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The Dead Walk Among Us

  • Sep 23, 2009
The name Michele Soavi may not ring a bell for most horror buffs but stating that the dude has quite the reputation may be an understatement. Although Italian horror seemed to have it's day in the sun long before Cemetary Man ever found it's way into our dark hearts, it would seem that Soavi was destined to become a legend in our living room. Having worked under such infamous horror auteurs such as Joe D'Amato & the beloved Dario Argento, it was only a matter of time before Soavi really made a splash on the international horror scene. Soavi also served as Assistant Director on the set of Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Cemetery Man was his ultimate calling card.

Fortunately, Dellamorte Dellamore Cemetery Man was anything but your run-of-the-mill zombie flick or rank Italian horror flick.  The film was based on Tiziano Sclavi's comic  book Dylan Dog, and starred Rupert Everett in the lead role. Soavi's stylish horror film managed to not only breathe life into a dying genre but also attract a whole new audience who had yet to experience the grand pleasure of a true comedy horror. I must also confide that Cemetery Man also beat Shaun Of The Dead to the punchline by about 10-11 years which is quite impressive.   

I first saw this masterpiece during the summer of 1996 when very little at your local box office would be even remotely interesting. Perhaps the only film that could even cause to bat an eye around that time was teenster flick "The Craft" which is not bad film by any means but definitely pales in comparison to "Cemetery Man". In a time when films by Italy's finest directors were nowhere to be found & the mom/pop theatres were nearly phased out largely due to the rising multiplexes which cater to the mainstream crowds, I was a bit dumbfounded to have something so deliciously wicked & entertaining as Soavi's film.   

Francesco Dellamorte has the uneasy task of being Buffalora's cemetery watchman where the recently deceased rise from their graves usually within seven days. Dellamorte ( whose name translates as "St. Francis of the Dead") slaughters the living dead when they rise from their graves with the assistance of Igor-like assistant Gnaghi (played by Francois Hadji-Lazaro). That is, until the day he meets a beautiful young widow (Italian supermodel Anna Falchi) at a funeral & falls head over heels.  And yes, now you have perhaps one of the most romantic if not tad erotic horror-comedies ever made. Everett may very well be the most romantic lead actor right up there with a Hugh Grant or Hugh Jackman if you will.

Unfortunately, Dellamorte's young love interest is about to meet an early demise after the two proceed to make love on the recently deceased husband's grave. In an almost hilarious montage, the jealous zombie husband rises from his earthly grave & attacks the beautiful widow. It would seem at this point that our hero has missed his chance at a new life & possibly love but this is only the beginning. Over the next hour, Francesco is destined to meet two other women who bare an uncanny resemblance to the widow & the end results are often hilarious if not darkly comical.

While it may be difficult for some to subscribe to this kind of film, I highly recommend you check this one out if you're into strange cult films or even zombie flicks with a twist. Unlike Soavi's teachers or mentors, Michele is more interested in creating dream-like sequences which linger on in your head for days while intentionally making you giggle during your "squirm" moments. Perhaps he is one of the few directors in his native country or any other who has successfully proved that horror does not have to be confined to just great FX & can have broader themes which may very well appeal to a wider audience. Make no mistake, it's a winner all the way around & deserves every bit of recognition it's received.
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October 31, 2011
Loved it. Great write-up.
September 27, 2009
nniicceee. This is most def one of the most memorable horror flicks out there. I prefer moody horror than the usual overload of EFX. You seen the "Stuff"?
September 29, 2009
I prefer a lot of Italian horror flix as compared to the same old junk that Americans are putting out. Well, French horror laos is taking the lead. I think I've seen the on you are referring to. It's about yogurt, right?
September 26, 2009
This is such a wild, weird, funny, intelligent flick! I love it to death. I hear that the character of Dylan Dog was drawn based on Everett.
September 26, 2009
I heard that rumour as well sometime ago but can't remember where I read it. Quite possibly, this was the best horror-love story ever. I was thrilled when Anchor Bay released it.
September 26, 2009
It's got everything I look for in a movie, and things I never even thought of looking for.
September 26, 2009
Agreed. I was amazed at how well Soavi managed to juggle all these elements & create one amazing flick. It's one movie I never seem to get tired of.
September 26, 2009
I bought it immediaely after seeing it. I just knew I had to have it. No kidding around and looking for a cheaper copy.
September 26, 2009
I had searched for years for a VHS copy & had always hoped that Blockbuster or some mom & pop store would part with their copy for $10 or less but that never came to pass. Thankfully, Anchor Bay answered my prayers & the DVD was less than $15. It looks every bit as good as it did when I first saw it in the theatres back in 1996. In fact, maybe better. In my honest opinion, this one is still highly underrated.
September 26, 2009
I never met anyone who didn't like it, but I'm not sure how well known it is outside the active horror circles.
September 26, 2009
Same here. Most people I've come across spoke very highly of it. Most of them were horror buffs or atleast didn't mind the occasional horror film so I don't know how well it would go over with movie lovers outisde of the horror community. It would be interesting to say the very least.
September 26, 2009
It would be hilarious to see it with a whole audience full of non horror folk!
September 23, 2009
You know, I've seen old VHS copies of this at yardsales all the time, but the title and the cover together kind of turned me off, but now that I've read this I may need to check it out. I'm surprised you admit to being a fan of "The Craft", a film that doesn't get much praise all in all.
September 23, 2009
The cover box art of Cemetery Man certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The original poster was much more cool in my personal opinion. Yes sir! Rent this one ASAP. I'm not a huge fan of "The Craft" per se but it was one of the better films that summer.
September 23, 2009
It was silly, but sexy and fun too. The whole idea of a bunch of disenfranchised teen-aged girls getting into witchcraft was a touchy subject then too because of all those bogus reports Geraldo did on satanists in America in the early '90s. That guy's such a doofus.
September 23, 2009
Yeah, I think it was entertaining for the most part & I had a good time with it. The whole subject of witchcraft has always been of great interest to me & some of best friends are pagans so it's always fascinating to see their responses after seeing a film like "The Craft" or "Practical Magic". Geraldo?? Hmm, hadn't heard that name in awhile but please don't get me started. I was a huge metal head in my teens during the nineties & all I can recall hearing was how satanic or bedeviled we look dressed in black. Or how most heavy metal acts were heavily into drugs or satanism. People never fail to amaze me with their ignorance or their complete stupidity.
September 26, 2009
Count I'm absolutely shocked that you haven't seen this flick! It's absolutely essential. I'd use the term modern classic but I know you don't like that.
September 26, 2009
Who said I had a problem with "modern classic"? I use that term all the time.
September 26, 2009
Take the Queen's word for it. She wouldn't steer you wrong. ;=)
September 28, 2009
Why is that pig winking at me? LOL! ;=)
September 29, 2009
And, um, just who were you calling a pig? LOL
September 30, 2009
;=) isn't that supposed to be a winking eye, a piggy snout and a smile?
September 30, 2009
Hmm, never thought of it that way. Now that you mention it though, I do see how it could resemble a pig. LOL
September 23, 2009
Cemetary Man was a tripping film. Michele Soavi has made some "interesting" films. Too bad they never made a sequel/remake for the American market.
September 23, 2009
I wish Soavi had made more films but he seems to be gone from the biz for good. From what I've read, he took some time off work in the nineties to care for an ailing son. Cemetery Man has been a fav of mine for a long time. Thnx for the comment bro!!
More Cemetery Man reviews
review by . October 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     "Cemetery Man" is another one of those horror flicks where you either love it or you hate it. I've heard some critics call it "vile" and "witless", while others "appreciate the satirical undertones" and praised the writing as well as the directing. Only a select few are truly in the middle. But you know what...I don't really care what others think. I love a lot of movies because I should rightfully be able to embrace and remember however many of them I want; …
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Brian ()
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I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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aka Of Death Of Love.
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Director: Michele Soavi
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Release Date: March 25, 1994
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: Audiofilm
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