The House by the Cemetery ★★★★

The House by the Cemetery opens with the beautiful Daniela Doria sacrificing her on-screen life for Fulci...yet again. You may remember her as the girl unable to hold the contents of her stomach [oh so literally] in City of the Living Dead, or maybe you remember her as the pretty blonde foaming at the mouth in The Black Cat, surely you haven't forgotten her run in with razorblades in The New York Ripper either...

A couple other actors from City of the Living Dead appear in this as well, with Fulci regular Catriona MacColl as a given, but we also see a brief glimpse of Carlo De Mejo as well, minus all the meal-worms glued to his cheeks.

Also appearing in The House by the Cemetery are ideas and gimmicks used in other films, thrown in to this one in hopes to create a complete picture that can be tied in with the other two films in the "Gates of Hell" trilogy (along with COTLD and The Beyond).

Made in the same year and released around the same time, we see a strikingly similar attack-scene involving a bat in The Black Cat, a blonde cemetery caretaker bearing a striking resemblance to a gravedigger in COTLD, a prominent suicide almost as important to the plot as the hanging of Father Thomas in Dunwich, and little glimpses of the familiar, causing one to question if this movie just happened to get all of the leftovers slapped together in a rushed hurry to create a film vaguely paying homage to Lovecraft in its theme and Massachusetts setting.

No matter how many times I have seen The House by the Cemetery, I walk away from it more suspicious of Norman and the babysitter, Ann. Was there a subplot with the two that was eventually lost? From the ominous looks to bizarre behavior, it's touched on and then we're dazzled with some incredible gore dangling in front of us and a voice demanding we pay no attention to the plot hiding behind a curtain of confusion.

The scene with the realtor backing into a headstone, knocking it over with her jeep, annoyed and exclaiming "Damn tombstones!" will never cease to make me laugh, it's as out of place/hilarious as poor Giovanni Frezza's dubbing choice.

I'm not sure if The House by the Cemetery has the same rewatchability as City of the Living Dead or The Beyond, but it was nothing short of lovely to revisit the movie and all of its unanswered questions, again, on blu-ray.

The blood is thick and gross, there's a super creepy librarian and two, unexplained, bright orange eyes shining through the dark of the basement where the ever-creepy Dr. Freudstein lurks--I guess that's all I need to love a movie irrefutably.

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