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Film: Cemetery Man

"The living dead and the dying living are all the same. Cut from the same cloth. But disposing of dead people is a public service, whereas you're in all sorts of trouble if you kill someone while they're still alive."

"This is my business. They pay me for it."

Francesco Dellamorte works as the caretaker of the local cemetery in the small Italian town of Buffalora. He's aided in his work by Gnaghi, a mentally-handicapped man only capable of saying "gna." (Like "nya" but not Brooklynish.) He spends most of his days reading old phone books ("Just because we've got the new ones doesn't mean to say we have to throw the old ones away. These books are classics!"), constructing a model of a skull, talking with his friend Franco over the phone, and seeking love.

Oh, he also kills the zombies that awaken every night with his revolver.

He calls them "Returners," and he has no clue why they are rising. He just knows through observation that it takes about seven days for a buried corpse to revive, climb out, and attack living humans. The worst part of the situation? He's not getting paid extra for this, and the mayor and the other citizens don't believe him. Even Franco just kind of humors him.

Things become a little more personal for Francesco when he gets tangled in an affair with a widow who's recently buried her husband. He manages to seduce her in the graveyard one night. After this point in the film, events become increasingly weirder and surreal.

One of the few movies that mixes comedy, romance, zombie hunting, and existentialism, and mixes them well. Also known as Dellamorte Dellamore in Italian, and Mi novia es un Zombie in Spanish.

Tropes:

  • Arc Words: "Will I see her again?"
  • Awesome McCoolname: Francesco Dellamorte.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Black Comedy
  • Boy Meets Girl: When Francesco meets the widow.
  • Brick Joke: "Mmm. Who knows if the rest of the world even exists?"
  • Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin'
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Franco.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hoo boy, Francesco.
    Francesco: "My name is Francesco Dellamorte. Weird name, isn't it? Francis Of Death. Saint Francis Of Death. I often thought of having it changed. André Dellamorte would be nicer, for example."
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Almost no one in the town refers to Francesco by name. They usually call him "Engineer," which he hates. Even the undead mayor refers to him this way, and Francesco finally gets to take his anger out on something.
  • Expy: Francesco is an Italian expy of Dylan Dog, and actually appears, with Gnaghi, in several issues of the comic. Dylan Dog is a visual expy of Rupert Everett, who plays Francesco in Cemetery Man.
  • Gainax Ending
  • Heroic BSOD: Francesco and Gnaghi switch vocabularies at the end.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Straight from the mouth of The Grim Reaper to Francesco: "If you don't want the dead coming back to life, why don't you just kill the living? Shoot them in the head."
  • Love at First Sight: The widow. And the widow's clones. The actress (Anna Falchi) who plays them all is credited as "She."
  • A Love to Dismember
  • Man Child: Gnaghi.
  • Mundanger: Francesco seems to regard zombies as such.
  • Mind Screw: Big spoiler here. By the end of the film, it's uncertain whether Francesco actually exists, or is just a fantasy of Franco. When Francesco goes on a killing spree to stop the Returners from rising, he Can't Get In Trouble For Nuthin' and the police arrest Franco for all his murders. The possibility is further muddied as Franco is bedridden and unable to move when Francesco brings a gun to the hospital and kills a doctor and a nun.
  • Meaningful Name: André Dellamorte means Warrior Noble Death - A noble warrior of death - YMMV
  • No Name Given: "She."
  • Not So Different: Francesco considers himself not too terribly different from Death.
  • Only Sane Man / Only Sane Employee: Francesco wants to report the zombies as business expenses so he can use the town's money to pay for his bullets, but the bureaucracy is too dense for it.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Type F, for the most part. Some Returners, like the mayor's daughter, have unusual abilities.
  • Shout-Out: A possible shout-out to Dario Argento's Deep Red as Francesco is annoyed when an old woman keeps calling him an engineer.
  • Unreliable Narrator

Burial Ground: The Nights of TerrorZombie StoriesCity of the Living Dead
Cast AwayCreator/ 20 th Century FoxCheaper by the Dozen
The CellHorror FilmsChain Letter
Camp NowhereFilms of the 1990sThe Chase

alternative title(s): Cemetery Man
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