1. A big event in high school was when a group of buddies and I took the subway to the one theater in Atlanta that was showing Cemetery Man. It was a horror geek pilgrimage to see a bonafide Italian Zombie Movie. A great movie, a great memory. Cemetery Man became a reference point in our marathon movie conversations. The director Michele Soavi did this movie before Cemetery Man, and you can see the same style here, especially when winged lizard man shows up.
2. This movie is all about the atmosphere. Nothing scary happens, but it’s so beautifully shot, staged, and lit that you don’t care. Great atmosphere and takes full advantage of the huge gothic cathedral they shot in. If you get to shoot in an ancient gothic cathedral, it can only help your movie. You got Cathedral? Movie makes itself.
3. Asia Argento is here as a gawky preteen who loves to go out to cheesy Italian discos and dance with preppy little dweebs in Member’s Only jackets. This was way before I met Asia at a Fango convention, married her, only to have the relationship fall apart under the microscope of public scrutiny. It was nobody’s fault. Somethings aren’t built to last.
4. Hey, it has the degenerate from Gates of Hell, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, all grown up and bald, this time playing a priest. Even in the white collar, this guy is a greasy mess.
5. Speaking of greasy messes, everyone in this movie ends up coated in baby oil. I liked that, lots of greasy hair and greasy, grimy skin, and an alter made of muddy, writhing bodies. I guess that was an alter. Maybe an animal head? Not sure what they were going for, but it looked cool. Bottomline: There are no wet wipes in this world.
6. I liked that they didn’t go Evil Dead make up in depicting the possessed people. People just start acting crazy. You don’t know who’s possessed, or if everyone is possessed. Is anyone sane in this movie?!? The over the top acting and dubbing adds to this confusion. Are they crazy and possessed, or is this just bad acting? It’s great.
7. The greatest dubbing comes when someone gets possessed and starts retching and gagging. I can picture the actor in the sound booth making all these noises, the director trying to guide his gacks and groans. Hilarious.
8. Philip Glass on the soundtrack, if that’s your kind of thing, kind of thing, kind of thing, kind of thing, kind of thing, kind of thing, kind of thing. You also get Goblin. So it’s legit.
9. Goat Head Man was fantastic. Imagine the love scene in Rosemary’s Baby, but with a big rubber goat head.
10. I missed this when it came out in the 80s. I love the homemade feel. All done in camera. I didn’t see one optical. Feels like theater and photography, not like Home Video with CG monsters thrown on top.
Pairs well with: Prince of Darkness (1987) – It’s Carpenter, so you know it’s awesome, and the two movies share a lot of plot similarities.
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