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as of: 10/16/06

Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore)



out of 10


Michele Soavi


Rupert Everett .... Francesco Dellamorte
François Hadji-Lazaro .... Gnaghi
Anna Falchi .... She
Mickey Knox .... Marshall Straniero
Fabiana Formica .... Valentina Scanarotti


I wanted to like this one.  I really did.  I've heard nopthing but good things about Dellamorte Dellamore (released as Cemetery Man in the U.S.).  Directed by Argento disciple Michele Soavi, Dellamorte Dellamore is about the life of Francesco, naturally enough the local "Cemetery Man" of the town of Buffalora.  Francesco's job, with the help of his somewhat retarded assistant Gnaghi (or so it seems), is to make sure the permanent residents of his cemetery stay dead.  See, this particular cemetery has an issue with its corpses deciding to rise from the grave within seven days of death.  Francesco "kills" these newly risen zombies by splitting their skull with whatever is handy.

You might gather from reading the above that this is straight horror, but nothing could be further from the truth.  This is a dark, dark comedy with some truly bizarre situations that include a ridiculous (in a good, funny sense) relationship between Gnaghi and the Mayor's teenage daughter.  In addition, we have a romantic angle as Francesco falls in love with a widow he sees one day in the cemetery.  The widow (played by the gorgeous Anna Falchi) and Francesco start a relationship, but it is doomed to failure.  The Cemetery Man spends the rest of the film trying to regain what he has lost.

There are many different explanations for what happens in this film.  Some have compared it to Fight Club, others have called it a dream.  But whatever the case, things are not quite normal in the town of Buffalora, and this movie is very different from most others you have ever seen.  The ending is especially bizarre.

Naturally enough, I'm sure you are wondering now why I only gave it a 5/10.  I loved the atmosphere of the cemetery, and I thought Rupert Everett was pretty decent in the lead role.  I should also mention that Anna Falchi is one of the best looking women I've ever seen, and she does decide to go without clothes several times in this one.  However, things just got a little TOO weird for me.  After certain scenes involving the mayor's daughter and her biker boyfriend, I found myself wondering when the movie would just end already.  That feeling only grew as Francesco's behavior grew more bizarre.  After seeing the ending and reading up on the various interpretations out there, I see where Soavi was going with this.  It just didn't work for me. 

However, with that said, I think fans of movies such as Shaun of the Dead and Young Frankenstein (in which group I include myself) might enjoy this a bit more than I did.  Fans of zombie movies who enjoy a bit of humor mixed in should also find this intriguing.


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