DVD Review: Cemetery Man
By Jeff Swindoll Jun 9, 2006, 13:21 GMT
Rupert Everett (MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING) stars as Francesco Dellamorte, a cemetery watchman whose job is to slaughter the living dead when they rise hungry from their graves. But following a tragic tryst with a lusty young widow (stunning Anna Falchi in one of three sexy roles), Francisco begins to ponder the mysteries of existence. Is there long-term satisfaction in blasting the skulls of ‘returners’? Will his imbecile assistant find ...more
Girl: No, please don't. He's only eating me.
Francesco Dellamorte: Move aside.
Girl: Mind your own business. I shall be eaten by whoever I please.
Cemetery Man is what some people would call a “cult” film with a small but loyal following. Now, Anchor Bays Entertainment brings the cult film finally to DVD. They provide some special features sure to please fans of the film.
We start the film with a man speaking on a telephone. There’s a knock at the door. The man opens the door and a man is standing there holding a briefcase. A close look at the visitor’s pallor and an ant crawling on his ear reveals that he’s freshly returned from the grave. The man on the telephone nonchalantly shoots the other in the head. The man on the phone is Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett). He’s the watchman at the Buffalora Cemetery.
He’s assisted in his duties by the childlike Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro), a cross between Peter Lorre, Curly Howard, and a puppy. It would seem that seven days after the deceased is buried in the cemetery, they return as zombies. It’s up to Francesco to pop ‘em in the head and return them to their graves.
One day a hot widow (Anna Falchi) brings her elderly, late husband to be interred in the cemetery. The lonely, isolated Francesco falls for her. He can’t really communicate with her, but when he mentions that the cemetery has an ossuary (depositary for the bones of the dead) and suddenly she’s interested. He takes her to it and she seems to be aroused by the bones about her and the bones seem to respond in kind. She runs into the graveyard and Francesco follows and they end up having sex on her husband’s grave. Her husband, probably awoken by the banging above, arises and attacks them and kills his wife.
Francesco is heartbroken because he knows that he’ll have to put a bullet in her brain when she returns. Meanwhile Gnaghi has developed an infatuation with the mayor’s daughter, so much so that he nervously throws up on her in the city square. Luckily he’ll get to spend more time with her since she’s killed in a car accident and takes up residence in the cemetery. However, in extracting her from the grave with a shovel he lops off her head, but she doesn’t seem to mind and her severed head takes up residence with Gnaghi. Needless to say, Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore) is not your usual film.
Dylan Dog is an Italian comic hero who fights the creatures of the night along with his sidekick Groucho Marx (or at least he dresses like Groucho). Francesco Dellamorte was from a spin off novel from one of the other characters in the Dylan Dog comic.
Cemetery Man has all the makings of a cult film. Its humor was lost on the American film going audience and it was a huge flop at the box office (the producers were counting on Rupert Everett’s new fame at the time to secure a hit).
It has a slight touch of Evil Dead 2 in its depiction of Gnaghi and his short girlfriend. The picture definitely has an art house European vibe running through it as well (the ending makes me think of this). Anna Falchi keeps turning up in the film in three different roles as girls (she is only billed as “She”) that Francesco has his eye on. She is also gorgeous and I can see how she might become every horror geek’s fantasy - her nude scenes might have a lot to do with that.
Cemetery Man is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.77:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Anchor Bay knows of Cemetery Man’s fan base and to that end includes some nice special features. There is a 28 minute documentary called “Death is Beautiful.” It has interviews with director Michelle Soavi, special effects artist Sergio Stivaletti, screenwriter/producer Gianni Romoli, and actress Anna Falchi (still looking beautiful).
The first three speak their native Italian with English subtitles and Falchi speaks English. Soavi speaks of his Leone influence and of his “three teachers” (Joe D’Amato, Dario Argento, and Terry Gilliam). Next is the 2 minute Italian trailer. There are also some trailers for other Anchor Bay discs (Freaked, Bad Dreams, Visiting Hours, and Warning Signs). Inside the case is an 8 page booklet with liner notes by Michael Felsher. Sadly, the commentary by director Soavi that appeared on some other regions DVD special editions does not show up here.
Speaking of those other editions I should point out that this DVD runs for 103 minutes and not the 99 minutes listed on the back of the case. The running times of those other region’s DVDs are supposedly 105 minutes. I don’t know what difference might be in those two minutes (it might just be from PAL speedup, I’m not sure), but wanted to point out the difference in running time that is listed on the back of the box. However, I do not recall seeing anything different than on my VHS copy from Fox home video.
Fans of the film, who do not have region free players, will finally have the film on DVD and Anchor Bay has provided a nice featurette. Interested parties might want to give the title a rental if they’re not familiar with the film. If you know Rupert Everett from romantic comedies and rent this blind, boy you are in for a shock.
Cemetery Man is available for pre-order at Amazon for a June 13th release. As of yet, the Anchor Bay version is not available in the UK. Visit the DVD’s database for more information.