Born on June 17, 1927 in Rome, Italy, Fulci eventually divided his time working as an art critic and going to med school. Later, joining the Experimental Film Studios and becoming a screenwriter, Fulci spent 15 years working under Italian comic master, Steno. Originally planning to remain a screen writer, Fulci began directing in order to make more money after his marriage. His first film, I LADRI (1959) starred the biggest italian comic, Toto, but was unfortunately unsuccessful. Fulci claimed to have trouble working with comic actors because these are his films and comics don't like to be told what to do. It didn't really matter, since he favored fantasy to comedy, anyway. Fulci then went on to direct his three best and most famous films, ZOMBIE, THE BEYOND, and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (aka Gates of Hell). The critics hated these films, but the fans wanted more. Soon after, Fulci would make MANHATTAN BABY and his ties with producer Fabrizio DeAngelis (who also produced the aforementioned classics) were severed. Later, Fulci would direct a series of "I need to eat" films achieving mild success until his return, in essence, to his roots with NIGHTMARE CONCERT: A CAT IN THE BRAIN. Fulci was often criticized for the violence (often directed towards women) in his films but always cited real life as much more horrifying than anything he could ever film. As CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST director Ruggero Deodato has commented, you can see far worse, real life horrors for free on your TV set. Fulci has stated he is "mild, weak....like all directors of frightening films" and was often considered a tyrant on the set, often credited to his long history of bad health and his wife's suicide. Other actors, like David Warbeck, and even other Italian directors understand him and have nothing but praise for the man.
Not only was Fulci a respected cinema and fiction writer, he was also very interested in jazz and played often in his youthful years. He has also written two books, an autobiography 'Fulci Breaks the Looking Glass' and 'My Lovely Monsters'. A third book, 'Hunt to the Fallen Angels' has hopefully been completed as well. The likelihood of these ever being translated to English is unprobable.
Fulci was planning to make his return to horror with WAX MASK, a carbon copy of HOUSE OF WAX. The film was to be produced by Dario Argento but production was called off before even getting off the ground due to Fulci's death of a diabetic fit at 2 PM on Wednesday, March 13. The funeral took place in Rome on March 16 and was attended mostly by his fans and family as well as Umberto Lenzi, Dario and Fiore (Dario's daughter) Argento. I was honestly stunned as well as hurt to discover Fulci's passing. He made his mark in horror cinema and will forever be remembered. He also has kept busy throughout the years teaching his daughter, Camilla, his film making craft and hopefully some of his visions can live on in her work.