Following his cult undead masterpiece, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Italy’s Lucio Fulci lensed his Gates of Hell trilogy – The Beyond, City of the Living Dead and The House by the Cemetery. One of the 39 video nasties banned in the UK in the 1980s, The House by the Cemetery was released intact by Arrow Video back in 2009. Now it’s been totally restored for a new Dual Format and limited edition Blu-ray release, with more extras than on the previous version.
The film follows a young family moving into an Addams Family-style mansion in Boston that’s going to take lots of trips to B&Q to get into shape. If you think the ghost of a little girl, seen only by the family’s son Bob (whose dubbed voice will really creep you out), is scary then wait till you see what’s living in the cellar – it’s the century-old surgeon Freudstein, who’s replacing his rotting flesh with the body parts of his murder victims. Phew!…
Out of the three Gates of Hell films, The House by the Cemetery is probably the weakest, but it still packs a mighty punch with its gory set-pieces – decapitations, stabbings and one crazy bat attack – that die-hard Italian horror fans continue to lap up 30 years after the film’s original release.
Arrow Video’s deluxe edition features a brand new restoration and tons of extras – including a 30th anniversary cast reunion – making this the definitive home cinema version of Fulci’s ‘carnival of blood, worms, entrails, popped eyeballs, squished brains and decaying flesh’ – to quote the director’s biographer, Stephen Thrower.
The House by the Cemetery is released on Blu-ray and Dual Format on 7 May, 2012