Cemetery Man (1994)
February 16, 2024 8:16 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Original title: DellaMorte DellAmore. Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett) is the beleaguered caretaker of a small Italian cemetery, who searches for love while defending himself from dead people who keep rising again. Everything is going well until “She” (Anna Falchi) comes along and stirs things up a bit.

Also starring François Hadji-Lazaro, Mickey Knox, Fabiana Formica, Clive Riche Katja Anton, Barbara Cupisti, Anton Alexander, Pietro Genuardi, Patrizia Punzo.
Directed by Michele Soavi. Written by Gianni Romoli. Based on the novel Dellamorte Dellamore by Tiziano Sclavi. Produced by Tilde Corsi, Gianni Romoli, Michele Soavi for Audifilm. Cinematography by Mauro Marchetti. Edited by Franco Fraticelli. Music by Manuel De Sica. In English & Italian.

61% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Shudder. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Weird, episodic, dry humor, but romantic and atmospheric. Highly recommend for fans of horror. Everett is great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:17 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]

This film is so delightfully weird.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:47 AM on February 16

I watched this in the theater when it came out and it was one of the weirdest things I'd seen at the time, though not in a bad way. I remember the local paper's reviewer HATED it, where my recollection is that it was pretty funny. Maybe it's time to watch it again with an adult brain and eyeballs.
posted by mrphancy at 11:04 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]

Just introduced a friend of mine to this movie as he had never seen it. He was delighted.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:00 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

I think one of my favorite bits in this is when Gnaghi easily puts together the skull while Dellamorte is out. When he hears Dellamorte approaching, he takes it apart again. Francesco seeing Gnaghi with the pieces of skull laughs about him trying to put it together as it's ridiculous to him that Gnaghi could do something so difficult.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:05 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Also RIP to François Hadji-Lazaro who played Gnaghi. He died last Feb 25th. (I promise this is my last comment.)
posted by miss-lapin at 12:07 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

Excellent little film that's traditionally been hard-to-find! Also on Shudder Canada FYI.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 12:25 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]

I had a dream once that I saw this movie. The dream version was of course very strange and dreamlike. I remembered the dream and couldn't quite recall if I'd actually seen this before, perhaps, years earlier -- or if I was just making things up based on some synopsis I'd read.

So I watched it, and I'm still not sure if I'd seen it before. The hallucinatory dream version was pretty close to the real thing.
posted by neckro23 at 3:19 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]

I feel like this is the version of Dead Alive that was made for existential college sophomores (whereas Dead Alive was the Dead Alive made for high school stoners).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:56 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

It’s been a while since I saw it, but I remember the end of the film being excellent. As I remember it the films ends with the two main characters swapping roles, and I understood that to mean the film was cyclical and would begin again? Maybe I’m wrong, it has been a long time since I’ve seen it
posted by The River Ivel at 2:11 AM on February 17

I remember really enjoying this movie when it came out-- in particular the shot of Gnaghi smashing open the casket and grabbing the head from the head's POV really stuck with me. I also recall being grumpy about them pulling a St. Elsewhere's at the end, which in retrospect was hilarious
posted by phooky at 6:46 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]

This certainly had its moments, though the zombie biker sub-plot didn't totally land for me the first time around. Years later I realized it was an homage to another film, and now I forget which. Psychomania maybe? That connection made me appreciate Cemetery Man even more. Gnaghi gave it a sweet dimension that sets it apart from other genre flicks. And Rupert Everett was perfectly monotonous, "of the dead," by comparison, and plays his part like one of the marble monuments in the cemetery, to great effect. He contributed a similarly subtle performance in Comfort of Strangers, a few years earlier.
posted by abraxasaxarba at 11:10 AM on February 17

I got to see this on a big screen recently, at The Revue in Toronto. Kind of a dream come true for me, I love this film and have been telling people to see it for decades now (with limited success). There was a good crowd, really fun to see it with a receptive audience, and a lot of them got to experience it for the first time.
posted by rodlymight at 4:38 PM on February 17 [3 favorites]

I saw it original run in Toronto and would not shut up about it, to the point that my friends were getting kind of annoyed. I haven't watched since because I'm afraid it won't hold up. Based on the above, I might give it another whirl!
posted by Shepherd at 5:20 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]

Not to abuse the edit window, also spent some time afterwards trying to track down Dylan Dog comics -- not easy in the very early Internet days -- and ultimately either failed, or have completely forgotten reading them. I bet it's a lot easier now...
posted by Shepherd at 5:23 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]

I picked up some massive Dylan Dog phone book in the mid-'00s and remember not being crazy about it, although the art was good. Soavi brought a lot to the film, I think.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:15 AM on February 19

I remember seeing this back in high school and it blew my wee mind, the bizarre blend of necromance and comedy and philosophic dreaminess and the whole thing is revealed to be in some bizarre isolated dimension of it's own as I recall? An almost Silent Hill-esque surrealist horror town where you can't ever actually leave. I need to rewatch it again now!
posted by FatherDagon at 7:14 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I saw this theatrically as well and I was a big fan at the time. Soavi was a protégé of Dario Argento and his previous 3 films are all great (Stagefright, the Church, the Sect). Sadly this is last truly great genre film.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:19 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]

There is of course a Dylan Dog film which is not very good.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:23 PM on February 20

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