“Have you seen Dylan’s dog? It’s got wings, it can fly…” - Patti Smith
While we’re certain that none of our red-blooded Grimmlins are going to want to miss our Italian giallo double bill, and that the prospect of seeing Maestro Argento’s long out of circulation early masterpiece FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET is a mouth-watering enough prospect on its own, DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE [AKA CEMETARY MAN], directed by Argento’s (and Terry Gilliam’s) sometime AD, Michele Soavi, is an equally flavoursome treat. Described by Martin Scorcese as one of the greatest Italian films of the 90s, this wild-eyed, darkly comic tale of love and death, or at least, of sex and zombies, features Rupert Everett as a lovelorn cemetery caretaker plagued by restless graveyard residents, unable to convince local bureaucracy to do anything to combat the problem, and troubled by increasingly disturbing erotic encounters.
Literally translating as “Of Death, Of Love”, the film is an adaptation of a novel by Tiziano Sclavi, best known as the creator of DYLAN DOG, the most successful comic strip character in Italy, whose adventures sell over a million issues a month, and number Umberto Eco among their fans. Francesco Dellamorte, the film’s protagonist, is a kind of alternate version of Dylan Dog, and has appeared in several of the comic strips. The film emphasises this connection by casting Rupert Everett, who had been artist Claudio Villa’s original visual inspiration for Dylan Dog, and dressing him in Dylan’s trademark black jacket, blue jeans and red shirt. As the, uh, somewhat sanitised American film version of DYLAN DOG, featuring erstwhile Superman Brandon Routh, hits US cinemas, here’s a welcome taste of author Sclavi’s original horror vision in all of its dark, weird, surreal, and melancholy glory, beautifully realised by the still-underrated Soavi…