Reviews
Quella Villa accanto al Cimitero (1981) 1 brain
(Italy)

Alternate Titles:

The House Outside the Cemetery
The House by the Cemetery
Zombie Hell House


Quella Villa accanto al Cimitero (The House by the Cemetery) can be argued not to be a zombie movie, but since one of the US titles is Zombie Hell House, and since Lucio Fulci directed it, I thought the viewers of my site should be warned. Don't bother! Fulci tends to be either hit or miss with me, and Fulci wasn't even facing the pitch on this one.

The movie is about two parents and their young son who move into a creepy old house that was last occupied by a professor who killed his mistress and then committed suicide. The father (Paolo Malco) of the family was a colleague of the professor's, and not only does he want to continue his colleague's research, he wants to move into the same house! It's not clear why, but then Fulci doesn't always feel the need to have rational explanations for his characters' behavior.

The little boy, Bob (Giovanni Frezza), is psychic, and he keeps having visions of a little girl who warns him not to go to the house. Of course, the family ignores the boy's warnings, and they move in anyway, hiring a babysitter (Ania Pieroni) for Bob who may or may not at some point have been having an affair with the father. (This is never really made clear either; it's just another confusing random plotline.) The mother (Catriona MacColl) is creeped out by the house after they arrive, and also wants to leave, but the father wants to stay. It turns out that there is an unknown someone in the basement who kills anyone unlucky enough to wander near. (What does this have to do with the professor who committed suicide, you may ask? Don't ask.)

There are some well-done kill scenes, which is always Fulci's strong point, but to me they were lost amidst the incoherence of the plot. If you do decide to watch this film, try not to ask yourself too many questions, and you may be able to enjoy it.