Hitchcock made his winkworthy cameos, and Brian De Palma flirted (off-camera) with Mia Kirshner in The Black Dahlia. But neither director hogged the spotlight as a deranged filmmaker-killer trapped in the pathology of his own movie. That distinction belongs to Italy’s Lucio Fulci, the late Italian schlockmeister. Cat in the Brain, Fulci’s 1990 metaslasher, is by no means a good movie. (Even enjoyable is pushing it.) Still, by cobbling together gory clips from his previous films—notably Touch of Death—and shooting some awkward connective bits, Fulci happened upon a postmodern landmark of sorts: a red-sauce 8, more valuable to grad students than horror fans.
Fittingly, Grindhouse Releasing’s double-disc set, a beautiful effort with a 3-D cover, is loaded with the fawnings of eggheads. In liner notes, Hostel’s Eli Roth calls Cat in the Brain a “film I deeply relate to.” (Our sympathies to his therapist.) On-set photos, posters and interviews fill in the picture. Fulci, who died in 1996, didn’t live to see the Tarantino-spurred craze that followed. But here Fulci is, on video, at a weekend Fangoria convention, in poor health, sopping up attention. The sympathy is touching.
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