Back of Box: The Boyle
family moves temporarily into an old mansion near Boston so that the father can do some needed research. The new tenants,
unbeknownst to them, have a terrible secret living in their basement. A certain Dr. Freudstein has been housed below
since 1879 and has kept himself alive by murdering inhabitants of the mansion and using their cells to keep his body going.
Gore, horror and great special effects makes a visit to the House By The Cemetery A KILLING STAY.
Plot: Entertaining enough to keep a
true slasher fan interested. The film takes the living dead, some supernatural elements, and brings it all together
with a heavy dose of slasher. For me, it works. Sure, it plods in places with boring, sometimes pointless, scenes.
However, those scenes are sadly forgotten when the gore comes into play.
Acting: I don't know what to think
about this section. The performances range from decent, Dr. Norman Boyle (Paolo Malco), to down right unbearable, Bob
Boyle (Giovanni Frezza). An honorable mention goes to Lucy Boyle (Catriona MacColl), that's it.
Gore: Body Count (6 and a
bat) I think that if this section wasn't so good this film would be another "borrow from a friend and watch once"
kind of film. However, this film does pack a punch here. Knife through the back of the head and out the mouth,
vicious fire poker stab wounds, a triple throat slash/decapitation via butcher knife, and, my personal favorite,
the throat tear. All amazing without CGI.
Suspense: There are a few "strange
things happening" scenes that didn't usually work. The bulk of the suspense comes into play during the death scenes.
Lurking P.O.V. camera work with the killers weapon exposed really did this film justice.
Directing: I like Fulci's
style. Great shot set-ups abound. He used a lot of nice zoom and focus tricks. I also like his expert use
Tech: An interesting enough score
is provided. The lighting was very soft and works very well. The soft lighting also makes an interesting
contrast when the graphic violence is being shown.
Other: I like how this film changes
the perception of the living dead. The idea that something living dead could use weapons and act on violent impulses
is very intriguing to me. There is a scene where Bob's head is being held to a door while his father
is trying to open it with an axe. Ahh, yes (I was rooting for the axe the whole time). It has a decent enough
twist at the end to wrap things up rather nicely. However....
Bob does not die!
Final Word: My "Final Word" is simply, yes. I
believe this is one of Fulci's finest. To me it's suitable viewing for any true slasher fan. The
gore alone makes this a viewing must, at least once.