Un Gatto nel Cervello

Cat in the Brain

Nightmare Concert

directed by Lucio Fulci
released in 1990
duration 93 minutes

Based on the strange title of this film, Un Gatto nel Cervello (Cat in the Brain), one might be tempted to think this is a giallo. It is not. Instead, it is a fucking bad confusing mess that somehow defies genre classification.

Lucio Fulci, a real director, appears as himself, playing Lucio Fulci, a horror film director who is haunted by recurring flashbacks of violent scenes. There is really no proper plot in this movie, and everything that happens is just a bad excuse to string together grisly, violent scenes. Everything that the best Fulci films are famous for is missing: there is no beautiful cinematography, no great score, no suspense, no style, no nothing.

This is an uninspired piece of crap that was probably done only because the producers wanted to make some quick cash, building on the reputation that Fulci had gained in the early 1980s. There is no trace of Fulci's usually professional touch in this film. To be honest, I find no virtues in this pathetic "thing". It is a completely terrible, sad attempt at making a movie. It is precisely shit like Un Gatto nel Cervello that has caused certain people to dismiss Lucio Fulci's movies altogether. By that time, 1990, Lucio Fulci was already starting to get old, in a bad shape, and suffer from illnesses. It is plain and simple that his heart and skills as a director were also completely gone. It is the sad, but honestly told truth.

It was my misfortune to see Un Gatto nel Cervello right when it was released in 1990, and like in many other cases, I had no reason to suspect the movie would be a total disaster. Back then, there was no information available, and when you bought VHS tapes from the black market, they often came with no descriptions attached. All you knew was title of the film, director, year of release, country of origin, duration, and a rough numeric assessment of the image quality (i.e. which generation copy the VHS tape was). It is clear that the lack of information often led to disappointments. You often had to shop around completely "blind".

Now we have the luxury of the Internet, with lots of reviews available. If, despite all the warnings, you nevertheless decide to see this stupid piece of shit, then fine, be my guest. But do not whine afterwards that the movie was bad. Just to make sure you are following me, I have included this final warning for you:

WARNING!!! Un Gatto nel Cervello IS TOTAL SHIT!!! In fact, I can give you a pretty good rule of the thumb: When it comes to the Lucio Fulci movies, skip everything that was originally released after 1982. Interestingly, the very same rule of thumb applies to the movies by Dario Argento as well. With Fulci, Lo Squartatore di New York (The New York Ripper, 1982) is the last good movie. With Argento, it is Tenebrae (1982).
UPDATE April 10th, 2019: I just watched Lucio Fulci's fantasy film Conquest (1983) yesterday, and it was all right. So 1982 as a deadline for good Fulci movies does not hold after all.

copyright © 2010 Kalevi Kolttonen <kalevi@kolttonen.fi>