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The House By The Cemetery (1981)


Nastiness Rating:

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Giorgio Mariuzzo/Dardano Sacchetti/Elisa Briganti/Lucio Fulci
Inspired by: HP Lovecraft–I’m sure he’s pleased

“This house is so strange! Sure, I can deal with a graveyard next door, but to live with a tomb in your hallway?”

“It’s just something you’ll have to get used to.”

What the fuck?!?!

Lucio Fulci does it again. He creates another nearly incomprehensible mess of a movie with gore so amazing that us gore-hounds just can’t seem to see the crap that is the rest of the film. A little New York family move into an old house outside of Boston. What they don’t know (maybe) is that the house has a history.

Now, Fulci seemed to be going one way with it. It seemed like this was his version of Gaslight. There was the creepy husband who had lots of pregnant pauses and glances towards the medication that he really wants his high-strung wife to take. (He stands idly by while his wife is attacked by a bat. That’s fun.) There’s a creepier housekeeper who barely says a word to the wife. And there’s the kid who keeps seeing a young girl all over the place, all the while voiced by a 40 year old woman who thinks that 5 years old=whiny. Unfortunately, Fulci took the low road and made it more of a monster movie with a monster that I’m sure del Toro was thinking of when he directed Hellboy.

There’s gore here, but not as much as you would think. There’s a bit at the beginning (along with some boobs), two very short scenes about 45 minutes later and then a fairly gory ending…that made no sense at all! And it showed that Italians just don’t care about their kids. This kid is shown all kinds of graphic gore and has axes thrown all around him. It’s just weird. But it did make the last 20 minutes more intense than the rest of the movie.

DAMN, I wish Fulci had been a better writer/director. It would have made his gore so much more watchable.