Lucio Fulci


Filmography / Projects

The Wax Mask

Other Titles : M.D.C. - Maschera di cera

  • Le 03 May 2014
  • Par Lionel Grenier
  • 0
  • Release Date : 1996
  • Country : Italy/France
  • Color
  • Classification : Horror

First, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci would have done a new version of The Mummy. But according to Antonella Fulci, the director’s daughter, Dario Argento finally changed his mind: «[He] was far from satisfied with the treatment and learned that George Romero was also working on his own adaptation. So Dario fired Daniele Stroppa instead. This is when they agreed to do something totally different, and my father proposed an adaptation from the short story by Gaston Leroux.» (Mad Movies 112, p48)
For the lead character, the French investors supported Robert Hossein, a choice that satisfied both directors. Lucio Fulci wanted Daria Nicolodi, ex-wife of his new producer Argento, as well : «I have a character that would be great for her in The Wax Mask, but I don’t dare to play in the picture now they’re separated. It would be a terrible intrusion upon Argento’s privacy. […] When we were angered, fifteen years agao, I couldn’t have her in one of my films because of this. Now we made up, Argento and I, I still can’t have Nicolodi for the same reasons. What a pity.» (L’Ecran fantastique 149)
As for the preparation of the film, Lucio Fulci showed confidence: «To date, all the production worked out well. Dario Argento is going to start the shooting of his own film, The Stendhal Syndrome, before I start mine, and we collaborate from that. Argento is very smart, too much to misunderstand that I’m older and more experienced than Soavi. Only time will tell what will happen, but everything is fine for now. Argento said yes to everything in my screenplay and added some ideas. We have to wait. I’m living one day at the time…» (L’Ecran fantastique 149)
In the magazine Draculina, Fulci explained: «I think we’ll start shooting in September. About the story, I can say it isn’t a carbon copy of the original House of Wax, which obviously inspired us. Our story is settled in 1915 in Torino. The protagonist is a frustrated artist who kills and becomes a monster, because of the faults of society. […]We have seven or eight ultra-violent scenes.»
But on March 13th 1996, the Roman director died. Special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti was chosen to replace Fulci and Stivaletti wanted some things to be changed in the screenplay. Daniele Stroppa explained: «In terms of writing, Sergio Stivaletti especially accentuated the characteristics of this man at the edge of insanity, the dark side of his schemes, of his misdeeds. Lucio wanted the story to be morbid, with no positive figure. He also wanted involved the political regime of that period.» (Mad Movies 112, p49)

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