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Lucio Fulci's "The House By The Cemetery" (1981) 30th Anniversary Review

It's hard to believe that 30 years ago on this day (August 14), the Lucio Fulci directed horehound cult clasc The House by the Cemetery was released. This was the first Fulci film I had seen, and after this, I was hooked. I oon watched such clascs as Zombie, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, and more, and I loved every one of them. Yes, even A Cat in the Brain. However, The House by the Cemetery still has a special place in my heart, and I'm here to celebrate its 30th birthday. Don't gn that waver! You may move into...

The House By The Cemetery 1981

30th Anniversary Review

In typical horror movie fashion, the movie opens with a girl who has just had sex with her boyfriend in an abandoned house. Her boyfriend has disappeared, so she goes looking for him and finds him...hanging on the door with his brains everywhere. She then gets a knife to the back of the head and out the mouth.

A while later, a family is moving into the house so the father can finish research started by a colleague, who killed his mistress and himself while there. The family consts of a father, a mother, and their son, Bob. While there, they begin hearing strange noises coming from the basement.

The father begins investigating what caused his colleague to go mad and starts to uncover the history of the house, and of a certain mad doctor named Freudstein. Meanwhile, Bob begins playing with another girl his age named Mae who warns him about the house and tells him to get out before it's too late. The mother is driven to the point of insanity by the constant sounds of creaking and whimpering coming from the basement, and also has to contend with Anne, the mysterious babytter. Pretty soon, the house's history catches up with the family as the thing in the basement begins to off anyone in his house.

Originally called Freudstein, The House by the Cemetery is a staple in the Italian horror genre. It features several notable scenes of epic blood-spurting, flesh-ripping, and maggot-spewing to upset the stomach of almost any horror fan, including one of the greatest decapitations ever to grace the lver screen. While they do tend to look a wee bit fake at times, that doesn't hinder the overall enjoyment factor. THBTC also features a really creepy theme song, as with most of Fulci's other great works. And, when released onto American home video, some key scenes were put in out of the order they were supposed to appear in! Smooth move.

Even though the film's really good, it isn't without its flaws. The biggest flaw of all is definitely the English dubbing on Bob, the young son. I don't know who did it, but his "English" voice was so annoying I just wanted to jump into the screen and punch him in the face. That may seem harsh, but when you start watching it, you'll understand. It also isn't without its confung moments. Take, for example, the boarded up basement door. Now, Feudstein is supposed to be trapped in there, but if he is, how did he get out and kill the two teens in the opening? And probably the biggest mystery of the movie is Anne, the babytter. She always acts suspiciously and I wonder if she was in league with Freudstein. I mean, she unblocks the cellar door and cleans up a lake of blood that was spilled when Freudstein killed a real estate agent and acts as if there wa soothing strange about it. But hey, in these movies, you just have to turn your brain off and enjoy the ride.

Another awesome part of The House by the Cemetery is Dr. Freudstein, the film's main villain. He's a decaying zombie that feeds off human blood cells in order to live forever. He's just a great villain who has the ability to whimper like a child to lure people into the basement, and he looks incredible. A fun anecdote about him is that he's played by Giovanni De Nava, who played Joe the Plumber in The Beyond, which was released the same year. The acting is decent, but once again, the dubbing is really bad at times.

If you enjoy a good gory movie, The House by the Cemetery is the answer to your late-night prayers. However, if you don't like loads of crimson being splashed around on the screen, you'll find little to like here. Lucio Fulci keeps things mple and doesn't create a complicated plot, which makes it all the more enjoyable. Anchor Bay released this a while back with little special features, and Blue Underground re-released that DVD a while later. However, next month, BU is going to release a 30th Anniversary edition of The House by the Cemetery on DVD and Blu-Ray, with loads of bonus features. If you are a true horror fan and have any sense, I'd say you should really pick it up, because this is a

Rating System:

The best of the best.

A really good film.

It's OK; has its flaws.

The power of Christ compels you to stay away from this film!

Death is preferable to this garbage.
ObscureCinema101 Sunday 8/14/2011 at 09:49 PM | 80637