Cemetery Man

Cemetery Man

CEMETERY MAN (DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE) (1994) – This film is based on stories by Tiziano Sclavi, the man at the center of “Sclavian philosophy” from Italy. Michele Soavi directed and Rupert Everett starred as the hero, Francesco Dellamorte. Dellamorte is the gravedigger and custodian of Buffalora Cemetery, Buffalora being a fictional town supposedly in the north of Italy.

If you ever wondered what the Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner would have been like if it had been done as a horror story rather than sci-fi then Cemetery Man is the movie for you! The film employs the same Kafkaesque themes that The Prisoner did with heavy overtones of Sartre’s work The Myth of Sisyphus.

The dead buried in Buffalora Cemetery tend to come back to life as killer zombies after seven days. Dellamorte, with minimal help from his rotund and simple-minded assistant Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro), destroys the undead monsters. Our hero gets no thanks from the living citizens of Buffalora, however, who treat him like a Village Idiot and spread rumors that he is either impotent or a eunuch. Mysterious benefactors pay Dellamorte well for his thankless job via envelopes of cash that they mail to him.

Amid thwarted and tragic romances with a series of women (all played by sexy Anna Falchi) our protagonist perseveres in his nocturnal zombie-slaying, but slowly the repetitious task of burying the dead only to have them rise to be killed again takes its toll on Dellamorte. He begins questioning his seemingly meaningless existence and encounters the sinister figure of Death itself who says “If you don’t want the dead coming back to life why don’t you just kill the living?”

Taking this advice to heart Dellamorte attempts a few murder sprees that don’t have quite the effect he intended. Eventually our hero and his grotesque, quasi-mute underling attempt to flee Buffalora, taking the movie into a whole different direction that I couldn’t possibly comment upon without spoiling most of the film.

Dellamorte Dellamore is definitely worth at least one viewing for all horror fans. And for all fans of Twin Peaks, now that I think about it.

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Filed under Halloween Season

10 responses to “CEMETERY MAN (1994)

  1. I used to have the hots for Anna Falchi when I was a teenager.

  2. Indeed Cemetary Man is a great flick! It is an annual Halloween watch for me. Hey if you have never seen a film titled, Antropophagus (1980) it is AWESOME, well for movie watchers like us! There is an edited version titled Grim Reaper that is of lesser interest. Once upon a time, I had a good VHS copy but it has long since disappeared. Anyway, glad to see quality Halloween reviews these days! As always take care and see ya ’round the great ocean Internet!

    • Thanks for the kind words! I like Anthropophagus, especially for its niche in Trivia Heaven: that movie was the first b-movie reviewed by John Bloom under the alias Joe Bob Briggs.

  3. J.R.

    Excellent review!

  4. Kenton

    You’re the only reviewer I’ve ever read who gets this movie.

  5. Darrick

    This movie should be much better known!

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