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Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
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This movie is based on a novel of Tiziano Sclavi, and it always reflects the "sclavian philosophy" diffused by the most succesful comics in Italy: Dylan Dog, the detective of the nightmare. There is the duality between love and dead (in Italian "dellamore" means "of love" and "dellamorte" means "of death"), a duality that Dellamorte feels in a really hard way. He is the guardian of the cemetery of Buffalora, a little town in the north of Italy, in which, we don't know why, corpses rise from tombs and Dellamorte has to destroy them. Dellamorte seems not to ask to himself why this happen, he shoots and loves. But at the end he wants to leave Buffalora... Written by
Bruno Iannazzo <email@example.com>
The great thing about this movie is that it's not scared to walk a dangerous line between two rarely compatible genres - tongue in cheek horror comedy and European art flick. On its simplest level, it's a schlock zombie flick - pandering to the gore fans. But on another level, it has enough thought-provoking material and poetic direction to please the turtle-neck brigade at your local arts and drama society.
Director Michael Soavi risked alienating both camps with this approach. After all - do fans of George A. Romero *really* want to see zombies that don't seem all that dangerous? Or hear philosophical dialogue about the blurry line between what is alive and what is dead? And conversely - do the coffee-house beatniks really want their poetic escapism dampened by bullets through nuns eyeballs and flying, biting severed heads in bridal veils??? If you had asked me a year ago I would have said that the mix sounded ridiculous.
Now though - I stand corrected.
On the side appealing to my sense of aesthetics and intellect - Michael Soavi's direction was wonderful. The screen is alive with wide angles, slo-mo flowing silks and drips of water. Reminiscent of Ridley Scott in his better days in fact. But wait? What's this cutting through the arty farty pretension? A Sam Raimi style track and pan here? A Jean Paul Jeunet style superimposition there? The whole film is an exercise in visual flair. I can only wish that hollywood had more directors of this calibre. On top of this
the screenplay was superbly written. It delivered shock, comedy or deep
sentiment with perfect timing. The climax was stunning and left me very quiet throughout the closing credits.
On the side appealing to my sense of "Hey lads, let's crack open a few beers and watch some chicks get naked and eaten by zombies!" I was equally satisfied. The gore and heaving breast content is most adequate. The zombies were brilliantly designed and had distinct personalities. Even in its deeper moments the film always seems to have it's tongue firmly in its cheek and a mischevious gleam in its eye.
At various times I was reminded of Evil Dead 2, The Hudsucker Proxy, Bad Taste, City of the lost children, and Zombie flesheaters to name but a few. An unusual mix indeed - but one that somehow works. All said and done, I heartily recommend this movie to anyone willing to try out - just for once - a zombie flick with a brain (pun intended).
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