Friday, July 19, 2013

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK- I'm not an Engineer and You're No Cutie: Givin' Some Love to Dellamorte Dellamore (NOW WITH 50% MORE ANIMATED GIFS!)

Eric King is BACK! He's like Jason Voorhees circa Friday the 13th part 6. We may as well sing him an Alice Cooper song. Brocop, we missed you buddy. Now blog your face off and stick your  GIF in us!

I have to admit from the get-go that my knowledge of Italian cinema is fairly thin. I have seen my share of horror, sci-fi, action, and western films from said location, but when it comes down to knowing all the juicy tidbits about most Italian films, I'm not really the guy to talk to. But that's part of the beauty of Dr. Terrors Italian Horror Week; there's tons of other blogger peeps to learn some of those juicy tidbits from. Well, I'm here to talk about Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore, aka Cemetery Man. First caught wind of this flick from an early 90s issue of Fangoria.

This was a great time for the magazine, as it seemed like an onslaught of awesome was slapped across the cover page every single issue. Fango has always been pretty damn good about getting you pumped for a horror film, but as a teenager it seemed like a much more fantastic experience. I barely remember what all was covered in the Dellamorte article, but I remember being mad excited for the movie. Sadly, it was a couple of years before it would hit VHS in the states, and once it finally did I had damn near forgotten about it. It may have been confusing due to the U.S. title, as well.

Nevertheless, I finally came across it in our local video store (16,000 Movies), rented the hell out of it, and loved the hell out of it, too. Dellamorte Dellamore is one of those films that reaches favorite status automatically. And you want your own copy to watch repeatedly. Sadly, at this time, if you were buying a new movie on VHS that wasn't a huge blockbuster, you were gonna be paying about $80. But fortunately, double hookin' VCRs and copying shit was really easy, and done frequently by me. Maybe I should be ashamed, but it is what it is. I'm pretty sure many of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s did this on the regular. Anyways, main point being is that I watched this flick a whole helluva lot. Even more so once it hit Cinemax and was played regularly late at night. It looked way better on TV than my worn thin dupe tape.

If I'm being honest, Dellamorte Dellamore was my first Italian horror film, even before classics like Suspiria and Zombie. I caught on with films like that around the time VHS was going out and DVD was coming in. So, being that it was my introduction, it holds a special place in my heart. Plus, it's just a kick ass and unique horror film.

So, here goes the story- Francesco Dellamorte is the caretaker for the Buffalora cemetery. He lives on the premises in a rundown house with his best buddy assistant, Gnaghi, “a real conservationist”. Francesco is known in town as an impotent weirdo. His only other friend aside from Gnaghi is Franco, the town municipal clerk, who he talks to frequently on the phone and goes to see occasionally so he can remember what he looks like.

Anyway, back to the cemetery. Aptly named Resvrrectvris, the recently deceased rise from their graves on the 7th day following their death. And indeed, they are ghoulish zombies, and they will bite the shit out of you. But, the bite will not turn you. However, that doesn't mean that the problem shouldn't be rectified, as getting bitten or being totally eaten by a “returner” probably sucks badly. Francesco takes the secondary job of destroying their brains and reburying them, which he sees as a much less painstaking operation than notifying local authorities. Oh, and what would this story be without a love angle? This is where "She" comes in. “She” is absolutely gorgeous, and it's immediate infatuation for Francesco. Unfortunately, having to juggle a love interest and a cemetery full of bodies that won't stay put proves to be quite the task.


First things first, it was pretty hard digging up any type of factoids about the Tiziano Sclavi story from which Dellamorte Dellamore was based. If you manage to come across a copy for cheap, consider yourself lucky. I myself have never had the pleasure of even seeing any of the art, until I decided to do this article. As far as I know, it's never been translated into English. I'd love to touch on the whole Dylan Dog/Francesco Dellamorte similarities issue, but there are so many different takes online that I know for a fact I would severely fuck it up. I've read everything from Francesco making cameos in Dylan Dog comics, to Francesco being a rough translation of Dylan Dog, and everything in between. All I know is that the novel/comic (?) does exist, and it's extremely rare.


Dellamorte Dellamore is one seriously bizarre and beautiful piece of artistic cinema. A lot of the time, style takes place over substance, and it's one of those instances where that totally works. So many shots are just absolutely genius, and they really speak for themselves. Here are a few favorites:

Brilliant set design for the cemetery.

Top Characters:

Francesco and Gnaghi, played by Rupert Everett and Fracois Hadji-Lazaro. These two have a kinda 'Han Solo and Chewbacca' type relationship going on. The only word Gnaghi mutters through the entire film is "Gna" (or some shit) and Francesco knows exactly what the hell he's talking about. Each have their own quirky little passions in life. Francesco spends his free time trying to assemble a skull puzzle and reads telephone books as if they are best sellers. Gnaghi loves dead leaves and eats the fuck out of spaghetti (with some seriously strange toppings). There's a huge amount of sadness and charm from both of these characters, and Everett and Lazaro gel together really well.

"She", played by the insanely hot Anna Falchi. "She" is the love interest for Francesco. Holy cannoli. Love at first sight DOES exist! I've never see Falchi anywhere else, other than Googling for nude pics, so in that respect, she's kinda like another Mathilda May for me. Meaning, I've seen her in one movie but had an instant crush forever. Anyway, if one version of "She" isn't enough for you, this film gives you 3 doses of the character. The first being a grieving widow, the 2nd works for the mayor and has phallophobia (fear of dick), and the 3rd a college student who bangs for money to pay her tuition.


Sergio Stivaletti is the man here. Stivaletti also did work on classics like Demons and Opera. Dellamorte Dellamore isn't ultimately a gorefest, but the makeup has a pretty unique look and brain destruction is fucking magnificent. Stivaletti also did the design for the cemetery's ossuary, which is really stunning. Here's some favorite moments from the SFX side of the film:

Best part of the motorcyclists vs. Boy Scout bus incident.

Boy Scout Returners


Manuel De Sica and Riccardo Biseo compose the film score, and this shit is a total keeper. It's got creepiness and quirkiness, which makes it all absolutely perfect for the film.


And THIS FUCKING SONG. Suddenly I want to dance until my entire ass falls off, just so I can reattach it, and rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, etc...

Random Favorite Shit:

Falchi's tits. Good grief.

No, seriously. Falchi's tits. Areolas as big as my face.

Gnaghi's "I'm in love and am about to puke all over you!" face.

Gnaghi and Valentina's head.

Many of us spend our whole lives searching for love this strong, to no avail.

Cutest shit ever.


Ignis Fatuus. Will o' the Wisp. These things were total bitches in Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

Super Mario Bros. Cameo!

Final Words:

Dellamorte Dellamore is a total classic, folks. I got a lot of love for Michele Soavi's StageFright, but this was the man at his best. There's been some talk the last few years of a sequel, and even that Soavi had started work on a script. While I feel like this may be too late in the game, I'd still be mega excited if it did ever come to be.

Brobocop signing off...



When you get the opportunity to love on some Eric King, you do it. His blog Back on Line, Back on Duty is a heartfelt look into the world of action and horror films, occassionally accompanied by the Frank Browning on images and including a pile of the amazing animated GIFs you see in this piece.

Make sure you you stop by an visit with Brobocop HERE and check him out Facebook HERE.


  1. Anna Falchi's titties are the stuff that dreams are made of. If I were in that movie Explorers and made my own spacecraft out of a computerized bubble and an old carnival ride from a junkyard, and then by chance traveled throughout the cosmos and fucking met aliens that were nice and funky, they'd show me not a crystal into dreams... but rather them titties. Oh yes.