Aug 252020

The House by the Cemetery might have its merits and perhaps die-hard fans of Lucio Fulci may find it entertaining, but for myself it was more confusing and even tedious. However, the 4K release does have great video and audio transfers.



The House by the Cemetery

Genre(s): Horror, Supernatural
Blue Underground | NR – 86 min. – $49.95 | August 25, 2020

Date Published: 08/25/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Writer(s): Elisa Livia Briganti (story), Dardano Sacchetti, Giorgio Mariuzzo, Lucio Fulci (screenplay)
Cast: Katherine MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Giovanni Frezza

Features: Commentary, Interviews, Deleted Scene, Trailers, Galleries
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K UHD
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD 1.0), Italian (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 2160p/Widescreen 2.40
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265
Region(s): A, B, C

Blue Underground provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures are from the Blu-ray and do not reflect the quality of the 4K transfer.

THE MOVIE — 2.0/5

Plot Synopsis: A young family — Dr. Norman Boyle (PAULO MALCO), Lucy (KATHERINE MACCOLL) and Bob (GIOVANNI FREZZA) — moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now, someone – or something – is alive in the basement, and home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.

Quick Hit Review: Can’t say I’m a big fan of Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci, though I did genuinely enjoy his 1979 Zombie. House by the Cemetery, released in 1981, is a muddled mess of a movie. You do have your usual poor dubbing with stilted English dialogue of course, but setting that aside, there are many parts that make little sense or don’t play into the plot, or at the very least perhaps poorly done red herrings.

One of them is twice in the film, characters seem to believe Norman has been to this town before, which he denies… with a reaction of either disbelief or maybe he was, and is lying for some reason; initially I thought he was having an affair with the nanny, Ann (ANIA PIERONI), who herself was suspicious… yet neither amounted to anything in the end and felt like filler. Hell, didn’t even add any suspense to a movie that otherwise felt tedious by the time we get to the climax and ultimately reveal the monstrous humanoid figure of Dr. Freudstein.

This isn’t to say House by the Cemetery doesn’t have its moments as I did like the production design of the house itself, the gore effects were pretty impressive and I actually did like the design of the monster at the end, but those parts can’t overcome the terrible logic and some strange choices our characters make.



This release comes with a embossed slip cover.

Disc 1 (4K Ultra HD):
Audio Commentary — Troy Howarth, Author of “Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films”. Howarth, who has recorded a variety of commentaries for Blue Underground and others, dissects this film and specifically of course talks about Fulci and his style.

Deleted Scene (1:01) — An unearthed extended scene, after the bat-kill, that’s only maybe 30 seconds long and contains no audio.

Also included is the International Trailer (3:22) and U.S. Trailer (1:48), a TV Spot (0:32) and Poster & Still Galleries.

Disc 2 (Blu-ray):

  • Meet the Boyles (14:17) — Actors Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco
  • Children of the Night (12:18) — Actors Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina
  • Tales of Laura Gittleson (8:56) — Actor Dagmar Lassander
  • My Time with Terror (9:21) — Actor Carlo De Mejo
  • A Haunted House Story (14:07) — Co-Writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti
  • To Build a Better Death Trap (21:32) — Cinematographer Sergio Salvati, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Maurizo Trani, Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi and Actor Giovanni De Nava
  • House Quake (14:46) — Co-Writer Giorgio Mariuzzo
  • Calling Dr. Freudstein (19:34) — Author Stephen Thrower (“Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci”)

While most of these were ported over from the 2011 Blu-ray release, it was still great to hear from almost the entire cast, Ania Pieroni was the only one missing, and they each offer their memories of the production, particularly of interest were the two child actors, now grown up. There are two sets of new interviews exclusive to this release, each one pretty standard but still worth checking out.

Catriona MacColl Q&A (29:37) from the 2014 Spaghetti Cinema Festival.



VIDEO – 5.0/5

Blue Underground releases House by the Cemetery onto 4K Ultra HD taken from a 4K 16-bit scan from the original 35mm 2-perf camera negative. The Blu-ray release from a year or so ago already looked fantastic (rated a 4.75/5) and this one takes it a bit over the finish line, though the difference between the two is rather negligible. Even so, this picture is incredibly sharp throughout with the original film grain and noise is retained, seeing every bit especially on close-ups. Colors also are impressive, nothing over blown but in keeping with the 1970s time period.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

The audio here has been upgraded as well. Included as the default option — the original English 5.1/1.0 DTS-HD MA and Italian DTS-HD MA 1.0 also available — is a new Dolby Atmos track which is perhaps moderately better than the 5.1 version but the bulk of the audio comes through the center channel with some depth related mostly for the score and soundtrack. Otherwise, the dialogue is crisp and clean as was the 5.1 track from both here and the Blu-ray releases.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

House by the Cemetery might have its merits and perhaps die-hard fans of Lucio Fulci may find it entertaining, but for myself it was more confusing and even tedious. However, this Limited Edition release by Blue Underground is very well done with incredible video and audio transfers to go along with a great selection of bonus material.

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