By his untimely death in 1996, Lucio Fulcis' reputation as''The Godfather of gore'' was firmly established, and the current consensus on the status of the films that make up his output in the horror/thriller genre, had probably already taken shape.
This view basically states that Fulcis' 90's films are not a patch on the reputation making extremes of pieces like ''Zombie-flesh eaters'' and "The Beyond.'' While it's true that Fulci had to cope with increasingly shoestring budgets, (they where never that big if truth be told) he did continue to knock out the occasional gem, and ''Voices from Beyond', in my opinion, is one of them.
Now EC Entertainment have given ''Voices'' a budget priced, bare bones DVD release enabling both devout fans and those new to the great maestro, a chance to assess the official view for themselves.
The story concerns the sudden death, in mysterious circumstances, of wealthy businessman Giorgio Mainardi, (Duilio Del Prete) and the efforts of his estranged daughter, Rosy (Karina Huff) to get to the bottom of the mystery. In the course of her investigations, it becomes increasingly clear that just about every member of the family have a motive for wanting Giorgio dead; and when Rosy finds herself the sole beneficiary of her fathers will, the simmering resentments and hostilities, various members have toward him come bubbling to the surface.
This sounds about as conventional a plot as you can get, light years away from the surreally hyperbolic excesses of Fulcis' more acclaimed work. But there are still enough of those Fulci touches to lift this film way above TV movie status -- a tag that some fans have used to dismiss this movie.
After both autopsy--performed with relish by Fulci himself, in one of his traditional cameo roles--and funeral, the corpse of Giorgio continues to possess its own internal monologue, even as it progressively decays throughout the film.Giorgio's family begin to suffer terrible nightmares, which include many familiar Fulci images such as sliced eyeballs and zombie attacks. Although nowhere near as gory or bizarre as some of Fulcis' work, these scenes stand out within the context of what would otherwise seem a fairly linear story.The strange, dreamlike interludes serve as clues to the solution of the mystery, and force Rosy to choose between preserving her fathers memory, or confronting the lies and hypocrisy that underpin the relationships between the Mainardi family members.
The disc comes completely devoid of any extras whatsoever (unless you count a scene selection menu), but the picture quality is fine, with solid colours and a fairly crisp image. EC entertainment intend this to be a 'budget' priced release to make up for the lack of extras which, lets face it, usually amount to little more than a trailer and filmography, when it comes to obscure euro-horror releases!
The most eccentric aspect of this disc concerns the menus... which feature white text with white highlights. You need very good eyesight to be able to tell which chapter you've selected in the scene selection menu, for instance! But, despite this small reservation, I would recommend this disc to any Euro horror fan, and to anyone who thinks that Lucio Fulci is a one dimensional director who only makes gore films.