Friday, 17 May 2013

Review - Dellamorte Dellamore/Cemetery Man (1994 - Michele Soavi)

I'd been desperate to see this ever since I first heard about it. I was aware of Michele Soavi's work through his collaborations with Dario Argento. Stagefright was great. The Church was great. Surely this will be too. Soavi and zombies - brilliant. I finally got it from Italy on Blu-ray. (A few days after it was released here, I later found out. Cheers for that.)

But it's terrible. I absolutely hate it. It's more akin to a French comedy, and an unfunny one at that. 

Right. Calm down. Maybe my expectations are prejudicing me against this film. I'll give it a break and then watch it again at a later date. See you in a bit...

So, I've given it a good few months and watched it again. Has many opinion changed in the slightest? Well, maybe slightly...

I don't mind it when films don't exactly make total sense, and it some cases it actually adds to the film, but this really doesn't make any sense in the slightest. Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett - never very convinced by him) runs a cemetery with his chum Gnaghi who only ever talks in grunts. The dead are coming back to life and Francesco deals with them as an everyday part of his job. And then a pretty lady (Anna Falchi) enters his life, the wife of one of the corpses he has to bury. I don't want to spoil the story, (I'm not sure why, it doesn't really matter in this case) so I'll leave it by saying that Falchi plays a few important roles that left me completely baffled.

I still think that it feels more like a French comedy, something along the lines of Delicatessen. One of the characters has a relationship with a severed zombie head, not in an explicit way, but that's the general tone. Braindead played for laughs and got them. In this the laughs are non-existent as is any tension or horror.

Someone, somewhere will probably love this film though. It is visually gorgeous at times, looking like a precursor to some of Lars Von Trier's recent work. There is atmosphere in abundance but it is a dreamlike atmosphere of extreme quirkiness. I hope that someone does love it, because it feels like a film that should be loved. That person is sadly not me.

(Average rating for the season so far = 5.6)

If you like this you could also try:
Delicatessen, Braindead, Return of the Living Dead.


  1.'re wrong about this one. Based on the Italian fummetti "Dylan Dog", this is a much closer representation than the American film of 2010....Odd, strange and surreal....the last shot of this film just blows my mind!! And I think Rupert Everett does a great job here. Oh well, we'll agree to disagree!

    1. Thanks Karl for an opposing opinion. I think that this one of those films that will find a home in some people's hearts. It has plenty of visual splendour and quirkiness, and I can see why someone would like it. But I wasn't very keen. Like you say, we'll agree to disagree (especially about Rupert Everett).