Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kris Gilpin's take on House By The Cemetery

I usually don't do this (since this film is overly reviewed), but Kris Gilpin's take on House By The Cemetery is hilarious and I always like to hear a different perspective on the same film.
 From the IMHO dept. of Kris Gilpin

Lucio Fulci's 1981, dubbed horrorshow House By the Cemetery begins with a pretty girl making her tits cameo, and then she gets a butcher knife thru the brain, with lots of blood, which is the best thing about any Fulci Shit Flick. The writer/director also cameos himself, holding a Village Voice in the first N.Y. street scene.
You lie Gilpin, I'd sooner be seen reading Tiger Beat!

     It's the story of a family, who leaves N.Y. for a house in New England (which is by a cemetery, ironically!). The mom of the whiny little boy is Kathleen (aka Catriona) MacColl, who made a Fulci gore trilogy, and she was so beautiful in The Beyond! (She still looks good in the Blu-ray's recent docu section.) Turns out the hubby's researching the house's old owner, one Dr. Freudstein (ha!), who caused the last researcher to hang himself, and now the ghost of the bad doctor is hanging out there, killing people. Dagmar Lassander also has a supporting part, she was hot and naked some years before in things like The Laughing/Frightened Woman and Werewolf Woman.

Dagmar in her prime

   Some music cues just abruptly cut off on the next shot, and when nasty things happen to people their loved ones stand there for a few seconds before trying to save them. The camera image is good most of the time but not as much the movements, there are some weird eyeball close-ups and a lot of zooms, which were used a lot by Euro directors at that time.

     Lucio Fulci always reminded me of Dario Argento, they hire gorgeous Italian women just to simply slice their supple flesh into ribbons, while also writing sloppy scripts, so I never grokked how some fans extol their virtues along with, say, Romero and Cronenberg, who've always tried to write smart scripts as well as grossing us out. And though I love his gore scenes (which still hold up today, my fave is the girl vomiting her guts out in City of the Living Dead), I've always found Fulci perhaps the hackiest of schlockmeisters, and his films somewhat boring between shocks.

Boring? Ok Kris now you are pissing me off!

     The good stuff here includes a throat hacked up, a bat bite and impaling, the hanging, a bubbling knife hole in a throat, and maggots (which have always been my Kryptonite!). There's also some Stupid Fulci Gore, like a mannequin who gets beheaded here, or the amusingly cheesy opening Cat in the Brain credits, which looks like a kitty licking cooked brains/Howard Johnson's fried clams. The two decent chills here are when Freudy holds the kid's head against a door as his dad cluelessly hacks thru it with an ax from the other side, and a creepy moment when 2 orange/yellow eyes open up in a completely black frame (tho Fulci ruins the effect by showing it three more times).

See you at HoJos

     One interesting thing about Lucio is that some of his horrors that I've seen end with evil winning, which is always an interesting change, and this one also ends with a Henry James quote (ha!).

     I give it 3 out of 4 for gore on the Gilpin scale.

Is Dr. Freudstein going to have to choke a bitch?

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