The Film (5/5)
It's amazing how many Fulci films I haven't seen. I have been a fan of the maestro for close to 15 years, and his work influenced (along with George A. Romero and Lloyd Kaufman) my decision to go to film school, and get into this business. To me Fulci represented the uncompromising filmmaker.
His films were not safe, bad things happened, and I was able to see every detail. From the eyeball puncturing in Zombi 2, to the intestinal vomiting in City of the Living Dead, and beyond. These films were gory and uncompromising, willing to show things that the more popular horror films at the time were unable to show.
Not only did he show great scenes of blood and gore, but he could direct, and create wonderfully atmospheric worlds to commit his cinematic atrocities. Perversion Story (One on Top of the Other, Una Sull'altra) is one of his least gory films, but one of his very best films.
Fulci creates a Hitch-cocking suspense thriller set in late 60's psychadelic San Francisco. We call Dario Argento the “Italian Hitchcock,” but Fulci with this film created a amazing companion piece to Hitchcock's Vertigo.
The film stars Jean Sorel (Short Night of Glass Dolls!!) as Dr. George Dumurrier. George is unhappily married to his wife, Susan (Marisa Mell, Danger: Diabolik), and is in love with his mistress Jane. When Susan suddenly dies from complications due to her asthma. He begins to feel guilty about his infidelity.
One night while on a date with Jane, he enters a strip club where a stripper named Monica Weston is performing. Monica is the spitting image of Susan, and George becomes totally enamored by her. He begins cheating on Jane with Monica, and begins to arouse suspicion from both Jane, and the insurance investigators currently following his case.
Severin Films has presented Lucio Fulci's Perversion Story in a very solid 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. There are a few instances of grain, scratches, and washed-out colors, but overall Perversion Story is pristine. I highly doubt this film ever looked as good on home video, as it does here. I sincerely hope Severin releases this on Blu-ray in the future.
Perversion Story has been presented with both Italian and English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono tracks, with optional English subtitles. The sound is quite clear, on both tracks, without too much in the way of grain, hissing or background noise.
We have very limited extras on this disc. Severin has included a trailer for the film featuring the title One on Top of the Other. They also have a CD copy of Riz Ortolani's score for the film. While the extras are slim, it really is excellent to get a copy of the soundtrack with the film. I have only heard Ortolani's work on a few films (most notably Cannibal Holocaust), and am quite impressed by his work here. It is a shame he is not known for much, outside of his work on Cannibal Holocaust.
Severin has done a wonderful job remastering this lost Fulci gem. The DVD is light on extras, and while interviews with some of the cast and crew would have been nice, the film itself is definitely worth the price of the disc, and the Riz Ortolani soundtrack CD makes it a must buy.
Unfortunately, I think this may be the only Fulci giallo that I had left to see. So that is kind of depressing. Bava led the way for the giallo, and Argento is considered the master of the form, but between this Lizard In a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling, and the Psychic(Does Murder Rock count?), Fulci has created an impressive array of gialli, and I only wish he had made a few more.