Cemetery Man


Director: Michele Soavi

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Cemetery ManCemetery Man (1994), from a graphic novel by Tiziano Sclavi, has also been known as Of Death & Love, & Demons.

It is one of the two or three best horror films of the 1990s, so it is very surprising to me it is not extremely well known. Those who do know the film seem just about universally to love it, & some make much of director Miche Soavi's working friendship with Dario Argento, for whom he both acted & served as second director.

Any comparison between Argento & Cemetery Man would be inaccurate, however, as Argento's work is scarsely this witty, self-aware, or intelligent.

It's rare a comedy that can make fun of its themes & still retain a sense of wonder. I was in awe through parts of the film, & completely engaged beginning to end with the array of eccentric interesting characters.

One critic called Cemetery Man "oddly intellectual" & I quite agreed, though I'm aware some people will scoff at the idea that a film in which a 'tard falls in love with a flying head is not their idea of brain candy.

Fine actor Rupert Everett is the sexton who lives in the graveyard, well armed, on guard for the rising dead.

Each of the resurged dead he cheerfully & with an edge of affection dispatches back to their proper graves. It's a hard job, but he does it respectfully.

He is also something of a ladies man, who keeps falling in love with incarnations of the same woman (Anna Falchi), but is cursed for things to not work out happily.

Francois Hadji-Lazaro is the cemetery man's nearly mute friend Gnaghi, a mental deficient who protects the beautiful head of his zombie bride & makes the head a nice terrarium inside a television with the guts removed, so he can sit & gaze at the TV & his beloved therein.

Cemetery ManSPOILER ALERT!: At the climax, well before they reached the tunnel in their car, I said aloud, "They'll probably reach the end of the world & have to go back."

As there's no special logic to it I've no idea how I guessed that was about to happen, but it had an inexplicable "rationality" to it.

The only part that surprised me was the exchange of identities but even that had a weird logic. I personally felt it was a brilliant film both as humor & as awesome weirdness. END OF SPOILER ALERT

The film is mischievous, gory, violent, romantic, elegant, artfully grotesque treasure, & simply very strange. It is a mystery why Soavi has not made another film since. It's my wild guess that Soavi, fed up with a crooked & creatively vaccuous industry, made one last film to show everyone how it should be done, then flipping the world the bird walked off into the sunset.

Continue to:
I, Zombie (1999)

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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