For many horror fans, The Beyond is one of the most memorable films in their discovery of the genre. It’s the second film in Lucio Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy, falling between City of the Living Dead in 1980 and The House by the Cemetery, also in 1981. Often called “an Italian Southern Gothic supernatural horror film,” the plot revolves around a Louisiana horror film that may be one of the seven gates to hell. It’s incredibly surreal and bloody, but part of the strong effect of the film is the score. Fabio Frizzi worked with Fulci on the films as well as the beloved Zombi 2 up until Fulci’s death.
Now Frizzi is returning with a live score of “The Beyond: Composers Cut,” which will hit Texas next week. Before his return, the maestro checked in from the road to give us his thoughts on working with the great director, a little about the past, present, and future, and what we’ll see on the road.
AMFM Magazine: The Beyond is a very special movie for horror fans. Why do you suppose it has held up so well over the years?
Fabio Frizzi: I believe that this film, despite a long time has passed, has retained some characteristics of freshness and a rhythm of narrative that make it special. One of the most important manifestos in Lucio Fulci’s way of telling.
AMFM: When you originally worked on the film, what stood out to you?
FF: It was one of the occasions in which I mostly attended the set, while the interiors were filmed in the De Paolis establishments in Rome. So I was struck by the organization of the scenography, it was exciting to meet the actors. And that piano in Emily’s room was a lucky inspiration.
AMFM: What was Fulci like to work with?
FF: Fulci was a key director in my career. Absolutely eclectic character, with a clear vision of what he wanted to do with his film. He was a not always comfortable workmate, but a great teacher. From him I learned a lot about the relationship between music and film. And his legacy was very important to me.
AMFM: Have you always been a horror movie fan?
FF: I have always loved good cinema and among the good films I liked there are certainly a lot of horror ones.
AMFM: What horror films do you like now?
FF: There are so many new beautiful things in today’s horror, which has evolved thanks to the passion of the new generations. One thing that I liked a lot, among others, is The Conjuring, whose music is brilliantly written by my friend Joseph Bishara.
AMFM: What was the first film you saw or noticed the score that made you want to do this?
FF: I lived in a cinema family and the bombing of beautiful soundtracks began when I was a child. A couple of composers? Nino Rota and Carlo Rustichelli.
AMFM: What would you say to other future composers that want to get in the business?
FF: The first thing I would say is that this is not an easy job. It’s not about writing good music, but you have to become a leading actor in the film. It is not an easy job but it is the most beautiful in the world.
AMFM: What was your Hail Mary Moment – the moment in your life or career where you had to go for it and it worked out for you?
FF: When I was almost 30 and had worked for 5 years with a trio of composers – with Bixio and Tempera, I decided that I had to understand if my profession really belonged to me. We greeted each other with my two partners, who are still great friends today and attempted a solo career. I would say that it went well, thanks also to many friends, including Lucio, who immediately believed in me.
AMFM: What film will you be scoring next?
FF: I’m completing the recording of the Castle Freak score, a remake produced by Fangoria directed by Tate Steinsiek. A production in which I am exploring new techniques, always trying to bring some of my old style with me.
AMFM: In addition to seeing you score The Beyond, we’ll get the Frizzi 2 Fulci experience. What will we see and hear there?
FF: We thought it was nice for our audience to have a kind of double show. Then the idea was to play, after the film and a short break, a burst of music, without interruption, containing all the best written for Lucio Fulci. One thing I hope will greatly enhance my fans.
AMFM: This will surely be a very popular event. Have you thought about what movie you’d do this with next time on another tour? Is there another film that stands out to you that would be fun to perform while the film is playing?
FF: Your question hits the mark. It is so nice to go back to exploring your own artistic panoramas, that yes, there is an idea that is being defined within me. If the seed grows, you’ll know soon.
Fabio Frizzi performs with Frizzi to Fulci on 12/4 in Dallas at Gas Monkey and on 12/5 in Austin at The Parish. Both shows are at 8pm. Tickets for Dallas are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fabio-frizzi-plays-the-soundtrack-of-the-beyond-tickets-75786468367 Tickets for Austin are available here: https://www.seetickets.us/event/Fabio-Frizzi-Performs-The-Beyond-Live-Composers-Cut-Tour/395972