LADY OSCAR
1979, Ciné Tamaris, 124 min, Japan/France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Adapted by director Jacques Demy and writer Patricia Knop from the Japanese manga The Rose of Versailles, this drama centers on an aristocratic young woman brought up as a man just prior to the French Revolution. With a father who’d hoped for a male heir, Oscar François de Jarjayes (Catriona MacColl) is raised to follow his footsteps in a military career; when she is eventually appointed to lead the Royal Guard, Lady Oscar enters the secluded and decadent court at Versailles. But as the plight of the common people deepens and popular tensions flare, she finds herself torn between a sense of duty and a young love committed to the cause of change (Barry Stokes). Quintessentially Demy in its aesthetics and subject matter, LADY OSCAR features lavish visuals and a score by the director’s longtime collaborator, Michel Legrand.


THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
1981, Grindhouse Releasing, 82 min, Italy, Dir: Lucio Fulci

Italian director Lucio Fulci already had a track record of surreal giallo thrillers before he cranked out the DAWN OF THE DEAD knock-off ZOMBIE, which put him on the map with fans of extreme genre cinema. Dubbed the king of Italian goremeisters after following up with CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE BEYOND, Fulci turned out this very atmospheric (and gory) ghost/zombie saga. Katherine MacColl and her husband and son move into an ancient house owned long ago by the insane medical experimenter Dr. Freudstein. Ghost sightings, mysterious disappearances and bloody killings begin, and the traumatized family wonders if perhaps the good doctor is still around.


THE GATES OF HELL (aka CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD)
Paura nella città dei morti viventi
1980, Grindhouse Releasing, 93 min, Dir: Lucio Fulci

If you like great photography, supernatural themes, painful insertions of carpentry tools, portals to Hell, vomiting-up of intestines and maggot-dripping zombies, this is the film for you. A priest commits suicide by hanging himself in the church cemetery of Dunwich, and the horrific act opens the gates of Hell. As zombies pour forth. a reporter, a psychic, a psychiatrist and his patient must close the gates before All Saints Day or the dead will destroy the world (in a creatively gory way, of course). Gruesome savant Fulci’s follow-up to ZOMBIE features fantastic makeup by Gino de Rossi and cinematography by Sergio Salvate.


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