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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

TOUCH OF DEATH (1988)


One of splatter master Lucio Fulci's later, and lesser-seen works, this Italian TV movie is extremely violent and ridiculous in a way only Fulci can manage. Within the first ten minutes, a corpse has been dismembered with a chainsaw, a human thigh has been eaten as a steak and the body has been minced and fed to pigs. It's quite an opening few scenes, I can tell you.

The film follows the character Lester Parkson, a lunatic cannibal who meets up with women via the lonely hearts pages of the local newspaper, has sex with them and then butchers them in an array of manners, all egged on by a strange voice emanating from a constantly-playing cassette.

Touch of Death has none of the atmosphere of Fulci's earlier work, but despite the limited budget and resources, it still manages to have that Fulci factor, in which gore scenes are taken way too far, the plot make little sense and the characters are all mental.


Throughout the carnage, people are beaten to death with a big stick (resulting in a spectacular bursting-skull shot), a head is microwaved, a man is run over back and forth with a car until he explodes under the wheels, and more. All the while, there is an almost whimsical sitcom style feel to the film itself, which is even more unsettling than the vicious murders.

It's a really, really bad film if viewed as anything other than a curiosity for fans of the late Lucio, but it does have its charms, such as the comedy manner in which Lester changes his appearance every time a description of him is published or mentioned by the TV or radio, or indeed the general air of hapless silliness about the Lester character in general. Bloody, nonsensical, silly and shocking with a typically clueless ending – what else do you want from a Fulci film, eh?


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