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“Why do you keep telling me to go on with those pills? I feel fine. I never felt better! My nerves are fine the way they are!” If you moved into a house in the middle of a cemetery with an actual tomb inside the house, and it was the site of a murder-suicide, your nerves might be shot too. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out the final entry in Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell Trilogy, The House by the Cemetery (1981).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 209 – The House by the Cemetery (1981)
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A New England home is terrorized by a series of murders, unbeknownst to the guests that a gruesome secret is hiding in the basement.IMDb
- Directed: Lucio Fulci
- Writers: Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo, Lucio Fulci (screenplay); Elisa Briganti (story) (as Elisa Livia Briganti); H.P. Lovecraft (inspiration) (uncredited)
- Music: Walter Rizzati
- Cinematography: Sergio Salvati (director of photography)
- Makeup Department:
- Giannetto De Rossi (makeup artist/special makeup effects artist)
- Maurizio Trani (makeup artist/special makeup effects artist)
- Selected Cast:
- Catriona MacColl as Lucy Boyle (credited as Katherine MacColl)
- Paolo Malco as Dr. Norman Boyle
- Ania Pieroni as Ann (babysitter)
- Giovanni Frezza as Bob Boyle
- Silvia Collatina as Mae Freudstein
- Dagmar Lassander as Laura Gittleson
- Giovanni De Nava as Dr. Freudstein
- Daniela Doria as the first female victim
- Gianpaolo Saccarola as Daniel Douglas
- Carlo De Mejo as Mr. Wheatley
- Kenneth A. Olsen as Harold (credited as John Olson)
- Elmer Johnsson as the Cemetery Caretaker
- Ranieri Ferrara as a victim
- Teresa Rossi Passante as Mary Freudstein
- Lucio Fulci as Professor Mueller (uncredited)
The House by the Cemetery, aka Quella villa accanto al cimitero (original title), is Jeff’s pick and he loves it. Despite the weird voice dubbed for Bob, the young boy in the story, he digs the atmospheric music, the long-drawn-out kill scenes, and what turns out to be a fairly coherent story, at least for a Fulci film. Crystal also loves The House by the Cemetery. Besides having maggots, gruesome kills, a weird story, and a creepy kid, it’s very well shot.
The little boy is not cute, according to Bill, and he too describes the horrible voice dubbing of said boy. Though The House by the Cemetery is not his favorite of the trilogy, he still thinks it’s pretty cool. Despite the frequent scenes of characters walking around the house calling out names, it is pretty to look at and really well made.
The Decades of Horror Grue Crews always have something to say about Lucio Fulci’s work. Here are the Decades of Horror episodes discussing Fulci’s work:
- ZOMBIE (1979) — Episode 62 — Decades Of Horror 1970s
- CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (The Gates Of Hell, 1980) – Episode 145 – Decades Of Horror 1980s
- THE BEYOND (1981) – Episode 123 – Decades Of Horror 1980s
- THE BLACK CAT (1981) – Episode 184 – Decades Of Horror 1980s
As of this writing, The House by the Cemetery is available to stream from Shudder. In terms of physical media, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD discs from Blue Underground are available.
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be Clash of the Titans (1981) with a stellar cast and, of course, the magic of Ray Harryhausen!
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