Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The mid 90's was not a good time to be a zombie. Several years before the return of the "of the's" (Dawn, Shawn, Land), the Italian film Dellamorte Dellamore (renamed Cemetery Man for our consumption) was the sole torch bearer in a genre that was rotting away like a wretched, decaying corpse in the afternoon sun.
Rupert Everett has the undesirable job of making sure that the dead and buried are in their rightful place – dead and buried. On a nightly basis, corpses rise from their graves and stumble around to apparently wreak havoc. It is up to Rupert and Noggy the chubby-dumb-sidekick to shoot them in the head and get them back in the ground. Standard slow-moving, don't-let'em-bite-you zombie rules apply here. Here are the keys, go off and have fun.
Like Dead Alive and the Evil Dead before it, Cemetary Man went for broke and made an exceptional stab at the over-the-top shock flick. And like those two, it succeeds by means of sharp wit combined with truckloads of blood and nudity. Additionally, Rupert Everett brought something sorely lacking to the genre at the time - the inclusion of the polite British guy. His attitude towards his occupation is that of a janitor, or whatever the hell it is that I do: "Whatever, it's a job." He casually talks on the phone while performing his duties - except his duties include bashing skulls in with a shovel. And if that's not enough, it's set in a Tim Burton influenced gothic playground.
Rent it, buy it, borrow it, just watch it.