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Ultra HD : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $44.99 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 32.04 In Stock
Release Date: May 28th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1994

Cemetery Man - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (Standard Edition)

Overview -

4K UHD Review By: Matthew Hartman
There are zombie movies… and then there’s Michele Soavi’s
Cemetery Man! A wild combination of arthouse Erotic Thriller and mad-cap Horror/Comedy, the film is as grotesque and terrifying as it is gut-bustlingly hilarious. Anchored by a terrific performance from Rupert Everett, this visual masterpiece comes home to 4K UHD with a stripped-down price-friendly two-disc edition from Severin. If you need all of the extra features, stick with the Severin website-exclusive. Otherwise, call this one Highly Recommended!

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray + Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec:
2160p HEVC/H.265 / Dolby Vision HDR / HDR10
Length:
105
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.66:1
Audio Formats:
English: Dolby Atmos, Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles/Captions:
English, English SDH
Release Date:
May 28th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

I was something of a late bloomer when it came to Zombie films. The undead and their hunger for human flesh just wasn’t part of my cinematic diet until my early teens. Thanks to one incredible night of seeing Romero's classics back-to-back, I was figuratively buried in the Horror sub-genre and I’ve never bothered to dig my way out. At a somewhat fortuitous timing of discovering Night of the Living Dead and its sequels and remake, Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man was just starting to hit pay-per-view. If memory is serving me correctly (you’ll have to forgive me it’s been 30 years), Cemetery Man was my introduction to Italian horror films. I believe it was soon after that I found Fulci’s efforts and then dived deeper into the world of Argento, Bava, and Mattei. And then speaking exclusively of zombie films I then found Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive aka Braindead (where the hell is a 4K of that one?). 

Since Cemetery Man hit when I was relatively new to Zombie Cinema, I had no idea what to expect, nor did I anticipate it to be that blatantly funny. I expected gore, and the film delivers that, but I wasn’t prepared for a soulful introspective look at a man tasked with having to control the outbreak of the living dead. I certainly wasn’t expecting something that erotically charged! As I got older the erotic angle only added to the film's wry sense of humor.

On the scale of things I don’t think I’d quite call it a favorite, but that’s largely because I haven’t seen it in ages. This viewing may have been my first in about fifteen years - if not longer. My DVD copy was stolen out of my dorm room in college and by that point it’d gone out of print so I couldn’t afford a replacement. I’d been tempted to import it, especially one of those German 3-D Blu-ray conversions, but I never got around to it. Thanks to Severin, this film finally digs out of its home video grave shining bright like a fresh-laid corpse in 4K. 

Now since my views of the film pretty well align with my colleague Sam Cohen’s, I’ll let his review from the Severin Website-Exclusive Cemetery Man 4K UHD close it out: 

Ah, Cemetery Man. You’d be hard-pressed to find another Italian horror film that’s so influenced by the birth, life, and death of the genre. Michele Soavi set out to make Cemetery Man as both a final word and reflection on the roots of the genre, waking the undead and reckoning with them. Hell, Soavi certainly knew this film represented the end of Italian horror, as it took so long to secure financing and the demand wasn’t there to fill theaters. Berlusconi’s Italy was one that greatly affected the film industry, thus fewer of these lower-budgeted genre works were produced.

That isn’t to say that all Italian horror stopped after Cemetery Man, though it serves as a very clear demarcation of what once was and will never be again. Much like Lucio Fulci prioritized themes to create and evoke a mood, Soavi eschewed a clear-cut narrative to produce a witty amalgam of Italian splatter horror and the kind of surreal, fun dime-store comic books that author Tiziano Sclavi was writing. The result was, as said earlier, a huge burst of creativity that somehow didn’t escape the grasp of its makers. 

Cemetery Man follows Francisco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett), the guardian of a little cemetery in the Northern Italy city of Buffalora. Francisco isn’t your normal caretaker, as he’s also responsible for making sure the dead stay dead when the corpses start rising for reasons unknown. Together with his mentally disabled assistant Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro), Francisco spends his days thumbing through phone books and crossing off the names of the deceased, opining constantly that there must be some way he can get out of Buffalora. But if he leaves, who will prevent the dead from walking the earth?

I’d liken Cemetery Man to Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond a bit, in that they’re both functioning as horror dreamscapes for the myriad of influences to play out within. In Soavi’s case, the cemetery offers the capability to pick through what’s dead, reflect and well, yeah, blow some brains out too. To him, Italian horror is one to revel in while speaking to the darker philosophy that pervades throughout the genre. Cohesion and coherence may not be on Cemetery Man’s mind, but it really doesn’t matter when you take each scene, aside, moment, etc. as a piece of Francesco’s own shattered mind. I mean, the character is seen trying to put a skull back together. Don’t know how much clearer the filmmakers could have made that one.

All in all, Cemetery Man has all the blood, gore, and sex you can expect from Italian horror but you’ll be blown back by the incredible production design, black humor, and labyrinthine script that revels in the history of the genre. Tiziano Sclavi was right that Cemetery Man was much closer to an adaptation of his Dylan Dog series than the Brandon Routh-starring adaptation, he was just lucky that he had Soavi’s talent to direct the delicious pulp within that series.



Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 
After enjoying a period of website exclusivity, Severin Film’s release of Cemetery Man returns to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a stripped-down two-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray release. Housed in a two-disc case, we have the 4K version of the film, the 1080p version of the film, but we miss out on the extra Blu-ray disc dedicated to additional extra features and we also don’t score the CD Soundtrack - so keep that in mind if this film is on your wishlist. The disc loads to an animated main menu with traditional navigation options.

Video Review

Ranking:

Since this disc is the same as the one Sam reviewed, I’ll give his thoughts the floor. Suffice to say, I’m damned impressed this film looks this good! I knew it’d be great but in full truth, it was like watching it again for the first time. 

Here's Sam's thoughts:

“I’d give my life to be dead.”
Alright, Francisco, maybe delay your doomsaying momentarily to listen to this. Cemetery Man has arrived in absolutely stunning 4K Ultra HD with a brand-new 4K scan from the Cinecittà negative presented in 2160p with Dolby Vision HDR. From the opening frames, you’re immediately treated to deep, gorgeous, and texture-filled black levels. As this is a ‘90s production, the film stock has a finer grain field than the previous decade, and that’s presented very well here without obfuscating any details within the frame. Contrast is tuned in very, very well, with much care given to the delicate focus that Soavi uses to show off all that beautiful production design against the characters. Flesh tones are tuned in just right as well and the bitrate is consistently high throughout the presentation. No compression artifacts are found and I only noticed a brief moment of damage in the beginning of the presentation. The source seems to be in terrific condition and rife with the details that make the 4K Ultra HD format so superior. This is without a doubt the best the film has ever looked at home, and thanks to Severin for not pulling any punches on the beautiful presentation.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Likewise, this set also includes the same English Atmos, DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0, and Italian 2.0 tracks. While the DTS-HD MA 2.0 and 5.1 mixes are excellent, I do have to follow Sam’s lead and advocate for the Atmos a little higher than the others. Part of the fun and humor of the film is the heightened sound effects - namely when our zombies are dispatched in gnarlier and squishier ways. How those effects and the sense of atmosphere and spacing are used really gives you a fun immersive experience. Dialog is clean throughout without issue. Imaging is excellent with side, rear, and overhead channels seeing plenty of activity. 

The 5.1 one manages all of this very well. But in reviewing this disc, I admit I started with the Atmos and worked my way down. Doing that I could feel the soundscape getting a little tighter each time. The 5.1 worked very, very well on its own. If that’d been all that was issued, I’d have been very happy. Out of curiosity, I tried using my receiver’s DTS Neural:X function to see what would happen and the mix did space out nicely, but lacked the overall oomph and power of the Atmos. I knew it’d be a redundant exercise, but it helped me confirm that the 5.1 was still a solid track but the Atmos was the better option. As for the 2.0 I only briefly ran that through some key sequences and it’s effective in its own right, but a notable step back that I can’t really recommend unless you just aren’t rigged up for anything better.

Special Features

Ranking:

The bonus features for this stripped-down release of Cemetery Man is where the shovel meets the zombie’s head, as it were. With only two of the discs, we’re missing out on a lot of great content. That extra disc in the Severin Website-Exclusive edition accounts for over three hours of bonus materials alone. What we have here is still very good, we get a solid hour-and-a-half-plus of interviews and an archival making-of, on top of the audio commentary. So it’s not like we’re being left with nothing. We do get something, but not everything and we do miss out on the badass soundtrack CD too. 

4K UHD Disc

  • Audio Commentary director Michele Soavi and screenwriter Gianni Romoli
  • Italian trailer (HD 2:22)
  • English trailer (HD 1:43)

Blu-Ray Disc

  • Audio Commentary director Michele Soavi and screenwriter Gianni Romoli
  • At the Graves – Interview with Michele Soavi (HD 35:47)
  • Of Love and Death – Interview with Rupert Everett (HD 20:35)
  • She – Interview with Anna Falchi (HD 24:13)
  • Archival making-of featurette (SD 18:32) 
  • Italian trailer (HD 2:22)
  • English trailer (HD 1:43)

Cemetery Man flat out is one of the best Horror/Comedies out there. It’s scary, it’s silly, it’s weirdly erotic while also being scary and silly. And it’s a damn great Zombie flick at that. Banked on the great leading performance from Rupert Everett, Michele Soavi’s little Opus of the Undead deserves all of the accolades and recognition it received over the years. And now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, it more than deserves space on your shelf. However, you must choose which edition is right for your collection. While I appreciate this stripped-down edition’s lower price point, saving money comes at a cost. The price some fans may not want to pay is the loss of hours of extra features. As of press time, the price difference is only about $11 (on Amazon at least) - and I’d say that $11 plus shipping is worth it to get the fully loaded Severin website exclusive. But that’s just me. If all you need is the film with the best possible picture and audio quality, you get it in this version and that alone is worth calling Highly Recommended

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