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Halloween Viewing Selection: ‘Dellamorte Dellamore’, ‘Flesh Eating Mothers’ and “Ghostwatch”

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Halloween Viewing Selection: 'Dellamorte Dellamore', 'Flesh Eating Mothers' and 'Ghostwatch'

This Halloween I decide to watch three very different examples of horror. This included an Italian dark fantasy, a low budget gore comedy and a controversial supernatural mockumentary.

Dellamorte Dellamore (AKA Cemetery Man)

Rupert Everett stars in this darkly beautiful zombie film. He plays the custodian of a cemetery where the dead keep coming back. Everett is forced to kill them a second time, aided by his sidekick François Hadji-Lazaro.

It has one of the most promising first halves of any horror film I’ve seen. Both of the main characters end up falling in love with undead women, leading to gorgeously stylized scenes of sex, violence and absurdity.

The narrative later goes off the rails as reality and cohesion disappear. The film becomes more peculiar and metaphorical. I found this quite frustrating because I was so hooked by the established plot.

Despite the second half feeling like a completely different film I enjoyed Dellamorte Dellamore. The production design, makeup and overall style are fantastic. Everett’s performance kept me watching even as the story started to feel alienating. It might have been better as an hour long short film.

Cemetery Man

Flesh Eating Mothers

I chose this movie because the title reminded me of Rabid Grannies, which I love. A sexually transmitted disease spreads through a small neighbourhood, turning mothers into cannibals.

Flesh Eating Mothers was bad but not in a fun way. The pacing is painfully slow, with a tedious subplot about police corruption. There are a few comedic moments, some more intentional than others. The gory special effects are well done, especially during the final scene. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and embraces the ridiculousness of the premise.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie. A few times I had to resist the urge to turn it off and rewatch Rabid Grannies. The film should be commended though for actually delivering on its title with numerous scenes of mothers eating their young children.

Flesh Eating Mothers 1

Ghostwatch

In 1992 the BBC broadcast a seemingly real live Halloween special. Sarah Greene explores a haunted family home while Michael Parkinson gives his feedback from inside a studio. The show turned out to be a work of fiction but its technical realism convinced many people that the supernatural events onscreen were actually happening.

Throughout the 90 minute show there are glimpses of a supposed ghost. This is done in a very subtle and startling way. Tension builds up slowly and chillingly.

Ghostwatch is one of the most effective pieces of British television I’ve seen. Unlike viewers at the time, modern audiences know it’s a pre-recorded scripted fiction, full of visual tricks. Luckily this knowledge does not take away from the eerie and unnerving atmosphere, which becomes more and more oppressive until the explosive climax.

It manages to instil fear in ways that many supernatural films fail to do. “Ghostwatch” is best watched in the dark.

Ghostwatch

Conclusion

I would recommend “Ghostwatch” to anyone who wants a frightening night. Dellamorte Dellamore is a must-see for nineties horror and zombie fans but might frustrate some viewers. Flesh Eating Mothers should be avoided as much as a cannibalistic STD.

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