The Living Dead and the dying living are all the same. Cut from the same cloth. - Francesco Dellamorte
Well its about damn time! I don't know why it took so long but DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE aka CEMETERY MAN is finally out on DVD via the fine folks at Anchor Bay and nobody is happier than the twat behind this keyboard. I remember first seeing Michele Soavi's masterpiece at a repertory theatre in 96 and what an experience it was! I was blown away! I'm happy to report that watching the film today still whopped me to silly-willy land!
Cemetery Man is one of those left field films that takes countless viewings to fully get. To be honest I've seen it a few times and still don't fully grasp what the film is going on about in some places. The symbolism occasionally left me in the dust begging for my Mommy to explain it to me (like why does he keep meeting the same girl)! But that's not to say that I didn't dig being challenged and couldn't groove to the hand it played my way anyways. Which hand was that? The full house baby! Thought provokingly existential, somewhat whimsical, deliciously cynical and filled with endearing bleak humor & out of line violence (loved the Hotel inferno), Cemetery Man made for a full munch down! Brilliantly written, with thought provoking and poetic dialogue, I so warmed up to the many statements on love and death (synonyms?) that the film put out. As the clock moved forward both themes compellingly became closer and closer in "make" to pretty much become one in the end. Genius!
Now that's not to say that the flick was all about "Deep thoughts by Jack Handy" soliloquies! We also get bombarded with all kinds of Zombie action, sometimes conveyed in a tongue in cheek manner , others times played straight. The gore was plentiful and graphic as well while the polished Gothic imagery at hand made me want to take a dirt nap in a Graveyard next to Marylyn Monroe's corpse. Umm...that means it was good! Visually; color me blue and call me Papa Smurf, Soavi outdid himself here! The flick did the impossible in taking a morbid setting and making it look strikingly beautiful via inventive shots, ably placed slow motion and stylish angles. The flick was poetry in motion, dread filled poetry, but poetry none the less! Will I say the word poetry again? Yes. Poetry. Add to that an engrossing lead in sociopath Francesco Dellamorte (ably played by Rupert Everett) arousing sexuality oozing out of many frames (and Anna Falchi's incredible nude body), a loveable sidekick in Gnaghi the simpleton (I wish I was that dumb), a rousing score and a downbeat yet appropriate ending and you get an obscure classic that shouldn't stay obscure no more.
Any complaints? One actually, its minute but it needs to be said. I didn't fully buy into the love story between Francesco and "She". It takes more than somebody saying "I'm in love" for me to feel it on the flipside of the screen. Sadly Everett and Falchi shared little chemistry together which was a low down dirty damn shame since their courtship was the core of the story. Result; the love story between numb-skull Gnaghi and the talkie severed head touched me more than the latter and was way more credible! Who knew? With that spat out, Cemetery Man was still a uber delight that aimed high and hit the nail on the head 99.9 percent of the time. In the mood for something fresh, daring and totally off the wall! Bury yourself in this lot!