Fulci for Fake is the first biopic about the iconic Italian horror director. The story focuses on an actor who has reluctantly agreed to play Fulci in an upcoming movie. He knows little about Fulci and decides to learn about the man leading to the interviews that make up the documentary portions of the film. It is an interesting premise, but does it work?
The idea behind the movie is standard for many documentaries. A person first learns about a subject then proceeds to investigate further. Fulci for Fake deviates little from this formula. This puts the focus of the film on learning about the director. This is a great idea since Fulci was such an interesting man. Though he is known for his prolific horror career, he got his start in comedies. He fiercely loved his children, yet spent little time with them. His life and career was built on lies and half truths.
Fulci for Fake is filled with interviews from family and those that worked with him. These give great insight into the director. There are some great stories about his films and some discussion about the connections. But those looking for a deep dive into Fucli’s library may find themselves disappointed. What movies are discussed are briefly touched. His early films are all but ignored. What is said is an intriguing taste that leaves audiences wanting more.
The fictional aspect of Fulci for Fake is downplayed for the most part. The opening is great and has a great nod to the gore of Fulci’s films. There is also use of lighting that will be familiar to fans of giallo. Regrettably, when the narrative moves to the forefront, it is done poorly. The sequences are clumsily inserted into the film and can be confusing. This would have been much better as a straight documentary.
Ultimately, that sums up film. Fulci for Fake is not a look at the work of the horror legend. It is an exploration of the man behind them. The fictional aspects may have been poorly done intentionally to illustrate the contradictions and hypocrisy that littered the iconic director’s life. As a whole, the biopic is flawed, but it is a must see for Lucio Fulci fans.
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