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Cemetery Man (1994)

Cast: Rupert Everett, Francois Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi, more...
Director: Michele Soavi
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Anchor Bay
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Italian Horror
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Achingly romantic and creepy-funny, this funereal fantasy from the director of La Chiesa (1989) is unlike any Italian film in memory. Rupert Everett plays Francesco Dellamorte, a lonely cemetery caretaker who just wants to get out of his small town of Buffalora. His assistant and sole companion, Gnaghi (played by famed French musician Francois Hadji-Lazaro) is an overweight cretin who speaks only in grunts, and the dead people outside are rising from their graves as zombies and trying to have him for breakfast. This situation, coupled with all his other problems, gives Francesco a real complex. His troubles are compounded when he meets a series of mysterious women (all played by the beautiful Anna Falchi) whom he loves before they die tragically. Soavi's film is based on a graphic-novel, Dylan Dog by Tiziano Sclavi, but Soavi's more obvious influences range from Jean Rollin's La Rose de Fer (1973) to Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990). Barbara Cupisti (of Soavi's Deliria) has a small role, and the film also benefits from Manuel de Sica's memorable score and excellent pacing by editor Franco Fraticelli. This is a film to savor and it will go down as one of the most striking Italian genre efforts of the decade, despite some weak effects work by the normally reliable Sergio Stivaletti. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Says: Michele Soavi's demented Cemetery Man (the original, superior title is Dellamorte Dellamore, a play on the protagonist's name and a more appropriate summary of the film), one of the more underrated and artfully directed zombie films, has finally made its way to a stateside DVD release. The film is Italian horror film but stars Brit Rupert Everett as a beleaguered cemetery keeper who has to deal with the dead's annoying habit of coming to life seven days after burial. All sorts of complications ensue, including the fact that his Igor-esque, sweet and slow-minded assistant falls in love with one of the dead; she, in turn, loses her head over him, too. A beautiful romantic interest for Everett, meanwhile, is provided by Anna Falchi (with at least one very erotic sex scene that ends, alas, in zombieus interruptus).

It's often gory and gross (dig that bus accident), and just as frequently funny, an odd hybrid of genres and tones, one part Night of the Living Dead and another part Delicatessen. While the sound, which probably was never great to begin with, is a bit tinny and muddied, it's certainly passable, and the print looks better than I remember seeing previously. For horror fans looking for a change of pace, Cemetery Man may be just the ticket. And remember: "You get into all sorts of trouble if you kill people if they're still alive." -- Craig Phillips

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.55)
82 Votes
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