All of Lucio Fulci’s entries in the giallo genre found their way to DVD in the U.S. but they’ve spent many years without a blu-ray upgrade in this country. Thankfully, Mondo Macabro has stepped forward and delivered the first shot with a new hi-def edition of A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin. This is particularly satisfying since the old U.S. DVD’s of this title suffered a variety of problems. Mondo Macabro’s new disc gives it the treatment that the director’s fans have been waiting for.
For starters, the transfer looks excellent: the details are lush and vivid as is the rich color scheme. English and Italian mono tracks are offered in lossless form, with English subtitles for the latter, and both sound excellent and free of distortion.
Better yet, Mondo Macabro has collected an array of extras new and old to support their impressive presentation of the film…
Commentary Track: this pairs label founder Pete Tombs with Italian genre film expert Kris Gavin. The two have a fast-paced discussion that covers the film’s production, biographical details on key cast and crew and analysis of Fulci’s themes and techniques. They even point out which one of the film’s killings was later used in another giallo. It’s a solid listen for Italian horror fans.
Dr. Fulci – Day For Night (32 min.): a vintage chat with Fulci supported by occasional film clips that has the director offering a sort of autobiographical monologue about his career. He’s suitably irreverent and occasionally caustic as he talks about his tormented relationship with film critics and the motivations behind his playfully anarchistic approach to genre filmmaking.
Shedding The Skin (34 min.): this informative featurette was originally created for the Shriek Show DVD and features actress Penny Brown as a host, along with commentary from castmates Florinda Bolkan, Jean Sorel and Mike Kennedy. They all offer plentiful memories of Fulci and his mischievous ways. Carlo Rambaldi also pops up to discuss his special effects, most notably the controversial “dog sequence.”
When Worlds Collide (29 min.): this sitdown with critic Stephen Thrower offers plentiful food for thought to the Fulci scholars. He discusses how the film makes a case for the director being as skilled with complex narratives as he is with the free-form horror surrealism he is better known for. He also discusses how the film’s conflicted commentary on Swinging London dovetails neatly with traditional giallo themes as well as notes on the film’s different edits.
From Burton To Baker (12:30 min.): this veteran character actor contrasts his delightful experience working with a friendly Richard Burton on Villain with a more difficult experience on Lizard, where he found himself bemused by Italian film methods and the chilly treatment of Stanley Baker.
Additional Extras: there are also two entertainingly lurid radio spots from the U.S. ad campaign, an alternate Italian language set of opening titles and three trailers (the most interesting is the hard-sell spot under the Schizoid title).
All in all, this is a great U.S. blu-ray debut for Fulci’s giallo work. Hopefully, if his other gialli get similar treatment, either Mondo Macabro will do the honors or whoever does will follow their impressive lead.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin, click here.