Cemetery Man

Cemetery Man (1994)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Rupert Everett, Francois Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi, Mickey Knox
Extras: Documentary, Text Based Biography for the Director, Trailer

Completely bizarre tale of comedy and tragedy presented rather imaginatively with an added dose of zombies thrown in for added fun! Of course I'm talking about "Cemetery Man" otherwise known as "Dellamorte Dellamore, " a distinctly dark mix of pure oddities wrapped up into one of the more interesting horror offerings from the mid 1990's, a time when franchise monsters were reigning supreme at the box office as well as on home video.

Rupert Everett is Francesco Dellamorte a cemetery caretaker in the small town of Buffalora who is looking for a way out. Unknown to some, but adored by many horror fans, "Cemetery Man" comes to us from Italian director Michele Soavi who bases his film on the graphic-novel "Dylan Dog" by Tiziano Sclavi. Joining Francesco in the cemetery is his one true companion Gnaghi (Francois Hadji-Lazaro) a grunting chump of an assistant, one who must deal with the ever threat of the walking dead that are rising out of their graves looking to Gnaghi as their next meal! All this simply adds to the insaneness and, in turn further depressing Francesco as he attempts to turn around his unsatisfying love life.

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment produces another fine release for the home video market as evidenced in their recent "Cemetery Man" DVD. Displaying great color saturation that is fully complimented by a strong and rich black level produces an image with a wealth of detail. There is minor grain evident in the presentation that I believe to be from source material as opposed to poor video compression. The transfer offers no edge enhancement or annoying forms of dust or dirt particles, just a well rendered presentation awaits you.

There is one minor thing that I should add concerning the video presentation. Throughout the films 1.85:1 anamorphic exhibition, there are the slightest black bars to the right and left of the screen. They are present throughout and I did not consider them to detract from the overall presentation, I just thought it worthy of mentioning.

I was a little disappointed with overall soundtrack presentation. Although there is the ever abundance of rich bass that fills most of the necessary scenes, vocals appeared too manufactured and never felt natural, which can be distracting if you do not prepare yourself for this. Overall mix and balance is passable, but levels arriving at their various speaker destinations seemed to be lacking a general fine tuning. For a film that is just over twelve years old, there really is no reason for this. I can't fully blame Anchor Bay for the audio as they obviously did the best they could with the materials that were available to them for this DVD. Once you accept the condition of the audio, you shouldn't have a problem taking in the oddball antics that "Cemetery Man" presents its viewers.

For special features, Anchor Bay has included a 28-minute documentary titled "Death is Beautiful" that offers good insight into the production and comes with a rather smart "this documentary contains spoilers" warning, urging the viewer to watch the feature presentation before the documentary, simple yet effective.

There is also the inclusion of a text based biography on director Michele Soavi, a theatrical trailer and a selection of "also on DVD" previews that complete the special features section.

I was never a devoted fan of "Cemetery Man", well I actually never even heard of the film until I had the opportunity to review this DVD. I'm not too sure if this film will appeal to today's horror fan, unless you keep an open mind and enjoy the mixing of zombies and goofball comedic situations, then yes, you will have a terrific time with "Cemetery Man".