Monday, October 23, 2023

Cemetery Man

Uhhhh, oookay then.

Yet another film that's been on the list for October reviews since nearly the beginning, and boy is it a strange one. You can summarize it either super concisely or so convolutedly it'll make your brain spin, but just for the sake of brevity here's the short version. The groundskeeper and gravedigger of a cemetery named Francesco Dellamorte lives a quiet life, he attends to funerals, chats with his one friend in the city, and every 7 days after a funeral blows the rising dead's head open. It doesn't explain why zombies appear or what causes it, it's just another day at work for Mr. Dellamorte. And it only gets friggin' weirder from there man. A lot happens, love is lost and found again, murders start cropping up, the grim reaper arrives in person, it is so fuggin' WEIRD! The film has a very dry dark sense of humor but it's not prevalent from start to finish, it more has it's moments peppered throughout and you almost start laughing from the absurdity of it all. Rupert Everett is a name I'm familiar with from more of his movies after this, and I know some people may criticize his deadpan delivery but I feel that was a concious decision by the director and it works to the film's advantage. The romance between him and Anna Flachi who we never learn the name of her character strangely, is bizarre to say the least but she has a fair bit to work with and is very nice to look at but I won't dwell on that. François Hadji-Lazaro as Francesco's bumbling assistant Gnaghi just adds to the surrealness of the picture and got the most laughs out of me. The director's style for this film is what helps give it a lot of unique charm, if I had to equate it to something similar I'd say it has this Robert Rodriguez' El Mariachi mixed with Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2 sort of vibe, it's unique even today. What compounds the weirdness further is it's an italian production made in Italy and yet every actor speaks english, and I don't mean they dub an actor from italian to english I mean every actor is fluent in english. Cemetery Man is the States title and the title in Italy is DellaMorte DellaMore, so it's slightly confusing. It's a rare and almost unidentifiable beast of cinema and it no doubt has it's cult audience. From the dreamlike story that doesn't rely heavily on logic, to the quite great special effects, to the oddball humor, to the just plain what the funk style of the direction, it's a trip to watch. It may seem predictable near the beginning and you may even think it goes a certain direction at one point, but naw man. You ain't seen nothing yet. Just seriously give this a watch! I'm still questioning whether all that I have seen was real or just the by product of a very tired strung out mind, so let's get this fucker in the can. Again kinda hard to find on video but you can snag a high quality version on YouTube if you search for the italian title. 3 stars, 7.5/10! And it is most certainly time to look back and expand upon a most divisive film. Next time let's talk about Halloween Ends.

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