looking for Zombie (1979) or The Beyond (1981), go watch those films. If you want to try something new from the Fulci dinner buffet of gore, I emphatically endorse this film. Sure it’s slow and the twist ending is a little odd and a bit of a let down. But the redeeming qualities I think, are enough to take 80 or so minutes out of your hectic day. Make no mistake, Fulci was in his comfort zone throughout this one and it shows!

Anyone still hungry?
Anyone still hungry?

IMDB: 5.4/10

ZombiSurvivor: 6.8/10

Trailer Below!

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About Jared Letourneau 189 Articles
Hey there boils and ghouls! My love of horror films came on a dark and stormy night.... ....Truthfully, it probably happened in 1980-something during a sunny day when I was 5 or 6. That movie was JAWS. I had never been so terrified to go swimming and I live in a land-locked state! I have been a Horror Hound ever since. Having seen hundreds of films, some good and some downright dreadful, my love for horror cinema has grown stronger than ever! My wife Beth and I consume all types of horror films. One of our mutual favorites is A Serbian Film (2010). A couple of my favorite directors are Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter. Contributing here at T.H.S and being able to work with these other folks is an indescribable honor to me. I love our T.H.S team.... I will share secrets after a few drinks and I also enjoy long romantic walks in dimly-lit cemeteries. My fave top 5 films are: 1)Dawn Of The Dead (Original) 2)The Thing (Carpenter's Remake) 3)Zombie 4)The Beyond 5)Friday the 13th pt IV: The Final Chapter Stay Scared! -ZombiSurvivor