In 1990 Lucio Fulci unleashed his own personal nightmare upon the world with A CAT IN THE BRAIN and now it is the turn of his fellow countryman Domiziano Cristopharo to continue the fantastical and horrific vision with his upcoming film NIGHTMARE SYMPHONY.
As horror film fans we often read about directors channelling past masters or continuing legacies and it has become almost standard promotional waffle but here there is something more to it. Something both tangible and conceptual.
So what is this link between these two particular films and these two unique film makers? Primarily it is as simple as it having been reported that NIGHTMARE SYMPHONY pays homage to Fulci’s aforementioned meta-film and if that was not enough, both films share a screenwriter in Antonio Tentori – a man who straddles the old guard and the new and both have its main theme composed by the iconic Fabio Frizzi, a regular Lucio Fulci collaborator.
Sure this could just be window-dressing, after all any old production could theoretically hire the relevant people. Thats the nature of the industry and it doesn’t equate to or guarentee a genuine connection.
But having watched several films from Domiziano Cristopharo, a man who through several of his films displays an artistic flare for bringing the surreal and the strange to the screen, I am of the belief that he is perfectly placed to do justice to a modern take on the work of Lucio Fulci.
Seemingly the shared passions of art, horror, Lovecraft and a deeper philosophical drive leads me to believe that conceptually they may both be of the same vein while the addition of Antonio Tentori does help lend the film more validity than would be possible without featuring someone who had a direct working relationship with the great man. After all I don’t think it is a stretch to argue that Lucio Fulci was somewhat of a mentor, if only briefly, for a young Antonio.
Now onto the film itself and although very little has been leaked so far, plot wise the film unsurprisingly see’s a director (played by Frank LaLoggia) attempt to take up and finish an old ‘cursed’ film but the lines between reality and fiction soon merge no doubt with surreal and violent results.
I am intrigued however at whether this film will be self-referential, for either Cristopharo or LaLoggia, and whether it will draw comparisons to other films such as Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 in terms of execution of delivery or whether it will play things a bit more direct. Either way I am curious to find out more and hope some promotional footage lands soon.
A few exclusive images of the production have been put on the Italian site DarkVeins which I won’t reproduce here out of respect (check out the site which handily has an American-English translation button for its articles) but at the moment very little additional information exists on this film which is due to land in early 2019.
Keep an eye out for it.