The House by the Cemetery is the Pick of the Week

Lucio Fulci's gore-iffic 1981 haunted house chiller tops a new week of releases.
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The late Lucio Fulci will be forever known as the Italian "master of gore." His films have become influential templates of how gruesome blood and guts have been depicted in the horror genre, even if none of the plots are particularly original or inventive. His 1981 haunted house creeper, The House by the Cemetery, tends to get overshadowed by his more popular works, such as Zombie, City of the Living Fead, and The Beyond. However, Cemetery may arguably be his most accessible flick, because there is a sort-of sense of structure taking place that is actually missing from those iconic movies. 

Norman (Paolo Malco), a doctor, and his wife Lucy (genre icon Catriona MacColl) rent an old and abandoned house in New England with their young son Bob (Giovanni Frezza), in order for Norman to do research on the suicide of his former colleague. With this, he will get a raise so they can fix up their apartment in New York. Bob is warned by the ghost of a young girl who used to live there, not to move in. After strange events and noises in the house, they soon realize that the rent is the least of their problems, especially when they discover a pesky tombstone in the living room. 

Despite the graphic violence that takes place in the bizarre second half, there is an attention to detail that you don't exactly see in the previous films I referred to in the first paragraph. You can see that Fulci and his team actually put care into this often ignored chapter in his notorious oevure. It's definitely worth a watch.

With their limited edition releases of Maniac, Zombie, The New York Ripper, Two Evil Eyes, the folks at Blue Underground deliver yet again with a fantastic new three-disc set of House, especially with a ton of special features (old and new), including a deleted scene; trailers/tv spot; a new commentary by historian Troy Howarth; interviews with actors MacColl, Malco, Frezza, Silvia Collatina, and Carlo De Mejo (son of famous actress Alida Valli), co-writers Dardano and Elisa Brifanti, among others. There is also a Q & A with MacColl, and a new video interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci, and more. If that isn't enough, there is also a soundtrack CD, 20-page booklet with new essay by critic Michael Gingold, and a 3D lenticular slipcover (plus reversible cover with vintage poster). If you're a dedicated film collector and lover of Fulci, this set is obviously a bona-fide must have!

Other notable releases:

Le Petit Soldat (Criterion) - Godard's controversial 1963 account of a French army deserter torn between two rival political groups. Also starring the late, great Anna Karina.

Pain and Glory - The new sensation from Pedro Almodovar, starring Antonio Banderas as his alter-ego, a film director who reflects on his life choices, as his past and present come back to haunt him. Also starring Penelope Cruz.

Sliding Doors - Gwyneth Paltrow plays a London woman whose parallel identities, career, and romantic life rely on her catching a train. Also starring John Hannah and Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Gregory's Girl - Director Bill Forsyth's charming portrait of a teenager who falls head-over-heels for a pretty classmate, in which he has to fight for her love.

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