Fulci's final film is pretty good, though it's anyone's guess who it was meant to satisfy - the gorehounds won over by The Beyond, the older fans who liked his suspense films in the 70s, the teen horror crowd driving the VHS horror bomb of the late 80s/early 90s...
The plot is totally predictable, and an attempt at something between a road movie and Fulci's beloved "absolute film", encapsulated easily by the names of other stories - Jacob's Ladder, An Incident at Owl Creek, The Sixth Sense, Carnival of Souls...get the picture?
However, the acting is strong throughout, and so is the dubbing. John Savage (The Deer Hunter) is the lead and while he does come off as drunk and disorientated, it fits really well. Sandi Schultz plays an ethereal siren and is the other important performer in the film.
Fulci the stylist isn't often on display, but Fulci the craftsman sure is. His visual trademarks - zooming into people's eyes for little to no reason, absurdly close close ups, overuse of a diffusion net (as moderately used in City of the Living Dead and a couple of other Fulci pictures, and infamously overkilled in Conquest). However the film on a whole is very well made, his best made since easily Murderrock (I have yet to see The Devil's Honey/Il Meile del Diavolo), so don't let the Filmirage production company label put you off - this isn't Troll 2 we're talking about (though some other credits are shared too - the wonderful Laura Gemser is doing costumes again).
Photography is often exquisite, which goes hand in hand with the wonderful bayou locations. One road in particular resembles the Death Star trench but made of trees and greenery and it looks so sumptuous on film. Strong use of reflections, shaky pseudo-steadicam shots of cemetarys and swamp bogs, aerial/helicopter photography, all contribute to the small, but not tacky, feel. Parts of the film were shot in New Orleans (as was Fulci's The Beyond), and some in Abbeville, also where the 1988 The Blob was shot. The score is quite a nice jazz thing, like a lesser Twin Peaks score if Twin Peaks took place in the Bayou.
The film is definetely slow at points, but stick it out - predictable and even repetitive at points, it is worth seeing through.
Door Into Silence makes a fitting final film for Fulci too, and not in the way these films usually do (by summarising or reiterating the principle concerns of the director), but by actually precipitating the director's death a few years later with a film more preoccupied with death than this kind of thing even usually does.
The DVD by Severin is excellent. It's Full screen and mono, yes, but that is the original aspect ratio and soundtrack, so this isn't some rushed, half-arsed job. It upscales incredibly onto my HDTV, even the water doesn't pixelate, which never happens. There is some fluctuation in camera, between what might be stock footage and the rest of the film, and some damaged negative, but it's very small. The sound is also strongly reproduced, which for once meant the dubbing of exterior scenes didn't jar me with a sudden drop in hiss levels! There are no extras, not even a trailer, but it's my understanding this is the first home video release the film has had outside of Italy and Japan. Don't be put off if you felt burned by Shriek Show's disc of Touch of Death or EC Entertainment's lousy Sodoma's Ghost/Ghosts of Sodom, this is at least as good as EC's Voices from Beyond or even Grindhouse's presentation of Cat in the Brain (the extras notwithstanding). I recommend this picture.