23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2003
For starters I genuinely enjoy Fulci's films and am a fan of senseless gore movies, so if your an average horror fan you should maybe deduct one star of my rating.
Anyhow, I've seen most of Fulci's film's, The Beyond being my favourite and the Anchorbay DVD of Beyond rocks, but House by the cemetary was one that I had not seen. I decided to buy the film as it was offten ranked as his third greatest (#1 Beyond, #2 Zombi but I like City of the Living Dead a little better than House as third) and also as it starred the super cute Fulci regular Catriona (Katherine) MacColl. I got the Diamond DVD as it was afordable and another guy in his review here said that he had being informed that although the Daimond version was rated 'R', it was actually the uncut version. And although a VERY graphic throat slashing scene remained intact and the rest of the film seemed uncut, I later read somewhere that a version 3 minutes longer was soon to be released. Whether or not the Diamond DVD here is the uncut version I cannot say.
House by the Cemetary basicly centres on a family moving into a house inhabited by a evil doctor who uses his victims fresh body parts to stay alive. It is filmed in typical Fulci style that critics consider full of continuety errors, while fans feel that this makes the films dream/nightmare like. I am fairly in between, I always believed that Fulcis camera technique is certainly artistic but he obviously can't tell a straight story and while this works brilliantly in the Beyond, it just makes some of his work very boring to sit through like Zombi. House had a genuinely eerie ambiance and Fulci does create a creepy atmosphere successfully but not to the extent of his master piece the Beyond.
Being Fulci, there is some great gore in this film. Theres a great throat slashing scene (mentioned above) which is an excellent effect and a knife in the back of the head scene, but there is also a very weak bat attack scene, the bat ten times more phoney than the fake spiders in the Beyond. There was not as much of Fulci's trademark gore in House as some of his other flicks, but once again the Diamond version is 84 minutes and I read somewhere that the uncut running time is 87 minutes, but this is the only version I've seen so I cannont coment.
If your a fulci fan then you will really enjoy this film but if you are new to his work then maybe check out the Beyond first or rent House before you buy.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2005
I have long been a Fulci fanatic and this film, "House By The Cemetery," delivers the goods in spades.
The story is simple, if not altogether derivative. A young family moves from their cramped New York apartment into a spacious New England mansion. What sets this place apart from their previous abode, however, is the presence of the home's original owner, the detestable Dr. Freudstein. It would seem that he has been hiding in the home's shuttered basement for the last 100 years, picking off stray dwellers of the house and using their fluids and various other organs to sustain his own decomposing body. Sound far-fetched? Well, it should. But don't let that deter you. This is not "Rebecca From Sunnybrook Farm" or "Meet John Doe" we're talking about. It's a horror film with all the trademark gore and over-the-top violence we've come to expect from Lucio Fulci. Not high art by any stretch, but certainly never boring either. Definitely worth a purchase, especially if, like me, you happen to be a fan of this stuff.
The Anchor Bay DVD is absolutely first-rate with a pristine transfer and some cool theatrical/T.V. trailers.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
House By The Cemetery is another fine film that is often missed among horror lovers. While it's not a masterpiece, it is a very satisfying killer flick.
Trimming down the movie's plot to it's essentials, HBTC presents the story of the horrifying legend of a man, Dr. Freudstein, who has been living in the basement of a creepy house for many years -- surviving off of the cells of living humans he captures. The Boyle family, who've just moved into the house, are the most recent unlucky bunch to meet the zombie Doctor and face his diabolical intentions. Will they escape? Or will they just become a few more bodies in Freudstein's mass grave of a laboratory?
Fulci attempts to throw in a little "twist" for the ending, and I suppose he succeeds, even though I, for one, was a little confused by the ending. It seems interesting, but the meaning of it is not too clear. Nonetheless, you can be assured that even if you miss any underlying cleverness, you should still be able to enjoy this good old-fashioned piece of horror. The only complaint I have is of the english overdubs. I warn you: the vocal actors are horrible. But hopefully you can ignore it and only use it as hate for the victims. Mwahahahaha...
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2000
I am a Fulci fan and I have to say that this movie is a very good one. It's definitely not his best one but it really is very creepy. Its about this family moving into a temporary home for a while. While they are there, the visitors of the house all get slaughtered, except for our hero, a very geeky looking kid who you really want to punch in the face he's so annoying. Later on they find that the killer is Dr. Freudstein, who has been killing people so he can use their living tissue to keep himself alive. Some very creepy moments, especially some of the visions the boy and this other girl have. Also, I have been informed that this is the uncut, unrated version of the film so ignore the R rating on the back of the box. This means its full of some really grotesque footage and will please fulci fans for sure. Plus, this price just can be beat and the transfer is professionally done and suprisingly good for a Diamond Entertainment Release. A Recommended buy.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2000
I love horror movies, and have a soft spot for low budget horror films made during the late 70s and into the 80s. Lucio Fulci was one of the masters of the low-budget, fast-make gore films. I had never seen this one before, but I had seen Zombie 2, his unofficial sequel to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, so I kind of new what to expect. I was not disappointed.
Lots of atmosphere, lots of blood and gore, and a story that was downright eerie. The music had a haunting, melancholy flavor that was very appropriate for the story line. The players, including the two principal children costars, were more than adequate. Of course you're going to see weak plot points (for instance, where'd all the blood go when the baby sitter was decapitated and just moments later two principal characters walk onto the scene, and it's a dry and dusty floor; in reality, they'd be slipping and sliding like a panicked cat on ice), but then again, you can get the same kind of weak plot points in a John Carpenter film, and I don't seem to mind them either. You just expect it to happen in this kind of movie. Look past the weaknesses, and what you've got in "House by the Cemetery" is almost a homage to the great Hammer Films of the 60s and 70s. You've got a gothic ghost story, with a Ghoul that feeds on warm living flesh to stay alive, like a vampire. The scene in the basement, when we see where the "good Doctor Freudstein" does his butchering with dirty surgical tools on a steel table top, made me think of the recent remake of "House On Haunted Hill"; some tricks of the trade never change.
Surprisingly, for such a low cost DVD, it was presented wonderfully, in Wide Screen format, with restored sound and music. It includes a short Bio on Fulci, and nice scene access, should you decide you want to see some finely done vivisectioning over and over again.
If you like horror and you like gore to the extent you find yourself leaping up and laughing at the over-the-top-splatter, then you'll love this film. Great Buy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
I won't lie, I did not care for this movie when I first watched it back in 1987 and pretty much put it out of my head since then. recently, my wife had bought one of those cheap dvd collections of movies like Deep Red, Cat O' nine Tails, Last Man On Earth, Night Of The Living Dead, ect. But what did I see included with these gems? House By The Cemetery. So, feeling nostalgic for bad taste, I popped some popcorn, grabbed me a hard lemonade and sat down to give this Lucio Fulci offering a second look. Well, believe or not, I actually enjoyed it, with some minor complaints which, by the way, reminded me why I didn't care for it the first time around. First I'll talk about the negatives, not enough details about Freudstein's motive, he's a paper thin type killer with not a whole lot of depth. The same I would say about the other characters as well, who did not put up much of a fight against a slow moving, maggot filled corpse. The kid (Bob) voice dubbing is downright annoying, I almost put the volume on mute whenever he was going to talk. (I'd rather listen to a whining 2 year old with nasal issues than hear "Bob" again!) Positives: awesome soundtrack, good cinematography, a few well pace suspensful scenes creating the right atmosphere for an otherwise creepy horror film. Oh, did I mention the gory murder scenes? Makes Friday The 13th look like Romper Room! Hmm, maybe it was it the six pack and a half of hard lemonade that made this film more bearable a second time around. Ah, nonethless, I did like House By The Cemetery and would probably pick up a copy of the Anchor Bay release as an addition to my growing collection of Italian horror films. Besides for a walking maggot farm, Dr. Freudstein is a pretty cool monster!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2001
This version of "House by the Cemetary" is the uncut version, copied by Diamond Entertainment from the Japanese Laserdisc. It is a reasonably good looking transfer except for the occasional greyscaling and evidence of filmgrain. It is one of Lucio's best combining elements of "The Shining" and "Hellraiser" with a truly creepy feel. The earlier video release from Vestron video had reels 2 and 3 out of order. They have been put back correctly making the story all the more interesting. A great buy if you're a collecter. If not you may want to wait for Anchor Bay's version coming April 24th. This film scared me as a child and still retains a lot of it's eerie feel that time and many other horror films have ruined with less stylistic displays of the same idea. PS - If you wait long enough after the film ends, you see 5 seconds of the end of the trailer and "Laserdisc stop side B" will appear.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2000
Considering Diamond Entertainment's reputation for low-end releases and Amazon's bargain basement price for this DVD, I was fully expecting a poor quality disc. However, I'm pleased to report that this was actually a great buy! The picture and sound transfer are very good, the film is in its original widescreen format and, most important of all, it's uncut! Granted, there is a lack of extras (you get a one page bio on Lucio Fulci and that's about it), but I'm more than pleased with the film itself and that's what matters most to me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well, we're back in Fulci land. Putting this up with Zombie, City, and The Beyond, this is probably my least favorite. That's not to say it's not fun, just the lesser in comparison to the others. This time the threat hides in a basement instead of the island of Matool or the town of Dunwich. There's no gates of hell to worry about or book of Enoch(or Eibon for that matter). This time we got that wacky Dr. Freudstein up to his old rejuvenation-through-death-and-dismemberment shenanigans. The usual Fulci tomfoolery happens: Scenes that are supposed to be scary, but end up being hilarious. I'm thinking of the bat scene in particular. Unnecessary closeups of eyes and a pointless psychic child. So, this Freudstein ventures out of the cellar now and again to slaughter people that venture into the house. He moves like molasses in January, but manages to get his victims anyway. Though he's on a homicidal rampage, he never comes upstairs to kill the family that lives in the house, he just waits for them to come downstairs in the final ten minutes of the film. The funniest scene has a terribly annoying kid trapped by the cellar door as Freudstein slowly creeps up the stairs after him. Mom breaks the door key and a knife trying to open the door as the kid screams, making you wonder how the doctor ever gets out of the cellar if this door is such a hassle. The doctor pushes the kid's head against the door as Dad tries to chop the door down with an axe, barely missing the kid's head each time. Dad must not be too concerned coz he stops between axe swings to explain to Mom, who is in the cellar and what he's doing down there. This scene is priceless and worth the price of the dvd alone. As with all Fulci films, this ends on kind of a downer, though not as much as his previous films. This is typical Fulci-ya love it or ya hate it, just don't take it to seriously or you lose all the fun.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2004
This was the first Lucio Fulci film I've had the pleasure of viewing! I look forward to seeing his other works! The House by the Cemetery hits on all points of a horror movie! It's creepy, eerie and has some awesome killing scenes and GORE!! They don't call Lucio "The godfather of gore" for nothing! The acting? Well, sub-par at best. Plot? Interesting, but not deep. The dubbing well it's pretty bad but who cares it's a great horror film.
The Boyle family move from their cramped New York apartment into an old mansion near Boston so that the father can do some needed research. The new tenants, unbeknownst to them, have a god awful 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 killer stay! A knife through the skull, nice throat ripping and slashing, decapatation, and some maggot spewing make for a "pleasurable" movie for the avid horror fan.
We all know horror movies aren't supposed to be deep with Academy Award winning acting. If we wanted that we wouldn't be watching this type of film. I can't compare this film to Fulci's other works because I haven't seen any others, but to me this was impressive and one I would recommend to fans of the genre!!