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Touch of Death (1998)

Brett Halsey , Ria De Simone , Lucio Fulci  |  Unrated |  DVD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brett Halsey, Ria De Simone, Al Cliver, Sacha Darwin, Zora Kerova
  • Directors: Lucio Fulci
  • Writers: Lucio Fulci
  • Producers: Antonio Lucidi, Luigi Nannerini
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shriek Show
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007CNY0Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,803 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Touch of Death" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Directed by Lucio Fulci (Zombi 2, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond) 'Touch of Death' follows the gory misadventures of subdued psychopath Lester Parson (Brett Halsey) as he goes about his business seeking out lonely desperate (and mainly hideously unattractive) women in the newspaper classifieds section whom he seduces, plies with booze then maims and slices before dining on their flesh! His brutal doings don't go unnoticed as he soon becomes victim to an extortion attempt by a local tramp and that combined with his growing gambling debts leads to some rash moves by the desperate unhinged loner in this comically dark rare Fulci gem.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Must Be Seen July 4, 2006
Format:DVD
At last a lost classic has made it's way onto DVD. For a Fulci fan this DVD is a true reward. The story and script combined result in a Black Comedy Masquerade. I really don't want to give too much away other than this movie is truly a must see. See it with a group of friends that know or don't know Fulci's work and you will be in for a night of humourous Italian Horror. For a fan of Italian Horror don't go into it expecting Suspiria or Zombi because this movie is nowhere near that in mood instead, go into the film expecting Dario Argento's The Card Player or Joe D'Amato's The Grim Reaper mixed with light Tarantino-esque wordplay and scenes (in particulary the newscasters and homeless man scene) and you will not be disappointed. Honestly, this film would rank as one of my top five favorite Fulci films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It Actually Made Me Sick July 16, 2012
Format:DVD
Forgive me for paraphrasing Eli Roth who said those exact same words about 'The Human Centipede.' The difference is he went on to say that that was the highest compliment he could give a horror movie. I'm not trying to flatter Fulci, I'm stating a fact. I didn't even make it 10 minutes into the movie before developing a nagging stomach ache that stayed with me the whole time. What caused it? I'm still trying to decide if it was the rail thin woman with a mole on her face thicker than both her waist and her wrists dancing around naked, the lead actor eating what looked like lasagna but wasn't, or when that same guy took a chainsaw to a naked female corpse then fed the bones and gristle to his pets. Tough call, right? Make no mistake this movie is gross as hell. The only thing that kept me watching is that halfway through Fulci finally lets up on the gore and shifts gears into thriller/supernatural territory quite effectively.

Lester Pearson (Brett Halsey), a psycho who hears voices, is a widower with a severe gambling addiction. In order to feed his habit, he preys on rich women looking for companionship. The catch is they're all ugly. We're talking women with moles, mustaches, beards, cleft lips, scabs, etc, etc. After he sleeps with them (an act which he videotapes so he can watch it again later), he poisons them and kills them. But not in any ho-hum kind of way. Lester is lethal with weapons as varied as branches, ovens, bullwhips, you name it he can maim with it. He disposes their remains as quickly as possible so that he can get his hands on their money and jewelry. Problem is his haste makes him sloppy and pretty soon witnesses are coming forward to the cops. And the hits keep on coming for this born loser: his windfall quickly runs out and he winds up owing a bookie over $20,000.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lesser Fulci effort May 11, 2007
Format:DVD
No figure in the horror film genre is as divisive as Lucio Fulci. After watching his films, viewers tend to move into one of two camps. One side hails Fulci as a master of terror, a man who upped the gore quotient in his films while creating wonderfully atmospheric pictures. For these people, Fulci is up there with the likes of Dario Argento as one of the best Italian horror directors. The other camp sneers at these claims, pointing to the plodding pace of his films, the use of extreme gore to camouflage plot holes, and the director's inability to draw good performances out of his cast as evidence of mediocrity. Initially, I enjoyed Fulci's films, specifically "Zombie," "City of the Living Dead," and "The New York Ripper" because I did not know any better. When I came on the scene, you went to Fulci to feed your gore cravings. What a difference a few years exploring the genre makes! While I will not go so far as to remove Lucio from my play list, I have seen enough of his films to realize he is not a cinematic genius. He is at best a competent director, at worst an abysmal one, and there are plenty of examples of bad filmmaking in this director's filmography. Welcome to "Touch of Death".

The movie introduces us to a sad, pathetic loser named Lester Parson (Brett Halsey). Old Lester has a big problem with the ponies, one that finds him constantly digging himself deeper into debt in order to satisfy his cravings at the racetrack. He also has a problem trying to pull off that cheesy looking beard, but that's another story for another day. Anyway, Parson loses so much money gambling that he must constantly borrow dinero from a local loan shark to cover his bets.
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Format:DVD
Yeah, since I'm a Fulci fan, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I gotta say that Touch of Death isn't all that great. Just watchable really.
Like all fans of Italian horror know, Fulci's later films are just missing that special "something" that his 70s and early 80s films(the ones that made us fans) had. Based on the strength of those early films, we tend to cut him slack and hope for a taste of what made those films unique to show up in the later ones. Usually this doesn't happen, but a flash here and there does show up,and the films are entertaining in their own way. Plus, it may not just be Fulci-the Italian horror industry on a whole started going downhill by the end of the 80s.
So here we have Touch of Death which follows the adventures of Brett Halsey, who shacks up with rich widows to help pay for his gambling debts. The women are all rather unattractive to say the least, and Halsey himself seems disgusted by what he must do. He also videotapes the encounters, which seems to make little sense to me considering he was grossed out by having to sleep with the women in the first place. And yes, he ends up murdering them too!! Sometimes he even eats them! This also made little sense to me because it always seemed like he killed them before he really got any money from them.
Anyhow, the film jumps from one meet/seduce/kill/dispose of body scenario to another with occasional trips to the gambling bookie. Plus, Halsey starts getting mysterious phone calls and becomes increasingly paranoid that someone is onto him....or maybe copying him....or maybe trying to drive him mad. And where did his shadow go?
It's really all not that terribly interesting.
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