Thursday, 4 June 2015

The House by the Cemetery (1981, Lucio Fulci)

Gloriously ghoulish goings-on from the master of Italian splatter, Lucio Fulci. And the maestro behind "Zombie Flesh Eaters" and "The Beyond" doesn't disappoint here, with the story of the undead Dr Freudstein, experimenting with immortality via nasty surgical experiments which have reduced him to a shambling skinless revenant, haunting the cellars of his old house.

Said maisonette with handy graveyard facilities is currently occupied by a professor staying there with his wife (Caitriona MacColl, of other Fulci classics "The Beyond" and "City of the Living Dead") and their son Bob. Bob manages to be the scariest thing in the film, and for all the wrong reasons: his atrocious acting non-skills combine with crepuscular dubbing to make possibly the most teeth-grindingly inept and annoying characters in screen history. I really was rooting for him to be destroyed from about ten seconds after he appeared on screen. The little git rivals only Gage Creed from "Pet Sematary" in the abominable child stakes.

However, Fulci manages to distract us from wishing Bob into an early grave with some brilliant set-pieces: the opening murder of the teenage lovebirds, the shop mannequin becoming the decapitated corpse of the hot nanny. When Dr Freudstein is finally revealed in all his sepulchral glory, he brings with him the stench of long-dead evil: i always get a chill up my spine when this faceless, cadaverous ghoul appears and drags Ms MacColl and the despicable Bob beneath his shattered crypt.

A low-budget, video-nasty classic, to be savoured like a fine wine - just don't go into the basement to fetch it!


  1. Ok that Revenant looks more like it. Bob looks like a shit, I hate him just from that picture.

  2. He's worse than you could possibly imagine. He's a saccharine ball of evil.

  3. You have to review Pet Sematary now. And yeah, that 'child' looks awful. Not the actor's fault, though. Too young to know what he was doing. What kind of parents let their child act in a horror film?

    A house by a cemetery is a church.