Okay, so, The Cemetery Man. (echo, echo, echo)
The Cemetery Man is a 1994 Italian Comedy Horror movie starring Rupert Everett, Anna Falchi, and Francois Hadji-Lazaro. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Italian and Comedy and Horror? Can it get any better???
But seriously, I actually liked this movie a lot and I like it for the same reason I like a lot of B-Movie horror…the fact that it’s really bad and I really shouldn’t like it in the first place.
So, let me just say this. I love how Italians do horror. In a lot of ways, an Italian horror movie is a lot like an Italian Sculpture from the 1600s. Made with damn near medieval tools, but the finished product is usually pretty cool and really pretty to look at.
Let me set the scene for you. Beleaguered and bemoaned undertaker, Francisco Dellamorte spends his nights minding a cemetery where the dead routinely comes back to life. The movie opens with Dellamorte talking on the phone with his friend Franco as he casually blows the head off a zombie that happens to come calling to his tiny ramshackle house.
He spends his evening digging a grave for the newly undead tenant of the cemetery with his trusty, mentally impaired assistant, Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro) and spends the rest of his time putting together a skull puzzle and perusing old phone books and crossing out the names of the recently dead.
And then, one day our mournful hero sees the most beautiful girl in the world known only as “She”(Anna Falchi). He sees She during the funeral of her beloved husband…who’s like a thousand years old. Dellamorte is instantly in love with her and prays he sees her again. He does. He finds her mourning the grave of her lost love…who’s like a thousand years old. Why am I harping on that fact, you ask? Because she tells him that she doesn’t think she’ll love again because her husband gave her the best sex she’s ever had.
You read that correctly. Apparently, Paw-Paw was hitting it right.
So, Dellamorte falls hopelessly in love with She. The two of them end up having amazing sex in the graveyard, and I do mean amazing. Personally, it made my top five – right under the Adrien Brody x Catbaby hybrid sex scene in Splice. Sadly, they happen to be having amazing sex on the grave of her dead husband. He, of course, comes back to life scoring the cockblock of the century and murders her.
Depressed, Dellamorte keeps her body (as she has no other family) until it rises and he shoots her…which was magnificent. There are wispy blankets involved. It kind of adds to his morose attitude, a bit, though.
The rest of the movie follows Dellamorte as he’s either killing the undead or chasing the latest incarnation of his lost love (there are three, total. They all end bad). The movie has a sort of comic book panel feel to it in that the continuity is really blurry, but that’s okay! Because this isn’t Shakespeare, folks.
The overall theme, though, is Dellamorte trying to find love under the veil of death that surrounds him…which sounds really deep for B-movie horror, but, there it is. The Cemetery Man is as full of existential musings as it is of bad special effects and slapstick comedy. Think Evil Dead with slightly less blood and more Nietzsche.
For what it’s worth, The Cemetery Man gets a Jewel From me:
I mean, to be honest, this one had me at hello. Rupert Everett is Ash-level cool with a British accent. The camera work had moments that were really beautifully done and while the acting was pretty bad and the special effects made me forget that the movie was done in ’94, not 84, it was still a pretty brilliantly bad movie.