Back in June, we reported
about an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to get a book about Italian director Lucio Fulci reprinted. That book was Beyond Terror
by Stephen Thrower, originally published in 1999. It had seen some minor reprints already, but still could only be found secondhand for years, often for outrageous prices.
To say FAB Press's crowdfunding campaign went well is an understatement: it reached the initial target within a few hours (we hadn't even finished writing the article yet...), and ratcheted the total up to a whopping 1271% in the remaining month, outperforming even its highest stretch targets.
In the last few weeks, contributors have been receiving their books, and it's easily the best film-related book I've bought this year. Stephen Thrower made several additions to his original text, which was already impressive to begin with. Sections about Lucio Fulci's early comedies have been fleshed out, and hundreds of images have been added.
The end result is a book which, at 432 pages, is quite the tome. Unless Fulci returns as one of the Living Dead one day, this revised edition will probably be the ultimate book about him. Each title gets covered in detail, with a synopsis, production stories, a review, critical reception, rumors and legends, different versions, posters, and how it fits into Fulci's oeuvre.
My opinion of Fulci has seen as many ups and downs as the man's career (or indeed temper). Each time I'm done with him I see a film which suddenly makes me appreciate him again. As such I was very much looking forward to Throwers book, hoping it would shed some light on what made Fulci tick, so I could try and figure out his films a bit better. And though Beyond Terror
doesn't dedicate its bulk to Fulci's private affairs, it does paint a picture of him that seems pretty thorough.
Stephen Thrower doesn't shy away from pressing on the weak spots in each film, and even though he sometimes lets his inner fan provide the odd unnecessary barb towards Fulci's contemporaries, the sheer amount of encyclopedic knowledge, fun (yet verifiable) stories, and love of cinema, make the book hard to put down. We all have a Fulci title we love and one we hate, and reading about them in such detail is bliss.
As all the stretch goals had been royally achieved, the crowdfunded special version of the book has been pimped to the gills. For starters, it is housed in an exquisite cassette, which looks like the "book of Eibon" featured in Fulci's The Beyond
. This cassette contains another few trinkets and extras, the best of which is a DVD with 36 (!!) trailers of Fulci's films. All of these are optionally narrated by Stephen Thrower himself, who points out where alternate shots, cut scenes or weird dubs are used in comparison with the films. It's a fantastic extra to a fantastic book.
If you happened to miss the crowdfunding campaign, it will be tough to find this particular edition of it. But if it's just the book you want, there is good news: FAB Press will be releasing a "barebones" hardcover edition this month (January 2018).
Here is a gallery of stills though: click on the arrows at the edge of a picture to go to the next one, or at the center to get a bigger version.
The book and its extras come into a big, heavy cassette, shaped like the Eidon book from Fulci's The Beyond. It is embossed and looks fantastic.
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