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Monday, June 24, 2024

Cemetery Man (4K UHD Review)


The Film
The Video (Overall)
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements


A cemetery caretaker must kill the dead who come back to life as zombies and try to eat him.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

If you think you know what Italian film is, think again before you go into watching 1994’s Cemetery Man from director Michele Soavi. The film does not fit neatly into the category of gialli nor poliziotteschi, and certainly does not resemble the films of Fellini. Or does it? While Cemetery Man more closely aligns with Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead or George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, it is infused with the dark humor and absurdity of a Fellini film.

Rupert Everett plays Francesco Dellamorte, a lonely cemetery caretaker filled with ennui and cynicism who longs to get out of his tiny town of Buffalora. His sole companion and assistant is the odd, corpulent Gnaghi (played by famous French musician Francois Hadji-Lazaro), who only speaks in grunts and throws up when he gets excited at the sight of a beautiful woman. Francesco has been dealing with a strange phenomenon – the dead keep coming back to life as zombies and trying to eat him alive and he must kill them my shooting them in the head. Soon, Francesco meets some mysterious beautiful women, who all look alike (all played by the gorgeous Anna Falchi) and he falls in love, but this only complicates his life further, even driving him to consider cutting off his genitals as one of these women tells him she could only ever love a man who is impotent.

Based on the graphic novel Dylan Dog by Tiziano Sclavi, which used Everett as the model for the main character, Soavi’s film takes the material and runs with it, infusing influences from American Raimi all the way to the paranormal lust-fests of Jean Rollin, such as in the scene where Everett and Falchi make there way into an ossuary late at night or make love under the starry night sky as will-o’-the-wisps begin to fly around them. Soavi may not have the eye for location that Rollin does, but the spirit is there. And the film is a breakout of brilliant gore, horror, comedy, and sex that shatters the mold of what Italian cinema should be.

Purchase Cemetery Man 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com

  • Rupert Everett in Cemetery Man (1994)
  • Cemetery Man (1994)
  • François Hadji-Lazaro in Cemetery Man (1994)
  • Anna Falchi in Cemetery Man (1994)
  • Anna Falchi and Rupert Everett in Cemetery Man (1994)
  • Cemetery Man 4K Ultra HD Combo (Severin Films)

The Video

Cemetery Man is provided in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio in HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) HDR10 on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from Severin Films. This is another 4K transfer of a low budget film that respects the grain structure, providing a layer of dense grain and crispy detail. Some tramlines and scratches creep in, but this is okay. The black levels get inky, with only some very slight washout here and there, maybe due to lighting or film stock. The HDR10 grading increases the contrast and color density, which can really be noticed when comparing the sex scene in the cemetery where the will-o’-the-wisps appear. On the 4K disc they look very blue and bright and the nighttime background very dark, with nuanced detail. On the also excellent Blu-ray, they look a more pale, baby blue almost aquamarine and the shadows look brighter, not as inky, causing less three-dimensionality in the image.

The Audio

Severin Films supplies Cemetery Man with lossless English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo, and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mixes. I used the Atmos mix as my main review reference and sampled the other three mixes throughout. I did not like the Atmos mix very much as it seemed a little too artificially unbalanced, with too much atmospherics overhead and too much dialogue spread across the front. The 5.1 mix sounded more focused to my ears. Each mix had good dynamics and clear dialogue with a nice spread of stereo effects.

The Supplements

The best part about the bonus features included is the audio commentary, which is in Italian and includes optional English subtitles, that can also be turned on with our without running the audio portion of the commentary. I used both options as a shortcut so I could sample portions of the excellent commentary and get through the film. Then the interview with the still amazingly beautiful Anna Falchi is also a must watch, guys.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary by Director Michele Soavi and Screenwriter Gianni Romoli
  • Italian Trailer (4K; DV; 00:02:22)
  • English Trailer (4K; DV; 00:01:43)

Blu-ray Only Bonus Features:

  • At the Graves: Interview with Michele Soavi (1080p; 00:35:49)
  • Of Love and Death: Interview with Actor Rupert Everett (1080p; 00:20:37)
  • She: Interview with Actress Anna Falchi (1080p; 00:24:15)
  • Archival Making-Of (1080p; 00:18:32)

The Final Assessment

Genre fans will enjoy this outrageous, absurd, gory, piece of Italian horror from Michele Soavi. Cemetery Man has enough tropes to be instantly recognizable to anyone who has not seen it before but is so unique it is an enjoyable watch and Severin Films have given it a satisfying 4K release. Recommended.

Cemetery Man is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo May 28, 2024 from Severin Films

Purchase Cemetery Man 4K Ultra HD Combo on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: R (for macabre violence and gore, strong sexuality and some language)
  • Studios & Distributors: Audifilm | Urania Film | K.G. Productions | Canal+ | Silvio Berlusconi Communications | Bibo Productions | Eurimages | October Films | Severin Films
  • Director: Michele Soavi
  • Written By: Tiziano Sclavi | Gianni Romoli
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Street Date: 28 May 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: HDR10
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 1000 nits
    • MaxFALL: 400 nits
    • Max. Luminance: 1000 nits
    • Min. Luminance: 0.0001 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | Italian DD 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH | English (For Italian Audio) | English (For Italian Commentary)

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A cemetery caretaker must kill the dead who come back to life as zombies and try to eat him.Cemetery Man (4K UHD Review)