The Psychic | Lucio Fulci’s masterful 1970s murder mystery gets a 2k restored Blu-ray release

Lucio Fulci (17 June 1927 – 13 March 1996) is one of the greatest of marmite directors – you either love him or hate him. During his 50+ year career, his output ranged from astonishing to abysmal, but he certainly proved his worth with his Gates of Hell trilogy (City of the Living DeadThe BeyondThe House by the Cemetery) in the 1980s and with a handful of Giallo thrillers in the 1970s – namely The Psychic, which is now out on Blu-ray from Shameless in a 2K restored edition.

Sette note in nero (AKA Murder to the Tune of the Seven Black Notes) stars Jennifer O’Neill as Virginia, a wealthy English woman who marries handsome Italian playboy, Francesco (Gianni Garko), and while he’s away on business begins renovating his old palazzo. Having had second sight since childhood, Virginia is soon haunted by strange visions involving a broken mirror, a murdered woman, a magazine cover, a limping man, a hole in a wall and someone being bricked up in the dark. After getting little help from her parapsychologist friend Luca (Marc Porel), she tries to uncover the meaning of the visions herself only to discover they are premonitions of future deaths…

Written by Roberto Gianviti and Dardano Sacchetti, Sette note in nero was Fulci’s fourth giallo. It is a meticulously constructed murder mystery filled with powerful imagery (especially the room full of chintz furniture that Virginia sees in her visions), some Argento-esque touches by way of 1971’s Cat O’Nine Tails (which was also penned by Sacchetti) and 1975’s Deep Red, and a gravely elegant score from Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera. This includes those all-important ‘Seven Black Notes’ which (as a chime on a watch) become a crucial plot point. If the tune sounds familiar, that’s because Quentin Tarantino appropriated it for 2003’s Kill Bill. There’s also a fab opening theme song that’s worthy of ABBA.

The Shameless Restored Edition of The Psychic looks and sounds terrific – and you get the option of both the English or Italian audio. Plus, there are some super extras (my fave was Fabio Frizzi’s memories on composing the score). It’s also given me a chance to revisit Stephen Thrower’s definitive tome, Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, in which he explores how on this film Fulci proved himself to be a director of ‘skill and sophistication’.

SPECIAL FEATURES
• Extensively restored in 2k from a new scan
• English and alternative Italian audio (alternative LPCM & DTS-HD audio tracks)
• Revised English subtitles
Touching Fate: new exclusive interview of Antonella Fulci 
Daddy Dearest: Antonella talks about her father Lucio Fulci
• Restoration process for The Psychic
Escape from Doom: writer Dardano Sacchetti on working with Fulci
Behind the Wall: composer Fabio Frizzi on scoring The Psychic
• Limited edition numbered O-Card (first 2,000 units)

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on September 23, 2021, in Giallo, Must-See and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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