Della-what? It’s Cemetery Man…

I’ll start this post with a question for comic book fans. In the entire history of X-men, has Magneto ever used his power to wipe a computer hard drive? I mean that seriously by the way, someone let me know… because if they haven’t addressed that, they should.

Anyway, I’ve been running this blog since October of last year, and I haven’t talked about zombie movies nearly enough… so I’m going to quickly highlight one of my favorites. It’s actually not created by George Romero (SHOCKING!).

Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery man here in North America) is a zombie film from the 90s that is not only one of the best zombie films ever made, but one of the best horror/comedies as well.

The basic plot outline is as follows: Rupert Everett plays a cemetery worker who buries bodies in a strange cemetery where the dead are returning to life after seven days in the earth. He says at one point in the film that he tried to alert the local authorities to the zombie problem, but he refuses to fill out the required forms, he’s afraid of them closing his cemetery, and they don’t seem to believe him anyway, so he just shoots the zombies and reburies them.

As you may expect here, the zombies are more of a nuisance than anything else. Though they’re seen throughout the movie, they are not what drives the plot. Most of the movie follows Everett as he slowly loses his mind after becoming enamored with a widow known only as “She”.

The characters are excellent and the writing is the perfect kind of darkly funny. I can’t write this little post without mentioning Gnaghi, Everett’s assistant who speaks only by saying “Gna!”. He’s a hilarious supporting character who could have been gimmicky in any other movie, but here he is developed well. He even has a love affair with a severed zombie head…. yeah.

I find most “wacky comedies about death” to be kind of cutesy for the sake of it, but Dellamorte Dellamore manages to be genuinely funny when it wants to be. The “when it wants to be” part definitely strikes some people as strange. The movie has this strange tone about it where it can shift between serious and philosophical stuff into goofy stuff with no real problem. I chalk this up to it being a foreign film with a very different sense of humor. It’s not your typical horror comedy formula of “lots of blood = HILARIOUS”.

By the end of the movie, the zombies are almost completely forgotten and it is only about Everett’s character. It has a rather cryptic ending, which is neither uplifting nor really depressing. It leaves me wanting a little bit more, or feeling like maybe I should watch the movie again. That’s not a bad thing though…

Seriously, if you have any interest in zombie movies or horror comedies, you must check out Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man). It balances some real drama with some good laughs. It has some great lines and some great zombie slaying. It even has a few hilarious “WTF” moments.

It’s odd. Definitely a unique horror film… it makes me want to hunt down the comic series that inspired it…


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