Dellamorte Dellamore DVD REVIEW

Visually sumptuous Italian horror

Ruper Everett in Dellamorte Dellamore.

Rupert didn't appreciate being told that topless smoking was not allowed in the restaurant.

Release Date: 27 February 2012
1994 | 18 |103 minutes | £15.99
Director: Michele Soavi
Cast: Rupert Everett, Anna Falchi, Francois Hadji-Lazaro

Michele Soavi’s extraordinary – if flawed – zombie movie is one of the most visually elegant horror films ever made.

A pre-Hollywood Rupert Everett plays Francesco Dellamorte, the caretaker of a cemetery where the dead happen to return to life a week after being buried. He nonchalantly blasts them back from whence they came, but things change when he falls for the wife of a dead businessman (the unspeakably gorgeous Anna Falchi). If the film starts in nutty fashion, it soon becomes even nuttier: logic isn’t so much forgotten as shot in the head and buried deep underground.

An insane parallel universe scenario isn’t a problem, but Dellamorte Dellamore (also known as Cemetery Man) rather loses its way in the final third, as the narrative becomes increasingly erratic. It’s like they couldn’t decide how to end it.

Visually though, it’s top banana. Soavi’s camera variously finds itself inside a glass coffin, a burnt-out TV set and the mouth of a decapitated head! There are lovely little touches like Everett lighting a cigarette a split-second before a fire is reflected on the windscreen of the car he’s sat in. And the cemetery itself is a rambling, opulent sight. A triumph of style over content it may be, but Soavi’s film is still wickedly original and full of ambition.


Commentary from the director and writer; photo gallery; English/Italian audio options; trailers; a booklet.

Russell Lewin

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