short film reviews, criticism, and occasional musing.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cemetery Man (1994, Italian/UK)

Cemetery Man is truly weird, even for an Italian zombie movie. Starring Rupert Everett as the eponymous hero, it takes a little while to really get going, but the second half is grotesquely hilarious and totally surreal. At the outset, Everett’s character (Francesco Dellamorte, or, as he puts it, “St. Francis of Death”) seems resigned to spend the majority of his days and nights drinking, killing the undead, reading the phonebook, and bumming around his small Italian town in the company of Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro), an Igor-like figure who lives and grunts (and eats, and eats, and eats) in the basement of their graveyard shack. All this changes, of course, with a woman. A woman who Dellamorte falls for not once, or twice, but four times, as she simply will not stay dead and buried.

Everett’s dry wit and matinee idol looks are a perfect match for such an over-the-top film, and he’s game for everything that comes his way, and it's a shame to note that, twelve years after the movie's original release, Everett's career seems to have hit a major snag. Now that Cemetery Man is finally available on DVD, horror fans should check it out – even amid the current passion for all things zombie, this movie is one-of-a-kind.


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