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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

IHW: Dellamorte, Della-BORED - Deconstructing a Distaste for Cemetery Man

THOMAS KINGSMILL is the man behind the Dead End Street, or at least the Last Blog on Dead Street. His recaps of the Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon have become the thing of legend and his good will, great sense of camaraderie and community make him a powerful force in the horror community. Today he weighs in on Cemetery Man, a movie I caught on Showtime during a free preview week as a kid. I happened to record it and would watch it over and over enjoying it's sense of romance, humor, gratuity and nudity. Thomas has a slightly different approach to Dellamorte Dellamore. 

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In every movie genre, there's always that list of movies that everyone seems to love, those universal movies that you just assume everyone owns. A few weeks ago, I made a controversial comment about one of these beloved films: I admitted to not liking Cemetery Man. Several people immediately took me to task on my damning opinion. I never said that CM was a bad film, I just found it boring.

Enter Doctor Terror and Italian Horror Week. 

After discussing it with the good Doctor, I decided to tackle Cemetery Man for a third time and finally figure out what the hell my problem was with a movie that every other Horror-phile seems to love. 


First thing I noticed after my most recent viewing: this was the first time I ever actually watched Cemetery Man to its end. At one point I was like "I don't remember ANY of this" which was the last 30 minutes. I remember that last time I watched it I fell asleep, but the time before that was 18 years ago, watching the copy my brother rented from West Coast Video. I don't remember why I never finished the film then, but considering I was in my mid-teens at the time, I was probably distracted by porn.

Now I'm pretty sure I don't need to write a straight-up review of Cemetery Man, as anyone actually interested in reading this article has probably seen it.

So after my third and most recent watch, what exactly was my verdict? *drum roll*

*shrugs shoulders* Eh. It's not a bad movie. And I certainly understand why so many people love it. It's very creative and has a lot of great ideas. I did enjoy CM's unconventional take on zombies. I absolutely loved the bizarre score. It's just too Art-House for me, I think. There's way too many scenes of “nothing's happening", which I understand that an Italian Cinema stereotype. Maybe that's why I'm only a lukewarm fan of Italian Horror to begin with?

I honestly think this could be a tighter film, editing wise, easily shaving 20 minutes out. Maybe that's the American Cinephile in me? Like I said, I don't dislike the film, far from it actually, as I did get quite a few laughs from it, mostly from the Jim Norton-looking Gnaghi and his severed-head girlfriend. The scene with that head "crawling" across the lawn is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in a horror film. And let's not forget the head explosions! There's at least 2 quality head-smashings and it really bring the whole film together(I'm a huge fan of head crushings and explosions, which is why I give Halloween 6 any credit at all). And I swear the Motorcycle Zombie is a nod to the fabulous Psychomania.

Sadly beyond that, the movie just moved too slow for me. 

If 99% of Horror fans love Cemetery Man, I guess I just fall in that 1%.

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