FULCI WEEK: Voices from Beyond (1991)

This is Fulci’s next to last movie, dedicated “to my few real friends, in particular to Clive Barker and Claudio Carabba.” At this point, Fulci was shooting TV movies and direct to video stuff, often lending his name to lesser directors.

Giorgio Mainardi lies dying, surrounded by his uncaring family, wondering why. He has an internal hemorrhage from an ulcer and nothing can be done. His daughter Rosie comes for the funeral and the reading of Giogio’s will, which has caused a family rift. Giogio’s stepmother refuses an autopsy. Giorgio’s father is on death’s door from a stroke. And Giogio’s stepbrother was having an affair with his third wife. It’s Fulci, the soap opera!

Giogio is rotting away in his coffin, but his spirit communicates with Rosie. At the funeral, everyone remembers the dead man and how he treated them. Lucy remembers that he hated how frigid she was. Mario remembers being humiliated. Hilda remembers how cheap he was. And Rita, his mistress, remembers him going back to his wife and cutting her off. In short, Giogrio loved — and was loved by — nobody. It gets worse — Rosie gets the entire will, but Lucy is allowed to stay in the house. However, there is no money for David, Lucy’s son who Giogio would not claim as his own.

An autopsy happens despite protests and the pathologist (hello, Fulci!) discovers the small intestines are damaged. And those intestines — kept for further observation — are destroyed.

Despite Hilda’s objections, an autopsy on Giorgio goes ahead. The pathologist (Lucio Fulci) takes a sample of his small intestines and discovers some lacerations to the interior wall. He puts the sample in a jar of formaldehyde for later inspection. A little later, Rosie and her college boyfriend Gianni (Lorenzo Flaherty) discover that the jar containing the organ pieces removed from Giorgio’s corpse has been “accidentally” smashed. But Gianni, a medical student with access to the pathology lab, tells Rosie that he’d found tiny splinters of glass in the intestines before the accident accrued later that night. He suggests that they go the police with their suspicions, but Rosie, who is now frequently and telepathically in touch with the spirit of her dead father, insists they investigate themselves rather than attract a public scandal.

After some twists and turns, Hilda is revealed to be the culprit, using David as her patsy. She created a game where he would use a mortar and pestle to smash up light bulbs and put them in Giogio’s ice cubes. However, instead of informing the police, Rosie tells the family that her father will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

There are plenty of gory dream sequences, a decomposing corpse and lots of blood being vomited. It’s not his best film, but it’s interesting. And definitely worth watching.

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