At the off-chance of disproving my infallibility, I am forced to add an asterisk to an earlier Spew, entitled “The Five Greatest Zombie Movies Of All Time.” A few months back I gave a basic rundown of the best zombie movies ever, in a review so extraordinary it could have even made old chinless Roger Ebert smile. Then suddenly out of the blue a movie I haven’t seen in ten years just popped into my head and forced me to re-consider the whole list. Now rolling in as the third best zombie movie (although depending on my mood, it can reach as high as number one) is the obscure Italian film “Cemetary Man.” The fuckin thing is so obscure even I forgot about it, and it’s one of my favorite movies.
It’s a foreign film, but it’s done in English for some reason, so everyone has accents. And some of the people seem like they might even be dubbed over, because I can only assume their accents weren’t convincing or something. Regardless of how strangely it’s made, or maybe because of it, it’s freakishly bizarre even for a zombie movie.
Now bear with me as I briefly recount the plot because it’s been a while. It begins, ironically, with a cemetery man (now that’s an intricately-named profession) strolling the grounds of what else but a giant cemetery. You following me so far? Well, wouldn’t you know it, zombies start popping up out of the woodwork—literally. For some reason, three days after the guy buries a new body in the cemetery, they burst through their coffins and come up through the ground looking to cannibalize people. Fortunately, the guy figures this out rather quickly, and goes about murdering them increasingly easily. So easily in fact, that it becomes tedious, and boredom sets it. Though not for long.
In the midst of this mess, the guy suffers through one of the strangest love stories imaginable, all while trying to keep his zombie-hunting both secret and successful. Meanwhile his wordless, simple-minded, Igor-like sidekick finds himself in as unique a relationship as ever captured on-screen. Over time, the violence the cemetery man commits spins out of control until it seems he might no longer be able to distinguish reality, followed by one of the most enigmatic yet compelling endings of the genre.
It’s over twenty years old so the gore’s a little dated, but since there’s no computer special effects the violence feels grittier and more unsettling. Plus despite the bloodshed, it’s also one of the funniest horror movies I’ve ever seen. Incidentally, I just checked two seconds ago and it’s actually on YouTube as we speak. Sweet, I’m gonna go watch it again myself. If you’re a fan of horror comedy in general, or zombie movies in particular, I suggest you do the same.