14 August 2006 | The_Void
Lucio Fulci's Murder Rock is often lambasted by both Fulci and Giallo fans; and although I can certainly see why, I've got to say that this film satisfied me personally and I won't hesitate to label it a successful attempt at blending the tacky eighties styling's of dance phenomenon's the likes of 'Flashdance' with the familiar styling's of the popular Italian Giallo. I'm sure Fulci thought he was on to a definite winner back in 1984 with all these popular elements in one film; and even though I'm not sure how they would have been received at the time, nowadays it stands up as an amusing slice of kitsch nostalgia. I think the director cared more about making a quick buck on this film than providing the mass with a piece of art, and this shines through in the convoluted, but not well put together plot line. As you might expect, the film centres on a dance academy. After one of the girls is found dead, the cops place everyone at the academy under suspicion and when the murders continue; the police are given more leads to eventually track down the perpetrator.
The main reason why this film isn't liked by many of my fellow Fulci fanatics is due to the fact that it's relatively bloodless in comparison to his other works. The likes of The New York Ripper and The Beyond show the director at his gritty, blood-dripping best...whereas the kill scenes in this movie hardly feature any of the red stuff. That being said, they are still rather sadistic, as the killer knocks his victim out with chloroform before puncturing their heart with, of all things, a hat pin. Still, it has nothing on the eyeball violence of Zombie Flesh-Eaters. The musical numbers are atrocious in true eighties pop style, while the dance scenes are rather boring and not what I tuned in for. Fulci does find time to implement some gorgeous visuals, and the blue tint that accompanies most scenes gives the film a certain sense of art. Even though many of the film's elements are not brilliant, I still rate this film as an overall success as it's entertaining and fun to watch, and even though there are too many filler scenes; the plot plays out nicely. It's not a major highlight either for the genre or for the director, but Murder Rock is still worth seeing.