The House by the Cemetery (1981) (Blue Underground Blu-Ray Review)

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Now you can see little ol’ Bob in HD!

The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci (Cat in the Brain)
Where to get it: Blue Underground

The Prologue
October 24th is a day that many people will be waiting by the mail or rushing out to the stores in order to get their copy of Lucio Fulci’s Zombie on Blu-ray from Blue Underground. But, I hope the fact isn’t lost on you that Fulci’s has this film, The House by the Cemetery, also set to come out on the very same day, by the very same group. And what a weird little film this truly is.  We have mannequins, we have people getting knifes jammed straight through the back of their heads, we have a very strange looking little boy, and we have an even stranger ending that I’m still not sure I truly “get”. But if you are looking for the best version of any old film to own, why not go for it on 1080p? I think if he was still alive, Fulci himself would enjoy this HD stuff.

The Movie
Ignoring the warning signs, mainly those that came from their kid after a little girl nobody but he could see told him these things, a man and wife movie into an old house that just so happens to be placed next to a cemetery. Now just in the case that wasn’t creepy enough for you, someone..or perhaps some THING.. is living in the basement of that very same house and at times tends to come out and perform acts of horrific violence on those near. Just what the hell is going on? Whats the deal with that little girl?? And why does Fulci ALWAYS want closeups of people’s eyes?? I DON’T KNOW DAMN IT!!!

Like with pretty much every single Fulci films I have ever seen, this movie contains close up of eyes, plenty of gore that at times can look fake, things that don’t always make very much sense, and an ending that leaves a lot to be desired. BUT somehow this film, like all the rest (mostly), remains very watchable. While I’ll probably not shoot to the moon with the overall grade of the film, I do however think it’s got it’s fair share of re-watch value, if for anything just to try to put together some things that might not have added up all that well the very first time you watch it. I know a couple things kinda confused me..or maybe I’m just dumb?

I will say this, the movie has a great creepy feel to it and a great theme to boot. So with that alone, mixed with blood, you have a winner in my book. It never really slows down too much, and when it does it keeps it’s self from dragging, adding a much smoother time watching compared to other films of it’s time and other films by Fulci himself. The movie definitely contains a bit of a mystery to it, and even if you still have a few questions when the credits roll you find yourself into the story as you attempt to get some answers none the less. For better or worse, they don’t seem to make them like this anymore and even if the gore at times looks fake, I’d take faking looking natural gore over cartoon-like bad CGI any day of the week.

The acting here contains some folks you may have seen before in films by this director and that’s a good thing. I really like actress, Giovanni Frezza, and apparently Fulci did as well. While some of the rest can leave a bad taste in your mouth at times, possibly due to the dubbing, the acting holds up well enough for what it’s worth. I’m not sure I get Ania Pieroni role as the babysitter 100%, or if her acting was just a little bland at times. But I’ll be damn if she didn’t at least look good..Which makes me wounder why the hottest girl in the film has to always get off’d first in these damn things?? Anyone know that??

So anyway, the film it’s self is on par with many of Fulci’s other films containing what you’ve come to enjoy or hate by him in spades. I’d like to have a better understanding of the ending and maybe I just need to surf the net some more and look into it, or perhaps I should just play it off as another case of Fulci being Fulci and let it go. After all, it’s a much better film and has a better ending than his last film I reviewed, City of the Living Dead. It’s sorta as if he made a supernatural-ish slasher here. Or, perhaps that’s is JUST what he did make? Either way, a few minor complaints and common sense at times aside, I’d say it’s for sure worth checking out, if for nothing else the creepy factor and theme song.

The Conclusion
It’s a good and creepy way to spend some time if you want to watch a movie that is legit scary (and very very weird). As far as the Blu-ray as a whole goes, you get some kick ass features that make it worth buying alone in my opinion. And while it is an old film, and it is a bit grainy here and there in the video quality, the detail is for sure here with the print. Also, I’d like to proudly note that when there is gore on the screen, the red is jumping out at you in a very gloriously bright fashion. We all know you have plans to pickup Zombie this Tuesday, so why not go for the double and get this one as well. I think you’ll be more than happy that you did.

The Rating (6.5/10)        

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Chuck Conry

Chuck Conry has been doing this for ten years! He does reviews, podcasts, and makes indie movies. The jury may still be out on if he does any of those things well.