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Quella Villa accanto al Cimitero

House by the Cemetery
Das Haus an der Friedhofsmauer / Zomvie Hell House

Italy 1981
produced by
Fabrizio De Angelis for Fulvia Film
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander, Giovanni De Nava, Daniela Doria, Giampaolo Saccarola, Carlo De Mejo, Kenneth A. Olsen, Elmer Johnsson, Ranieri Ferrara, Teresa Rossi Passante, Lucio Fulci
story by Elisa Briganti, screenplay by Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo, Lucio Fulci, music by Walter Rizzati, Alexander Blonksteiner, special effects by Giannetto De Rossi, cinematography by Sergio Salvati

Lucio Fulci's Gothic Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Norman (Paolo Malco) and Lucy (Catriona MacColl) Boyle and their young son Bob (Giovanni Frezza) move from New York to Boston, where they stay in the house of the late professor Peterson, who a short time ago died under mysterious circumstances, and it's part of Norman's work to find out why he died, as well as to continue Peterson's researches. But something seems to be not right right from the beginning, since Bob has ghostly appearences from a girl who urges him not to enter the house, the Boyle's new nanny Anne (Ania Pieroni) seems more than just a little creepy, Norman's researches into the late professor's work uncover some creepy stuff, and Lucy finds a crypt in the house's livingroom - and it is all linked together by the name Freudstein. Freudstein, as it turns out, lived here decades ago, but could his spirit account for the creepy noises from the cellar? As the Boyles enter the cellar one night though, they are attacked by a blood sucking bat, and as if that wasn't bad enough, the next day their real estate agent (Dagmar Lassander) stops by only to be killed by a person or persons unknown. And while Norman finds out more and more about Peterson's weird and creepy experiments, nanny Anne back home enters the cellar looking for Bob, only to instead get her head cut off, and even Bob himself enters the cellar despite his ghostly girlfriend's warnings and nearly gets it. But seemingly he has learned very little from this experiences because he soon sees it fit to enter the cellar again (but hey, he's a mere child), and this time he gets locked in with what or whoever it is slowly closing in on him, while at the other side of the door to the cellar, his parents try desperately to get the door open. Thing is, once they have achieved that, will they be able to save their son, or only walk into their own doom ...

 

Admittedly, on a narrative level this movie's nothing short of a mess - but in this instance that actually works for the movie instead of against it: The further the plot proceeds, the less sense it makes, but at the same time the more confusing it gets the bigger the feeling of unease with the viewer, who before long only knows nothing can be taken for certain anymore as common reason is replaced with the logic of a nightmare - and since this is a horror film, I can't really think of something nicer to say about it - now sure, director Fulci by the way used a similar tactic in many of his movies, but only rarely to the same fascinating results. And add to that Fulci's sometimes very blunt but never bland direction, his predilection for the gruesome, and his refusal to look away or let reason stand in the way of shock value, and you've got a pretty awesome horror movie, which granted might not be as stylish a masterpiece as Suspiria, but it's at least just as creepy, and definitely worth watching!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD