Monday, October 31, 2011


I don't know how the hell I managed this, but I still own the shitty VHS dub of this movie some dude in Chicago made for me off the Japanese LaserDisc release.

I remember when I first received this tape in the mail I was pretty reluctant to give it a chance. The guy who'd sent it to me was huge into spaghetti horror, much of which I have an aversion toward. Argento in particular is a guy I just don't really care for. That's a sin in certain circles, I know. I like SOME of his films, but the majority of them just don't seem very well thought out in terms of their script or plot. A movie like "Inferno" for instance is a complete visual feast. It's beautifully photographed and the production design is incredible. But other than that, what the fuck is going on? They look neat, but for the most part a lot of his films just bore the shit out of me. So, when my friend raved about any new Italian junk, I usually just humored him without actually checking the film out. I think the only reason I even bothered to give this one a chance was that I had seen Michele Soavi's previous effort "The Church," which I thought was impressive.

Within the first few minutes of "Dellamorte Dellamore," I realized what I was seeing was a very different sort of film. Sure, it was beautifully photographed, the production design looked great, and the effects were cool, but the film's overall attitude seemed a lot more ambitious than simply making the viewer nervous or queasy. This movie explores an entirely different kind of anxiety.

The story's central character, Franceso Dellamorte, is a complex one. Working as the caretaker of a small town cemetery, Dellamorte has found himself in the midst of an apparent epidemic of walking dead. However, this element of the story is played for satire as Dellamorte struggles with bureaucratic red tape when reporting the zombies. While it's often labeled a zombie film, the actual zombie component is more like a background wraparound segment for an anthology of stories about Dellamorte's struggles to maintain normal relationships while also growing increasingly dissatisfied with his lot in life. While this is more of an angsty human drama about our own insignificance in the scheme of things, there's still more than enough grim imagery, big fake titties, and bloody action to keep the average horror fan entertained. If Russ Meyer had done a zombie film, this might be what it would have been like in terms of substance. Totally jaded yet erotic.

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