When it comes to the Italian godfather of gore’s horror films…horror fans you know whom I am talking about, Lucio Fulci, almost all horror fans give their love to his zombie classic simply titled “Zombie.” However here on Hidden Horrors You Must See and for our 31 Hidden Horrors for Halloween I have decided to shed some light and a whole lot of love on another Fulci Classic and my personal favorite of his films “The House by the Cemetery.”
A young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious Victorian era home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country. The previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, who is now a rotten eyeless zombie slasher who has maggots for blood and has been killing and harvesting the body parts of the houses residents over the decades.
Now let me say this film has a very very potent amount of what I’m going to call “the 4 G’s,” which are GHOULISH, GRUESOME, GORY and GOTHIC. Just from the beginning of the film we see the gothic atmosphere with creaking doors, cobwebs in an old house and a wonderfully gothic and creepy cemetery right outside the house (duh! its in the title). Then our senses are assaulted by a pair of gory killings and the haunting yet beautiful opening score by composer Walter Rizzati. Soon we are introduced to the Boyle Family and father doing research on the old house and their son Bobbi, who has a really laughable dub for his voice believe me you have to see this to believe it. One particular gruesome scene that will stay with you is when the father is listening to the old recordings of the father of the previous family of the old house that Dr. Freuedstein killed. As the father is listening to the tape we then get a POV shot of the recording looking at the man’s dead mutilated corpses of his wife and even mutilated corpses of his little children! Yes…”The House by the Cemetery” doesn’t pull any punches here. And when you finally see Dr. Freuedstein himself he is nothing but ghoulish and nasty. Oh and this film doesn’t end happily at all, In fact it has sort of an odd mix ending being both dark and ambiguous at the same time.
So if your in the mood for some Italian Splatter but tired of “Zombie” and “Susparia,” give this wonderfully gothic and nasty little splatter film a go especially in October.
-James J. Coker