Now, this is the Italian stuff I look forward to covering.
After taking on Hercules twice in a row, now I get to return to the warm embrace of Lucio Fulci with his Gates of Hell trilogy. I’ve already knocked out the first chapter, City of the Living Dead, last month. Now it’s time to get to what most would usually list as the best of the trio, The Beyond. So, buckle up and prepare for this week’s dose of B-Movie Enema!
Fulci is back yet again on B-Movie Enema. Why? Because ol’ Lucio needs more attention if I’m being honest. Sure, I’ve covered many of his movies in the past, but there are oh so many more that I could cover. What better place to dig into more of his filmography than with the Gates of Hell trilogy of his?
So, here we are. I’ve packed my bags, bought my plane tickets, and have landed in the City of the Living Dead. This is Fulci in what’s likely his prime. He’s not too far off from his major success of Zombie (known in Italy as Zombi 2, but I’m not going to get into all that Italian titling business). That pretty much wrote a check for Fulci to do whatever he really wanted. He first stopped off with a crime action flick, Contraband, but started developing the idea of City of the Living Dead. This film was greenlit while he was working on the action flick, so, he took off and left Contraband under the direction of his assistant to get to work on City of the Living Dead.
It’s wild to think that a director can just leave a production to start his next, but Italy is a wild place, man.
Coming into this month that I dubbed something like Resident Evil Sequels Month, I was really, really, very worried about how my mental health would survive this. See, here’s the thing… The first Resident Evil is very awkwardly bad early 00s action schlock with zombies and monsters. I had major issues with that, but I could live with it just being a shitty movie. 2004’s Resident Evil: Apocalypse took that and cranked it up to about a 35 on the shitty scale. It was laughably bad. It’s bad movie night bad.
But, to my surprise things kind of went a better direction. Resident Evil: Extinction brought in a new look and feel, and I liked the post-apocalyptic landscape. Resident Evil: Afterlife brought director Paul W.S. Anderson back into the director’s chair after writing the previous two entries, but it was a bit of a step down, but at least not terrible (at least better than the first two films), and Resident Evil: Retribution was a better mix of the action schlock with sci-fi schlock and horror schlock. The last three entries at least proved the series could be somewhat entertaining.
But here we are, at the end, with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Why am I bemoaning the time spent and thanking magical sky man that it’s all over? These movies are all really quite tiring. I want to move beyond them so badly because I’m so worn out by the insanity that is inflicted onto my eyeballs and brain. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome at some point. Do I really like some of these movies or has my brain simply adjusted to their crap factor and I’m just letting it happen to me. It’s got me in a sleeper hold and just whispering to me, “Let it happen… Shhhh… Let it happen.”
And, frankly, if that was Milla Jovovich doing that to me, I’d be okay with all that is happening.
Oh boy, do we have a LOT to talk about in this new B-Movie Enema. article. Oddly, the movie itself, Joel M. Reed’s controversial Bloodsucking Freaks from 1976, doesn’t really have a lot to discuss in terms of what is seen on the screen (don’t worry, I will be calling play-by-play nonetheless). No, there are two topics in particular to discuss in much greater detail.
I’m not entirely sure where to start with this, so let’s start with the director, Joel M. Reed. He unfortunately passed away in a care facility in New York City just earlier this year. He’s one of the many unfortunate casualties due to the global pandemic that is COVID-19. He’s likely known best for making this movie, which drew the ire of many, many people when it was released. The release of the movie also had a couple alternate titles like The Incredible Torture Show and Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins. However, almost everyone knows this movie by the title Bloodsucking Freaks. That’s the name applied to it by Lloyd Kaufman when Troma came along to take over the distribution of the movie.