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Discussion in 'Reader Polls' started by Dark Lord, Dec 12, 2001.
Argento of the two, but Mario Bava tops them all!!
I think Argento is the better craftsman... But Fulci is good at atmosphere.
Hmmm. If I had to chose, it'd be Argento by a hair.
After watching all of his classic flicks, I'm still trying to figure out what Dario Argento mastered, exactly. I don't hate his films, but I've found few that I didn't find to be overrated. For what my opinion's worth, I think the only reason people think Argento's gialli are considerably (or at all) better than Fulci's is because they haven't watched Fulci's to begin with, not to mention they don't have a mystique built up behind them because they were harder to find for so long.
thats what im talking 'bout
I love 'em both, but I prefer Argento.
But if Mario Bava was in this poll, I'd say him. He's my favorite Italian director. Even his weakest entires, like 5 Dolls for an August Moon, have something brilliant about the photography and results of the story. Plus, he made the giallo film genre with 'The Girl Who Knew Too Much' and 'Blood and Black Lace'. Black Sabbath look amazing and Bay of Blood is a colorful film that I can watch over and over without growing tired of it. Don't even get me started on Lisa and the Devil's look. Although personally, I thought his Black&White features worked just as well also.
Anyways, end post...
Well thank you. I don't know if the guy needed more time or money or both. Even though I have gotten my digs in over The Beyond, I won't say for a second that many times throughout the course of the film I was thinking- he's really onto something. He was close, many times. Several sequences in Beyond, Zombie, and House by the Cemetery are beyond striking. But his stories weren't just unfocused or vaguely told. They were so sloppy, you could paint the wall with them and it would look like raw hamburg. His style never enhanced the stories at all, not like Argento did. He just made them more laughable. Or irritating. Maybe as I say this, I'm just being oversensitive about the tarantula scene. Not that that alone doesn't give me a reason. That is probably the worst scene I've ever had to sit through in horror history and I've seen a lot of horror movies. Nobody else ever just kept going with less than Fulci had during that scene. He must have been out of his mind when he did that. And that's a scene in the movie people call his greatest cinematic achievement.
So as I compliment him, because I do very much enjoy Zombie (until the last 35 minutes of the movie) and House by the Cemetery, and Manhattan Baby (my favorite of his films - yes, you heard me right)... all his films were problematic. Thank God for DVD, you can just skip the chapters that suck or fast forward over the many bad moments. Especially in City of the Living Dead. Which again, does have something none of his other movies seem to have. I especially love that ending. After the murder of the journalist reporter guy, another stupid and pointless brain ripping scene when the 2nd one didn't even need to be there. The guy was more reptitive than a whole barrelful of Argento imitators. But the more I watch his movies, the more I can't believe how despite his ineptness, he managed to create ugly gothic scenes as good as that stained-glass crypt where the zombies begin to burst into flames. That was truly an epic ending. And I say it's better than the ending of The Beyond.
I've seen 3 of his films - Black Sunday, Bay of Blood / Twitch of the Death Nerve, and The Girl Who Knew Too Much. And there is no doubt in my mind that Argento is vastly superior as a director. Since I've seen this place has Argento bashers, I think it's only fair to say I don't have a clue what people are smoking when they praise Bava. Oh, there were short bursts of serious talent in Twitch and Sunday, but it wasn't sustained throughout the entire film.
To be fair, I would probably be singing Black Sunday's praises from the rooftop - if Bava had gone with a different music score. It was a creepy looking fiilm. But the music was awful. My problem with Bay is the motivation for the killings - money. That's downright pathetic. He's got an amazingly tense and atmospheric movie going... then halfway through, he reveals it to be like Clue. Or some half-assed Hitchcock movie rip-off. Why do I care about one of the victims' fortunes?? What kind of motivation is that for a horror movie?? It ceases being tense and interesting at that moment and follows the killers around as they're now being stalked by an unknown, menacing figure who is then revealed to be another fortune-hunter who is then followed as they're being stalked by an unknown... It's absolutely ridiculous! And the male characters are the only ones with any kind of back story. The women are all portrayed as conniving whores. Basically- all having the same motivation. And I thought the ending was a stinking joke.
Then, I never felt there was any danger in Girl. So it didn't surprise me when I learned it was supposed to be a send-up or a satire or a dark comedy, etc. However, since the only version available is the cruddy Italian-language version with much of the American-version humor removed, it's not much fun at all. Although, I loved the "smoking" ending a lot. I listened to the Tim Lucas (??) commentary and the American ending doesn't sound as good as the Italian one. So, 1 point for the Italian version. However, I won't let any of this discourage me from seeing Kill Baby Kill or Lisa and the Devil, which are on my Netflix list to rent. Soon as I trek up to the mailbox in the 10-degree weather to fetch Eyes Without a Face and then send that one back.
Well, when I was watching Argento's films for the first time I didn't know what to expect. But after seeing the trailers, I set my expectations pretty high. And Suspiria, Phenomena, Stendhal, Bird, and Deep Red didn't just meet them, or even exceed them - they shattered them altogether. Just so you know where I'm coming from. I'm always going to be in-awe of Argento. Even with films like Mother of Tears or Four Flies, which aren't very good, but are still better than so many imitators could ever hope to be.
Guess I'm not very good at explaining it.
No, you are probably good at it.
Argento is the man. Period.
- better stories, more stylish and daring Direction
- some bad music choices in a few of his flicks
- amazing atmosphere, great gore and creative kills
- no plots whatsoever
Flicks that I think were great from each director:
Argento - Deep Red, Suspiria, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Tenebre
Fulci - The Beyond, Zombie, City of the Living Dead
Overall I have to go with Argento as his films as a whole hold up much better, and he was definitely the more competent Director. If we just compared certain scenes or kills though, Fulci wins by far. Not too many "best kills" lists without a Fulci scene or two thrown in.
As for Mario Bava, I have only seen two of his movies, but loved both of them. Once I go through the two Anchor Bay boxsets though he could definitely be a contender.
DVDFanatic you should check out Mario Bava's Black Sabbath and Blood and Black Lace, I loved both of them!
As for the spider scene in The Beyond, yes it's a little long but I don;t see why there is so much hate towards it. It's a nice gore filled scene that i think works pretty good considering the low budget. It definitely wasn't bad enough to ruin the movie for me. I do agree with you about City of the Living Dead though. The ending in the crypt is amazing! Actually I love that whole movie. Every year I watch it and each year I seem to like it more and more. The whole movie just oozes with atmosphere, as well, it has some of the best kills ever in my opinion, as well. Actually I might just like City more then The Beyond, although to be fair I have only seen The Beyond once.
As for Phenomena. I found it quite boring until the last act of the movie, though that was so good that it made up for the rest of the film. Not one of Argento's best in my opinion though.
Very well- I'm sold.
Films that I think were great from each director:
Argento - Deep Red, Suspiria, Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Phenomena, Opera, Tenebre, The Stendhal Syndrome, Masters of Horror: Jenifer, and Tenebre (just under the wire)
Fulci - ...
... ... ...
Films that I think were good from each director:
Argento - Four Flies on Grey Velvet, Inferno, Trauma, Mother of Tears
Fulci - Zombie, House by the Cemetery
Films that I think were passable from each director:
Argento - Cat o' Nine Tails
Fulci - The Beyond, City of the Living Dead, Manhattan Baby
I'm open to that and am willing to see all his movies.
It's silly, repulsive, fake-looking, and stupid. A little long? Try: over 4 minutes long! "Nice"? Only if you really love to point out how fake certain FX look. Look, I'm not trying to tear down anyone's enjoyment of it. But, a person would have to be blind not to notice it looks like crap and last over 2 minutes from the first spider bite to the last spurt of blood, plus another 2 minutes for the spiders to crawl on screen. It could have been one of the most memorable scenes in horror history, but it couldn't be more obvious that half the spiders are fake (and look it), and that the head is mostly a bad dummy (and looks it).
I've seen City maybe twice all the way through and The Beyond at least 7, maybe 8 times. As for City, I don't love the whole movie. The make-up looks awful. Talk about taking you right out of the mood / atmosphere of the movie! Emily looks like crap, there are too many brain-squishing scenes, the scene with the Black Detective questioning all the psychics is squirmingly bad (the dialogue is so horribly translated into English, it's painful!), and the whole Bob subplot is infuriatingly stupid. All these things take me right out of the very good atmosphere. But it's redeemed toward the end. There are a lot of very good scenes toward the middle and end of the movie. Especially, the ones with Jerry or Mary at the funeral home / mortuary (the music as they go into the room and all the coffin doors are open), the scene where JonJon calls to tell Jerry that Emily's killed her family, and the very strange scene in Sandra's house- especially when they go up to the attic and the walls drip with blood.
My beef with Fulci is that he knows how to get your attention, he knows how to start a great horror film... He just always screws it up. Every one of his movies have at least 2 or 3 astronomically-sized flaws. His movies are always incredible set-ups for disappointment.
I disagree. It does look like one of his cheapest movies, of that era in his career. But as usual, Argento uses it to his advantage. Phenomena is almost like a movie Fulci should have made. There's a lot of emphasis on splatter and creature FX and they look pretty bad too... but they don't hurt the movie. Also slightly Fulci-esque is how ugly and dirty the movie looks. But Argento takes that Claudio Simonetti and Bill Wyman music, the amazing camerawork, and art direction - and makes it an amazing series of set pieces. I would honestly go out on a limb and say, if you like the director, you'll appreciate and see the genius and the effectiveness of the movie. If you saw it in Deep Red, Suspiria, Opera, etc. And I never do this with most directors, I usually spend more time indicating differences from film to film. But Argento was very consistent around this time in his career. I say Phenomena is Argento's 4th greatest film.
I forgot about Inferno and Opera. I liked Inferno a lot, and thought Opera was good, if not great.
It took me a while to warm up to Opera but now I consider it his 3rd masterpiece.
Summed up perfectly!
Opera is one of my favorite argento films to show to non giallo fans. Its fantastically entertaining and well made, yet one of argento's most fast-paced and easily accessible at the same time.
Lucio Fulci VS Dario Argento....no contest.
I picked Dario Argento because he is one of horror cinemas greatest directors and his list of great movies speak for itself (Suspiria,Deep Red,Tenebrae,Bird with the crystal plumage etc etc).
Except for a few films(The Beyond and City of the living dead) Lucio Fulci cannot compete with Argento in terms of greatness...plus Fulci made what is for me the worst horror film ever mde...The New York Ripper.
New York Ripper is a masterpiece of nasty sleaze and grue
Shame on you, sir! hehe
yeah I really enjoy New York Ripper as well.
Apparently I have read this thread many times but never actually voted.
For me, Argento wins out. Even considering his recent work, I still find him more interesting. I do think he has gotten pretty lazy over the past decade, but his work up until Stendahl was so solid, original, and unique that I can't help but love him, even if I do acknowledge that he is an acquired taste. Yes, his stories can be full of lunacy, but I think it worked well in his earlier films and, to me, he always pulled them off with bravura. Even his lesser (early) films, such as Flies, Cat, and Trauma are at least solid when they're not brilliant.
I will certainly defend Fulci against detractors, but I find him to be a more limited director. Someone once said that he was only as good as what his crew put up in front of the camera. And I have to agree with that. So, his gore films have great gore. But, the acting, pacing, lazy storytelling and sloppy editing drag them down. However, his giallo that had less emphasis on gore, Lizard and Perversion, are pretty damn slick. For me his best film is Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That seems to be the one film where everything came together nicely.
So, while Argento's flaws come from either a feverish sense of imagination in the early years or just plain laziness in the latter, Fulci's flaws seem to come more from a lack of control.
I voted back in 2003 and stand by my Fulci vote more than ever. As I've veered off the beaten path and watched more of his later or maligned work, I respect him even more as an artist. I'd disagree with my man Anaestheus in that Fulci's films were only as good as his crew. He used the TROLL 2 crew for DOOR INTO SILENCE, and even without much gore, violence or nudity, he was still able to create a really exciting, provocative and personal picture that ranks right up there with his more renowned work. I see a lot more of Fulci's personality in his films - Argento's I see more flash but less intrigue. Argento has some amazingly personal and deep pictures, like Tenebre or The Stendhal Syndrome, don't get me wrong, but when you look at the entire body of work - and both have sizable ones, Fulci's to me always come through with a lot more heart. Fulci really wins the battle if you look only at their later careers, since Argento's films seem to be getting worse and worse with each telling, while Fulci put up some of his most interesting stuff, like DOOR or CAT IN THE BRAIN, before kicking the bucket.
Regardless, thank god we have both of 'em!