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March 16, 2010

Cemetery Man - Classic Film Pick

Cemetery_Man_Poster_01 "Cemetery Man" (1994) is a quirky blend of romance, lust, surrealism, horror, and black comedy which transcends the work of better-known Italian horror maestros like Dario Argento thanks to its grotesquely humorous bent. Based on a novel and comic book by Tiziano Sclavi , director Michele Soavi's avant-garde gothic film relies upon romantic theme of macabre sexual desire. Central to the film's postmodern tone is Rupert Everett's inspired performance as Francesco Dellamorte ("St. Francis of Death"), a cemetery caretaker in Buffalora, Italy whose daily duties include dealing with killing "returners" (zombies) that perpetually rise from their graves. The charismatic Everett is at the height of his powers playing a reputed "impotent" man who hasn't got "time for the living." Francesco is aided in his graveyard work by constant sidekick Gnaghi (Francios Hadji-Lazaro), a socially inept character dedicated to his emotionally confused master. The voluptuous Anna Falchi plays a recent widow who appears to Francesco to be the most beautiful living woman he's ever seen--a fact that Ms. Falchi's scenes bear out. A bite from a zombie transforms her into a magnificent corpse able to seduce Francesco in a most painful manner. Falchi returns later as a platonically obsessed girl whose romantic mixed messages eventually send Francesco on a quest to forever eradicate "love" from his vocabulary. Marked by a clever series of escalating reversals including murder, "Cemetery Man" is a dark and thought-provoking allegory about friendship and romantic deception. The outside world beyond the cemetery is nothing.    

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