Lucio Fulci continues the Italian tradition of ripping off American movies and making a film that is superior to many of the American counterparts. It’s what the Italians are good at, be it Westerns of Horror flicks.
A young couple and their small boy trade in their New York apartment for a nice country estate that has certain doom written all over it. A foreboding ghost tells the young boy that they shouldn’t move but we all know how parents are.
The dad takes a job continuing the research of a man whom recently hanged himself. The mom and son are left to hang out in the death house and go bonkers.
The family eventually discovers the house they now live in used to be a crazed doctor’s who went by the name of Freudstein. You won’t find a better name for a doctor gone bad. They also discover that the tomb of the doctor happens to be under a rug in the house.
Then there’s the business of locked cellar door. The first time the door is unlocked a bat attacks the dad. This is not an ordinary bat though. This bat might as well be Super-Bat; it gets a death grip on the guy’s hand and doesn’t let go despite serious mutilation and stabbing. Quite a fun scene.
All hell breaks loose and Dr. Freudstein, essentially a Frankenstein monster who still lives in the cellar, begins killing people left and right, mostly by removing their throats. Apparently, Fulci was really into throat deaths.
The climax of the film is quite chilling, especially when the young boy’s head is pinned against a door that his father is trying to break down with an axe. Good gravy was that crazy.
Suspense is well built, much more so than in other Fulci films which place a heavier emphasis on gore. Noises, creepy kids, and good score all come together nicely, which at times had me squirming, a rarity.
Fulci takes equal parts of the Shinning and Amityville with a dash of the Frankenstein mythos and weaves a masterpiece of horror cinema.
Snore Factor Z – One of the best