Written by John Edward Betancourt
I've always found Italian horror films to be an incredible ride, since they are so vastly different to American horror films. While we enjoy our blood and guts, the Italian market takes it to a new level, making sure to go above and beyond to cover the screen in red.
They are also vastly different story telling wise. While we either enjoy our horror films to be mindless entertainment or loaded to the gills with social commentary, many of the horror flicks I've seen from Italy take the big topics straight on and there is one particular zombie film that I caught years ago from Italy that still sticks with me today, Cemetery Man.
Known as Dellamorte, Dellamore in its country of origin, this film revolves around Francesco Dellamorte, a caretaker of an extremely special cemetery. For reasons we never quite get an answer to, the dead return to life in this place and it is Francesco's job to make sure they never escape to the outside world. Well, it technically isn't his job, he just knows that horrors such as these should never reach mankind.
Either way, that's the basics of the plot, because Cemetery Man spends a lot more of its time taking an in depth look at the desolate life of the cemetery's caretaker and quite frankly, our obsession as a whole with death and what it means for people to die. Francesco sees death as nothing important, which is ironic given his career choice. He consistently watches people mourn for their dead, celebrate their life mere hours before he puts a bullet in their head. It's an interesting juxtaposition for the film, and one that gets more fascinating as the film progresses.
Especially since the movie also delves into our need for love and companionship in the strangest of ways. Francesco's assistant Gnaghi finds his companionship with the severed head of a reanimated corpse and our enigmatic caretaker has his obsession with a specific woman, which of course leads to disaster, giving Francesco reason to handle the matter of death and the fact we face it all by going on a murderous rampage.
It leads to a bleak and hopeless ending and when the credits roll you're left with one simple message, that death comes for us all and there is no escaping it and well, that's what makes Cemetery Man so unique. It's an angry, depressing film that offers no hope or joy, and that makes it a unique horror film for sure because there are so few like it. See this one if you haven't but make sure you're in a calm state of mind first since this is one that will leave you uncomfortable after you've watched it.