Murder Rock (Fulci) R2

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by dwatts, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    To be fair, I did a search for this movie and turned up two threads, one of which had a lot of feedback. There, Jason25 posted a link to his own review of this disc: you can find the review here.

    I don't wholly agree with the review (and sometimes I do), but regardless, I wanted to write something about my afternoon.

    I was on the hunt this afternoon for some new Giallos. I stumbled upon two (more of the other after I've watched it). I had forgotten this release was even out there, to be honest, so seeing it on the shelf at the local store was a "wow" moment. Not only was I going to get a new giallo, I was going to get a new Fulci! Albeit, late Fulci.

    Murder Rock (Dancing Death) is a giallo, but to be honest, while watching it you'll be thinking more of Sunday evening detective movies from the 80's than you will "Don't Torture a Duckling". In fact, if you go to IMDB and search for "Murder Rock", you get two primary listings - the first is "Columbo: Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star", the second is this film. I reckon that's more than coincidence, it's divine intervention.

    By this time, Fulci's trademark gore is gone, as in ZERO. However, gratuitous flashing of the breasts are the order of the day (and is the only element that takes it out of being TV syndication worthy, one would think). The bottom line is, as a giallo, for me, it's quite the failure. At another level though...... it's FULCI! And it's fun!

    To cut and paste from IMDB: "A series of murders rock a dance academy in New York in which the mysterous directress, Candice, sets out to find the killer, with a little assistance from a shady male model, named George, who has a hidden agenda for her as does she for him."

    Yeah baby, that's about it for plot. There are some twists and turns along the way, but by the time they arrive you might not care. Other things were going through peoples heads when this one was made.

    You see, in 1981 Olivia Newton John glued little boys eyes to their TV screens with a little album called "Physical", if the video for that didn't grab your attention, well, girls weren't your thing. Two years after that, the screen was graced (?) with a little film called "Flashdance". Different, but the same in some ways. A year after Flashdance, Fulci offered up "Death Rock", and let me tell you, they're different, but the same in some ways!

    The simularities are sweaty young women in leotards (and these are some leotards!), dancing to rotten tunes. The main differences you'll care about is the inclusion of murders, and breasts - which hate to be confined, it seems. Gotta love even a lazy slumming it Fulci.

    As an unabashed Fulci fan, I have to tell you that it was not without a level of excitement that I watched this one. I found myself really enjoying it too. However, my bias for all things Fulci is well known, what of the more middle-of-the-road Fulci fan?

    Well, those into The Beyond, City of the Living Dead etc - are going to be left wanting. In fact, to be honest, for most of the time you wouldn't know this is a Fulci film other than his appearance (playing an agent). The camera work really is no better than any other TV movie of the week, and as already mentioned, there's no gore.

    The soundtrack, by Keith Emerson of Argento "Inferno" fame, is also something of an acquired taste. After all, this IS 80's disco we're talking here. If you're into that, hey, you'll be in seventh heaven. I kept wanting him to do something a little more..... Emerson, myself.

    But what about the cast? Well, we have Olga Karlatos, you probably saw her last getting a piece of wood in her eye in Fulci's Zombi 2 (don't worry, all the damage is healed by the time this film was made). We also have Christian Borromeo, a name you might not know, but he plays the boyfriend in Argento's Tenebrae. Cosimo Cinieri plays the detective, which is a change from his role in New York Ripper... and the list goes on. It really is fun seeing these people strut their stuff.

    In Fulci's Filmography this is sandwiched between New York Ripper and The Devil's Honey. I guess then it is the passing between the two, a transition film. New York Ripper is about a 100 times more violent. Some are sure to be disapointed.

    I should say however that the plot makes perfect sense. If you're used to giallos that fall apart under close examination, then this one is for you. It's just that it's not really very exciting, and it never generates any real tension.

    I'm not letting any of that ruin it for me - this movie was a ton of fun, and I'm glad to own it. It's a lesser Fulci, even a MUCH lesser Fulci, but given that he had yet to make Demonia, House of Clocks, and The Sweet House of Horror, you can be assured that it's not utterly horrible.

    One note on the subtitles. My (crappy) Cyberhome wouldn't allow me to remove the German subs from the english language track (judging by the lip movement, this was made entirely, or mostly, in English). However, on my laptop the subs were easily removed. So I guess the subs will depend on the player.

    I should also note, on my laptop the transfer looks damn good - projected, it looked a tad grainy.

    This "review" has been a bit unstructured, but Jason had done a good job of going over the plot. For me it's a middling to lesser Fulci - but it IS a Fulci, so damn it all, I'm giving it the thumbs up. He truly was the man.
     
  2. Crystal Plumage

    Crystal Plumage Dig me..but don't bury me

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    Great review Dwatts!

    A strange thing I found is that aparantly the same company that released Murder Rock (CCI) will release a limited edition of Lucio Fulci's classic .....wait for it......Dancing Death.....

    Release date is July 30th.Here's a tiny cover:

    [​IMG]

    So first everyone goes out to buy a LE's of Murder Rock with those high prices.And than CCI releases the same movie under a different title in a LE with again a high price?
    CCI gets a big [​IMG] from me!
     
  3. ArrowBeach

    ArrowBeach Active Member

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    I read on another board Media Blaster is putting this out soon, so save your money .
     
  4. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    :D Well, I don't buy movies because they're limited this or that - I buy them for the film. So either way here you're the winner. If you don't have this film - then damn it - you just don't have it!
     
  5. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    Oh! And the R2 comes in a neat cover - it's a hardcover book.
     

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