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Forgotten Treasures

Essays on sci-fi and horror movies that may have slipped beneath the cracks.

Fatal Funerals

3/16/2008 4:14:40 PM permalink

Welcome to the second installment of our look at unjustly forgotten genre films of years gone by. This entry is an English language import from Italy: home of Dario Argento, zombie horror, and that porn star who got elected to Parliament. Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore) contains the rich cocktail of over-the-top violence and steamy sex you'd expect from any low-grade horror movie. Less expected is the brilliant meditation on the philosophical concepts behind such base pleasures... and the presence of a pre-celebrity Rupert Everett in the lead. Everett plays Francesco Dellamorte, caretaker at a picturesque village cemetery whose occupants have a difficult time staying put. The local Mandragola roots are bringing them back to rotting life (with a taste for human flesh, nach). Dellamorte considers taking them out a part of his duties, and so with shotgun in hand and mute manservant Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro) in tow, he sets a lonely vigil each night, waiting for the recently deceased to come knocking so he can blow their heads off. He could use some help, but it's tough getting any. The local politicians don't quite understand the nature of the problem, the paperwork involved is brutal, and the police have enough trouble with the unruly living to worry about the dead. It's easier for him to just shut up and blast away, whether the zombies be nuns, local businessmen, or that troop of boy scouts wiped out on the highway. Then Dellamorte falls for the hot young widow (Anna Falchi) of a local fiftysomething and his rather repetitive life develops some nasty twists. When she dies (well, when he inadvertently kills her) and she reanimates, he has to put her down. The act drives his ennui and depression into full-bore madness. He begins to see her face in every woman he meets (all played by Falchi), whom he pursues with reckless abandon before they too are killed. The Grim Reaper himself pays a visit as well, hoping to recruit Dellamorte for a more permanent job that he takes to with unusual aplomb. Director Michele Soavi (a prot

Tags: comedy, italian zombie horror


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Date Joined: March 2, 2008

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