“You can’t live on memories alone.”
I picked Dellamorte Dellamore off the bottom shelf of a video shop in 1995 thinking nothing of it. It had been re-titled Cemetery Man, presumably because the protagonist works in a cemetery. The Spanish title translates as My Girlfriend is a Zombie while the Australians went for the poetic Of Death, Of Love but clearly the US/UK distributors weren’t trying too hard with this one. I thought Dellamorte Dellamore might pass the time. It’s haunted me ever sense. The film has never been available on DVD in the UK before but Shameless Screen Entertainment are releasing it on 27th February.
In this thoughtful, dreamlike horror Everett plays the caretaker of a cemetery whose occupants have a habit of returning from the dead. Michel Soavi has a gift for creating stunning visuals (Terry Gilliam used him on The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and The Brother’s Grimm) and the film’s beauty is complemented by a truly warped sense of humour. Dellamorte Dellamore is based on a novel by Tiziano Sclavi and features a character who appeared briefly in the author’s ‘Dylan Dog’ comics. Dellamorte bears a startling resemblance to Dylan Dog and is essentially an alter-ego for the Nightmare Detective. Sclavi based Dylan Dog’s appearance on the English actor Rupert Everett so the big fella is perfectly cast here and gives the performance of his career. The Americanised version of Dylan Dog (2011, Kevin Munroe) appears on DVD and Blu-ray in March and while it is nowhere near as bad as expected, it is no match for Dellamorte Dellamore.