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Cemetary Man

Cemetary Man

Cemetary Man is a nightmarish, episodic horror/comedy about death and the decay that comes with it. The lead character, Francesco Dellamore is a misanthrope who is the caretaker of a local cemetary. The trouble is, the recently- buried keep coming back to life, and must be stopped by having their heads cloven in two, with a bullet or other implement - an act which Dellamore has performed so many times that he has become positively bored by it. One day he meets a newly-bereaved (and exceedingly hot) widow with whom he falls instantly in love; after a few brief moments of passion she, of course, is taken away from him and becomes another of the zombies that disinter themselves from the cemetary's grounds. But is he willing to love her, now that she's crawling with maggots? Indeed, is love possible between the living and the mouldy dead?

Cemetary Man - which was originally released in its native Italy under the much better title Dellamorte Dellamore (i.e., 'Of Death, Of Love') - isn't for everyone. Certainly, it has moments of romance, sex, and horror, but also quite a bit of gore; and much of the film, to be honest, doesn't make a lot of sense from a purely logical standpoint. The point isn't to make sense, perhaps, but simply to entertain, and this the film does with scene after scene of both horror and comedy, and usually both at the same time. While there certainly is a narrative direction, it isn't strictly adhered to.

The lead character of Dellamorte is played by Rupert Everett, who at this time was still very young and svelte and perfect as the unsmiling, on-edge cemetary manager. It's a shame, but Everett hasn't been this good in anything since (and it is even more of a shame that he had to make his presence known to the general public through a bloody Julia Roberts movie). Contrasting Dellamorte's mental misanthropism, however, is the more traditional sort in the form of his assistant Gnagi, brilliantly played by Francois Hadji Lazaro, who turns out to be something of a romantic and, ultimately, the far more likeable character. The voluptuous (and frequently nude, thank Allah) Anna Falchi plays the widow, who keeps reappearing in various guises to tormet Dellamorte with her beauty. (The characters are all listed as just 'She' in the credits.)

With its graphic violence, bucketfuls of blood, and bits of necrophilia, Cemetary Man isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. And zombie fans (who number in the millions, apparently) have already latched on to this film as a quirky sidetrack within the larger genre. But for those who haven't yet encountered it, the film will provide plenty of fun and surprises - surprises which keep coming right up unto the last scene.

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