Saturday, September 1, 2012

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK LATE LATE SHOW: The House by the Cemetery or Mommy says you're not dead. Is that true?

“The House by the Cemetery” or “Quella villa accanto al cimitero” or “Mommy says you're not dead. Is that true?” 

Dr. TERROR here... here's a late entry into the Italian Horror Week back in July. Frank Browning was the man behind nearly all the tremendous artwork created for IHW, and he's been doing some writing for both the Liberal Dead and now, for this site. Now we don't do a lot of guest spots, but Frank is family and can write whatever he wants whenever he wants to write it and we'll post it. Seriously... anything. Harlequin romances, classified ads... anything. Thanks buddy. - D.T.

Greetings, true believers! Dr. Terror has been so kind as to let me cut my teeth so-to-speak and bleed a few words of unvaluable wisdom into the minds of you, his followers. (Yes, unvaluable).

Hence, I shall be speaking to you about a film I just recently discovered myself, thanks to an invaluable Italian horror cinema education from the good doctor himself. Thusly, I will reveal unto you my thoughts and reactions to this Italian classic in the most humorous fashion of which I’m capable.

That being said, buckle up kids ‘cause shit’s about to get real…

HBTC (“House by the Cemetery” as it will be referred to as from henceforth) was made in 1981, some 30+ years ago, by a man named Lucio Fulci, sometimes referred to as “The Godfather of Gore”.

This sombitch has made some films that you definitely need to familiarize yourself with, lest ye get shit thrown across thy face, thy mom and/or thy mom’s face. These clusters of awesome include City of the Living Dead, The Black Cat, The Beyond, Zombi and SO many more classic films. I won’t read his filmography off to you but I recommend you check it out post-haste or said shat-launching will commence.

Now, I’m not gonna give you an in-depth dissertation on this film. That’s what Wiki and IMDb are for, so check those out at your leisure. I will, however, give you the short-n-curlies of the situation. HBTC is the 3rd installment of Fulci’s unofficial Gates of Hell trilogy along with the aforementioned City of the Living Dead and The Beyond.

The story revolves around a family that moves into a creepy old house, unaware that living in the cellar is the flesh-eating zombie of a 19th century surgeon, Dr. Freudstein, whose face resembles a dried, leathered cat vagina stretched across a paintball mask. 

The youngest member of the family (with arguably the worst voice-over in horror movie history) befriends the ghost of the late-ish doctor’s daughter. She warns them to no avail unfortunately. Thusly, the Doctor/Zombie/Cat-Vaj-Face-Head dude gruesomely kills and dismembers a variety of victims, including real estate agents, funching teenagers and mentally-challenged babysitters with mono, leading into a terrifying finale in the corpse-storage facility/cellar. 

Now, it’s time to reveal some interesting bits about the cast of this most Cat-Vaj-Faced awesomeness of spaghetti-splatter cinema…

Dr. Norman Boyle is portrayed by Italian actor Paolo Malco, who in later years, gave up his job in front of the camera, became American and went by the alias Jerry Bruckheimer.

As a producer, Paolo Bruckheimer has been involved in some of the greatest action & adventures films in recent memory, such as Top Gun, Con Air, Cat di Castoro abusata Psicopatica 3 and The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Lucy Boyle, played by Catriona MacColl, is the poor, hapless wife of Dr. Bruckheimer. She spends most of the movie as the stereotypical wife that goes apeshit when the family moves into a new house and no one believes her that beasties are going to annihilate her ass. MacColl had roles in Fulci’s other Gates of Hell films, City of the Living Dead and The Beyond. In later years she gained some fame with her involvement in the Iran Contra Conflict and the Filthy McNasty film series.


Ann the mentally-challenged babysitter with mono, is portrayed by actress Ania Pieroni. Pieroni has a fairly impressive filmography with highlights such as Inferno, Tenebre and Il mio butthole è nella capra di dolore. She’s also been credited for inventing the “Slap-Chop”.

“I let my eyebrows do the talking…………….. You’re gonna love my nuts!” 

Bob Boyle, played by Giovanni Frezza, is the poorly voiced-over lad who befriends Freudstein’s posthumous daughter. Not surprisingly, director Tom Holland credits Frezza’s performance as the inspiration for everyone’s favorite killer doll, Chucky.

Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger has credited Frezza as his facial expressions coach since 1986.


Lastly, but not leastly, I’d like to mention a very special kill that takes place in the film. There are some very good, gory kills in this flick, but I find this one of special magnificence.

For reasons unknown, Dr. Freudstein decides to stab a realtor to death with what appears to be Voldemort’s wand. This is enhanced by the fact that Freudstein chooses to stab the poor women repeatedly in what eventually resembles the actions of an elderly man with parkinson’s trying to rub one out.

With that said, I do most certainly recommend you view this film for the safety of you and those around you. This film clearly demonstrates what NOT to do when a seemingly immortal pussy-cat-pussy-faced psycho-zombie surgeon-doctor is in your basement. For the love of shit, how was he not discovered by the home inspector?! People, Angie’s List exists for a reason. DO your research. You don’t want this sombitch wizard-wand-raping your realtor… or do you?

When in doubt, always remember these words:

il pene del mio gatto è più grande della sua faccia…


For a more in-depth look into Director Lucio Fulci and/or The House by the Cemetery, give the following links a ‘once-over.’

Check out Frank's work where ever LSD is sold (or maybe just HERE).