The more Lucio Fulci films I see, the more I appreciate his work. The latest, and last of the Fulci zombie flicks, is The House By the Cemetery. It’s your basic haunted-house tale, only the house is haunted by a zombie. Crazy!
The zombie lives in the basement and emerges to murder and eat people to stay alive. A family moves into the house so the dad can do some research and pretty soon weirdness is erupting all over the place… The family has a weird-looking little kid and there’s a little dead girl that only the kid can see, and some weird crying coming from the basement. And a tombstone thing in the main hallway and of course the cemetery right outside.
The movie starts with a great murder scene (and a bit of gratuitous nudity!) then shifts into a slow, tension-building phase that lasts a while. Then mayhem! Along the way there are a lot of red herrings and/or plot things that end up going nowhere, which is probably the movie’s biggest flaw. Well, that and the sometimes atrocious dubbing and ridiculous ’70s haircuts. None of the negatives were enough to derail my enjoyment of the movie.
The gore here is some of the best of Fulci’s I’ve seen. For his work, it was a little on the light side, but by most standards it’s pretty damn gory. I especially liked the initial murder, which involves a butcher knife through the head, and the awesome blood/oatmeal/maggot mixture the zombie killer seemed to be made out of. Oh, that and the ridiculous bat attack scene. The bat attack scene itself is worth the price of admission.
It’s got a nice, creepy and somewhat ambiguous ending that might leave you scratching your head a little bit. Like most of Fulci’s work, it seems like eh was more interested in the overall impression or feeling of the movie than telling a strictly linear story with a tidy ending. I am okay with this, especially when it all looks so good and is so entertaining to watch
Too much going on yesterday to fit in a short and I am working all day today, too, so tonight could be iffy.