When an avid horror fan like me thinks of Horror Icons, the name Lucio Fulci immediately pops into mind. Fulci is probably one of the Grand Masters of Horror, in my opinion, and he is responsible for many classics that will forever influence filmmakers of the genre. A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN is a fine example of this excellence, even if it is a bit different from Fulci’s trademark gory style. If you’ve never experienced a Fulci film, now is the time to start.
Carol Hammond, the sexually frustrated wife of a successful London lawyer, is having bizarre, erotic dreams about her uninhibited neighbor, Julia Durer, who presides over noisy, sex and drug filled parties in the house next door. One night, Carol’s dreams culminate in violent death and she wakes to find her nightmares have become reality – Julia has been murdered and Carol is the main suspect.
This first US Blu-ray release of the film, taken from the original negative, is the longest uncut version currently available and it comes with a host of exclusive extras. Directed by controversial film maker Lucio Fulci (The New York Ripper, House by the Cemetery, Zombie), Lizard in a Woman’s Skin is considered by many critics to be his finest achievement.
A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN is a very strange name for this atmospheric piece, but I suppose the symbolism fits into the plot. The story is almost a fever-dream of epic proportions, and sometimes I had a hard time deciding whether or not Carol was dreaming. This didn’t detract from the film at all, and it actually heightened my enjoyment.
A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN is shot well and looks excellent, particularly on Blu-ray. The HD transfer is great, and I greatly enjoyed the picture restoration that was done. I’ve never seen the film on DVD, however I’ve been told the picture degradation was pretty bad in spots.
The acting in the film is very good, although I have to confess I did not recognize any of the cast members. Still, there’s no denying the talent involved with this picture.
Special effects aren’t a big part of A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN, which is almost strange for a Fulci film. Gore was a big part of Fulci’s later films, and he gave me some of my first introductions to onscreen carnage. But this film does not need it. The story and the atmosphere it builds are enough to carry the film where it needs to go.
A LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN is another big win for me, and I highly recommend it. In addition to the HD picture and sound, the Blu-ray offers Special Features such as:
• Brand new HD transfer from film negative
• Shedding the Skin – documentary
• Dr Lucio Fulci’s Day for Night – directed by Antonietta De Lillo – interview with Lucio Fulci
• Interview with writer Stephen Thrower
• Interview with actor Tony Adams
• Audio commentary with Kris Gavin
• Two original trailers
• Radio spots
• Italian/English Language/subtitle choices