Tuesday, June 13, 2006

CEMETERY MAN

The long-awaited Michele Soavi classic CEMETERY MAN (a/k/a DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE, 1994) finally makes its DVD debut, courtesy of Anchor Bay.

Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett, MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING) is a cemetery watchman who spends his nights waiting for the dead to rise from their graves so he can pop a cap in their heads and re-bury them. But after a graveside sexual encounter with a kinky widow (the gorgeous Anna Falchi, in three roles) ends badly, Francesco begins to reconsider his place in the world, and starts to wonder if it might just save time and effort to blow people's brains out while they're still alive.

Then, of course, there's Francesco's assistant, the obese and imbecilic Gnaghi (Fran├žois Hadji-Lazaro), who's carrying on a love affair with the re-animated, decapitated head of the local mayor's daughter…

Filled with poetic imagery and macabre black humor, CEMETERY MAN is a genuine classic of Italian horror cinema, and a truly unique film experience. Based on a novel by European comic creator Tiziano Sclavi, director Michele Soavi (STAGE FRIGHT, THE CHURCH) has crafted possibly the most original horror film of the 1990's.

Anchor Bay presents the film in a sharp, clean 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. There's been some online debate as to whether the aspect ratio on this edition is as Soavi intended, but the framing looks fine to me. The dubbed English track is presented in a clear Dolby Digital 5.1.

Anchor Bay has included a well-produced, new featurette called "Death is Beautiful," which features interviews with director Soavi and star Anna Falchi, and some great behind-the-scenes info, a Michele Soavi text bio, and the original theatrical trailer (in Italian!). There's also a nice little 8-page booklet with liner notes by Michael Felsher.

For those who have been eagerly awaiting a Region 1 release of this important film, you're going to want to pick this disc up.

BUY: Cemetery Man