This is another one of those films that I initially passed over when it was first released, only to wish I'd viewed it years ago when I finally got around to doing so. However, I was thoroughly unprepared for what lay ahead. Could it be? An intelligent zombie film? A tongue in cheek horror with an art house flavour? Oh yes indeedy!
Loosely based on the novel "Dellamorte Dellamore" by Italian writer Tiziano Sclavi, British actor Rupert Everett plays the films central character Francesco Dellamorte, a cemetery watch keeper in the fictional Italian town of Buffalora. Life is fairly dull for poor old Francesco, his daily routine consisting of little more than digging graves, reading old telephone books and of course, shooting zombies with dum-dum bullets.
You see the trouble is, unknown to the outside world, some of the occupants of the Buffalora cemetery don't like staying put in their coffins. When this happens, Francesco and his grotesque assistant Gnaghi (an "Egor" type character played by Francois Hadji-Lazaro) have to deal with these "returners" and ensure they go back to their graves permanently.
"There comes a point when you know more dead people than living" laments Dellamorte, who appears to be getting increasingly fed up of his existence. But then one day his life is turned around when he meets the recently widowed "She" (played by the busty Anna Falci). But sadly their love does not last, when her dead husband comes back to life and attacks them as She and Francesco are indulging in some late night Hanky-Panky on his grave.
Other highlights include Francesco having to deal with a coachload of zombie boy scouts, Gnagi falling in love with a disembodied zombie head, a zombie biker tearing up the cemetery after bursting out of his grave, quite literally, like a bat out of hell and the Grim Reaper giving him unsound advice on how to stop the dead coming back. Are all these bizarre events just part of a days work in the cemetery, or are they just figments of Dellamorte's mind? You may not find the answer to this question in this stylish, bizarre, surreal, arty, horror pic, but you'll certainly have fun watching.
If you haven't yet experienced Cemetery Man, I'd recommend seeking it out at once. Please remember though that this is very much an arty sort of horror film and does have an actual plot (albeit a somewhat darkly humoured one), so it's not the sort of movie you'd want to watch just for it's violent scenes (which in all honesty are relatively few). Cinema buffs and connoisseurs of fine horror films will definitely warm to it.