Saturday, June 11, 2011


1981, Lucio Fulci
Starring: Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza

I know this film is usually included in the list of “Golden Age” Fulci films, but I personally find Quella villa accanto al cimitero to be a bit of a dud. It just seems like a dull rehashing of The Beyond and City of the Living Dead with some of the same actors, but a much weaker plot and worse effects.

The film involves a professor and his small family (Paolo Malco from New York Ripper, the gorgeous Catriona MacColl from many a Fulci classic, and Giovanni Frezza from Manhattan Baby) who temporarily move from New York to Boston for the professor’s latest project. He is going to take up the work of his adviser who inexplicably died after researching the mysterious Dr. Freudstein. In a stroke of luck, or ill fate as it turns out, the family manages to rent Freudstein’s family home, which is right on top of, you guessed it, his family cemetery. Cue scary Fabio Frizzi music.

I forgot to mention that the house comes with a slew of supposedly terrifying things including a friendly little girl ghost, a weirdo nanny, a creepy basement, and the undead, maggotty corpse of Dr. Freudstein himself. The film also has an ending as convoluted as The Beyond, but nowhere near as satisfying. In fact, I can barely bring myself to waste time writing about House by the Cemetery when there are so many Fulci greats I have yet to review. The dialogue and acting are flat and boring and though there is plenty of gore, the effects are just kind of unexciting compared to his other work.

I would say not to waste your time with this unless you are a Fulci completist. But if the power of gore compels you, there are a variety of cheap DVDs available, though I am reviewing the out of print Anchor Bay release. It is pretty much the same thing as the Blue Underground disc, so, for the love of all that is gory, skip right over the cheap-ass Miracle Pictures DVD and go for that. Finally, there is a dirt cheap Diamond Entertainment release that has a supposedly “restored and enhanced digital master” widescreen transfer. It may or may not still be available, but you can always search for it online. And really, you shouldn't spend more than $5 on this DVD anyway.

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