Webster University Film Series - April Fulcis

Series Overview: April Fulcis 

Until such a time as we can reopen Winifred-Moore for in-person screenings, the Webster Film Series will host a series of auteur-centric discussion events, with one chosen filmmaker per calendar month. Each Thursday evening at 7 p.m. a different film academic, critic, and/or fan will make a presentation and facilitate a Q&A about a film by the chosen director. These discussions are free and open to the public, and will be handled book club-style; you’re expected to have watched the film on your own prior to the night of the event. (Details on where to find the chosen films below each listing.) 

For April we’re examining the work of the notorious Italian director Lucio Fulci. Fulci had a career that spanned five decades, wherein he tackled disparate genres—comedy, Spaghetti Westerns, musicals, erotic thrillers—but he remains best remembered for his horror films and gialli. His are not just any genre entries, but some of the most shockingly gory to ever induce a seasoned horror fan to wince at the mayhem. A cited influence on filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, Fulci’s fanbase has only grown as horror fans have spent decades proselytizing his body of work.  

April Fulcis is sponsored in kind by Messed Up Puzzles and Left Bank Books. All who register and attend an event will be entered to win a registration prize: we have two Fulci puzzles in the Messed Up Puzzles line and one copy of Kea Wilson’s novel We Eat Our Own from Left Bank Books to give away. You’re entered once for each night you attend, so any one person can be entered up to five times if they attend all five April Fulcis events. (Current Webster University faculty and staff are not eligible to win. Prizes will not be shipped outside of the United States.) 

 

Individual Event Listings 

 

Zombie 

(Lucio Fulci, 1979, Italy, 91 minutes) 

Initially released in Italy as Zombi 2, an in-name-only sequel to George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (released in Italy under the title Zombi), Zombie was an instrumental film in garnering Fulci international attention. Taking cues not just from Romero but also King KongJaws, and others, Zombie retains its potency for a host of reasons, not least of which an instance of eye trauma rivaled by only Un Chien Andalou and Thriller: A Cruel Picture and for its pleasingly doomy finale. 

Zombie is available to watch through numerous subscription-based streaming services, including Shudder (subject to change; see full list of options here).  Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $2-4. 

With a free post-film discussion on April 1 at 7:00 p.m. from Kea Wilson, author of the novel We Eat Our Own (Scribner, 2016). Wilson's book is discounted 20% off at Left Bank Books!

Link to register for the Zoom event 

 

City of the Living Dead 

(Lucio Fulci, 1980, Italy, 93 minutes) 

The first film of the Gates of Hell trilogy, City of the Living Dead opens with a priest committing suicide in a cemetery. This sacrilegious act results in the Gates of Hell being opened, at which point the plot hinges on whether a reporter and a psychic can get them closed before the dead rise on All Saints Day, just three days away. On the way to achieving this goal, our heroes encounter all manner of horrors, brandished by the film in creative and disturbing ways—power drills, maggots, intestines, you name it. 

City of the Living Dead is available to watch through numerous subscription-based streaming services, such as Shudder, and Kanopy (subject to change; see full list of options here).  Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $2. 

With a free post-film discussion on April 8 at 7:00 p.m. from Aaron Christensen, Rondo Award-winning genre film journalist, editor of two bestselling guidebooks, and the main brain behind HORROR 101 with Dr. AC. 

Link to register for the Zoom event 

 

The Beyond 

(Lucio Fulci, 1981, Italy/USA, 87 minutes) 

Second in the Gates of Hell trilogy and, alongside Zombie, one of the films most responsible for Fulci’s reputation, The Beyond is lifted by unusually strong production and sound design, used in the service of surrealist flourishes, more fun eye trauma and surprisingly vocal tarantulas. Here our gateway to hell comes in the form of the Seven Doors Hotel just outside of New Orleans, newly inherited by an unsuspecting young woman named Liza (Catriona MacColl of City of the Living Dead). Hoping to turn the hotel into a success, Liza inadvertently allows for the gates to open, thus resulting in strange occurrences in and around her property. 

The Beyond is available to watch through numerous subscription-based streaming services, including Shudder (subject to change; see full list of options here).  Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $3-4. 

With a free post-film discussion on April 15 at 7:00 p.m. from Andy Triefenbach, Owner & Editor-In-Chief of DestroytheBrain.com; Creator & Programmer of Late Nite Grindhouse. 

Link to register for the Zoom event 

 

The House by the Cemetery 

(Lucio Fulci, 1981, Italy, 87 minutes) 

The final film in the Gates of Hell trilogy, The House by the Cemetery finds young marrieds Norman (Paolo Malco) and Lucy (Catriona MacColl, who appears in all three Gates of Hell films), young son in tow, leaving New York City for a creepy manor called Oak Mansion in the town of New Whitby. As with the cemetery of City of the Living Dead and the hotel in The Beyond, Norman and Lucy unwittingly find themselves on the site of a suicide, and its cursed past may have made it another of the seven gates of hell. 

The House by the Cemetery is available to watch through numerous subscription-based streaming services, including Shudder (subject to change; see full list of options here).  Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $2-4. 

With a free post-film discussion on April 22 at 7:00 p.m. from Aaron AuBuchon, Associate Dean of the School of Communications at Webster University. 

Link to register for the Zoom event 

 

Don’t Torture a Duckling 

(Lucio Fulci, 1972, Italy, 102 minutes) 

Chronologically the first of the five Fulci films we’re presenting, Don’t Torture a Duckling has gained esteem when looking at Fulci’s career in total, and is often cited as his masterpiece. The film starts with an M-like jumping off point of a town plagued and made paranoid by a killer of children, this time specifically young boys. Chief among the suspects are a local witch and a rich city girl interloping on the close-knit community in which the murders are taking place, but of course the town’s problems run deeper than what can be pinned to just one person. 

Don’t Torture a Duckling is available to watch through numerous subscription-based streaming services, including Shudder (subject to change; see full list of options here).  Alternatively, it can be rented digitally on most platforms for $4. 

With a free post-film discussion on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. from Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films (Midnight Marquee Press, 2015). 

Link to register for the Zoom event 

Staff Pick Badge
We Eat Our Own: A Novel Cover Image
$13.60
ISBN: 9781501128325
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Scribner - April 2nd, 2019

Horror 101: The A-List of Horror Films and Monster Movies Cover Image
By Aaron Christensen (Editor)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781887664790
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Midnight Marquee Press, Inc. - January 9th, 2009

Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780991127900
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Kitley's Krypt - December 24th, 2013

Splintered Visions Lucio Fulci and His Films Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781936168613
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Midnight Marquee Press, Inc. - September 7th, 2015