246) House by the Cemetery (1981) Dir: Lucio Fulci Date Released: March 1, 1984 Date Seen: August 3, 2012 Rating: 3/5
The direction of this mostly brain-dead chiller, a haunted house flick whose barely teased-out subtext is much more interesting than its basic plot, is everything to me. And I don't just mean the way that Fulci over-uses extreme close-ups of twitching, in-dire-need-of-a-wax eyebrows. Or the way Fulci's animated camera snakes around the titular house. Or even Fulci's perverse sense of humor. Or the sadistically decisive way people die in his films!
Well, maybe it's largely this latter point. When people die in a Fulci film, it's as if a big, sweaty, fat, hairy authorial hand has descended from on-high and is almost fatally stabbing His victims with his big honking Authorial Index Finger. "You," the voice seems to say. "You die violently!"
Anyway, it's probably a combination of these things. As with many Italian horror films I kinda like in spite of myself, House by the Cemetery is threadbare material made better by a director with a modicum of personality and ghoulish wit. Here, that's because Fulci has put his id on the screen. In fact, it's obvious that Fulci does not know how, once you get him going, to stop putting his id on the screen. I've always liked that about his films and that's probably why I want to devote a little time (maybe a chapter or so) to him in particular in my book-that-will-never-become-a-book-because-I-do-not-have-the-time-and-energy-but-I'm-trying-ma-I'm-trying-somebody-give-an-advance-please-and-a-book-deal-oh-god-why.
So yeah, I like it. Dumb as dirt and not that good and the print was lousy and it had Dutch subtitles and the audio mix was teh pitz for the first two reels and I'm jealous that Gavin Smith got to introduce the film and I didn't and stuff. But I like it.