Nightmare Concert

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Lucio Fulci

REVIEWED: 06-15-98

Nightmare Concert, a/k/a A Cat in the Brain (1990). Here's the Fulci movie I'd revive, because it has a resonance beyond its bloodbucket imagery. The director stars as himself, Lucio Fulci, an increasingly deranged horror director who's becoming totally bonkers in the midst of filmmaking -- "Eraserhead made by an old man," Fulci once described it. He shows his typical day at Cinecittà, the Roman studio where Fellini also filmed. In the morning, Fulci shoots the saga of a contemporary-day cannibal who makes a steak and hamburger out of a cadaver. Then Fulci breaks for lunch, and he almost throws up when the waiter at a stuffy restaurant brings over the daily special, steak tartare.

During the afternoon's shooting, Fulci really goes crazy. He shows close-ups of himself directing a throat slitting. "Kill her! Slap her! Like it! Enjoy it!" he screams, oozing vicarious homicidal pleasure. It's a courageous, revelatory scene, maybe what would have been exposed if the camera had ever spun to let us watch, say, Brian De Palma, or old Alfred himself.

--Gerald Peary

Other Films by Lucio Fulci
The Beyond
The Gates of Hell
The House by the Cemetery

Film Vault Suggested Links
The Stendhal Syndrome
The House by the Cemetery
Lizard in a Woman's Skin

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