Le Porte del Silenzio (1991)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Horror  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |  
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Legendary Italian horror director Lucio Fulci (L'aldila; Zombi 2; Paura nella Città dei Morti viventi) closed his 32-year directorial career with this standard genre entry lacking -- perhaps due to his declining health -- both the energy and invention of his more familiar work. John Savage (The Deer Hunter) stars as Melvin Devereux, who meets a beautiful young woman (Sandi Schultz) while attending his father's funeral in New Orleans. He doesn't recognize her, but she seems to know him. After several more tantalizing encounters with the woman (who is obviously meant to symbolize Death), Devereux has a series of progressively more disturbing run-ins with a black hearse and its mysterious driver (Richard Castleman), all of which seem to point to the fact that the body being transported is Devereux's own. His attempts to unravel the mystery lead him on a preordained path to tragedy which, although occasionally chilling, is already so familiar from films like Angel Heart and its ilk as to rarely be effective. Combined with the leaden pace which actually served Fulci well in some of his zombie films, this handicap makes the film highly avoidable for all but the director's staunchest fans. Jennifer Loeb co-stars with Elizabeth Chugden and Mary Coulson. Aristide Massaccesi, best known as exploitation maven "Joe D'Amato," served as executive producer.