Directed and screenplay by Lucio Fucli, the Italian director known for his flare for gore once again delivers in House by the Cemetery (1981) though the lag time in between blood soaked scenes can get a bit long. Fucio also directed the classic Zombie 2 (1979) which arguably makes for a better overall movie.
In HbtC, Dr. Norman Boyle (Paolo Malco) moves from New York to Boston for a new research position. Along with the new job Dr. Boyle moves his family into his predecessor’s house that has a bad legacy. After the predecessor went insane he murdered his family and then committed suicide. One of the main characters is Dr. Boyle’s son, Bob (Giovanni Frezza.) Bob is a blue eyed blonde haired ten-year-old who you can not help but hate. When Bob receives psychic warnings not to go to their new house his parents understandably take them as more proof their child is mentally handicapped. Bad acting matched with cheesy dialogue attempt to make Bob cute but fail laughably.
The family practices a level of denial that would make the Bush Administration proud. Be it gravestones in the kitchen, rabid bats, or the creepy nanny moping up blood; the Boyle family remains in their quaint New England house until the bitter end. The plot may be lacking and it is not the director’s best work, but The House by the Cemetery still has its place. There is plenty of gratuitous gore that is paced with long scenes of vacant staring and while there is a plot, you should not look too hard for it. Why is that a good thing? Well you can get another beer and make jokes with no fear you will miss anything. And you just might find yourself cheering the ‘monster’ on!
…but will you get what you wish for? Will Bob and his family escape the evil lurking in the basement?
Come Monday night and find out! -MH
Playing this week at Alberta St. Pub; March 31st, 9PM FREE!
1036 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
The House by the Cemetery (1981)