Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cuz everything's better with zombies: Cemetery of Terror (1985)

Cemetery of Terror (Cementerio Del Terror) (Mexico, 1985) (AKA "Zombie Apocalypse")
rating: **1/2
starring: Hugo Stiglitz, José Gómez Parcero and Bety Robles

Ah, Mexico. Where yesterday's slasher classics can be rehashed into something cheaper yet so enjoyably good and one of these rehashes took a whooper as this little holiday treat; another slash-a-thon with one hell of a gimmicky trash, mix-matching slasher, zombie, satanism, and kids in peril flicks in a three part act.

Opening with one Dr. Cardan dreaming of a white bloused lady being attacked by a stubby-handed serial killer named Devlon, this turned out to be a clairvoyant vision as said murder was happening in media res and Cardan, fully convinced that Devlon's a demon, demands to see the killer's body cremated.

All in the meantime, it's Halloween night; the one night in the year kids dress up in Michael Jackson jackets and wander around the streets unsupervised, as well as the night when six horny teens decided to have a good time inside a dusty old manor where they soon find Satanic trinkets and old tomes.

Seeing it is the dark holiday, the teens dared each other to steal a body from the morgue, thinking that inciting demonic incantations (or STEALING A DEAD BODY) is an equivalent of a turn-on for girls and harmless fun. They did succeed on their little trick but they made a mistake of stealing Devlon's body and, sure enough, the killer got up from his feet once again and began to slaughter one teen at a time with his stubby little fingers.

And just when you thought the movie's over with all them dumb teens dead, we suddenly got ourselves a new set of leads, this time a ragtag group of five kids who made a mistake gatecrashing the local cemetery for a more exciting Halloween night, only to finds themselves under siege of Devlon's newly raised undead buddies.

From the Biblically crazed doomsayer to a hulking and silent killer, Cemetery of Terror did a pretty fair job as a slasher flick around the first and second act, taking cues from Halloween (1978) only with loads of cheese, weirdness and, yes, a zombie flick third act. To think the hodgepodge would have probably messed up the movie but, in an relatively odd way, it kinda works. Yes, the change of tone from teen-kill to watching kids run around in a zombie filled graveyard might disappoint hard core slasher fans (not to mention the zombie fans as the undead scenes hardly had any action with these kids doing nothing but run, hide and live!) but as a whole, it Cemetery of Terror has that cheesy sense that calls for some good intentions as a fun nonsensical movie.

The film sports enough grue to keep any slasher fans watching, though most of the killings involve mutilation and dismemberment by Devlon's distractingly stubby clawed fingers. I was really looking more from this killer aside from him being a disciple of Satan, a writer of his own tome and his weird beard, but thank God he at least had the common decency to let his presence (and bloodlust) do all the talking. The only real drawback I can point out from this movie was, for the zombie climax, though it ain't half bad either, its lack of flesh munching was a big "no" for me. (You cannot have a zombie flick with REAL zombies without a few cannibalization. Even from hybrids such as this.)

A fast-paced, fast food version of a slasher/zombie romp donning maximum pleasure from the oddest sides of the coin, Cemetery of Terror is a love it or hate it movie depending on your taste. Perhaps its the utter disappointment of seeing "fasting" zombies talking, but you can bet Holiday night of viewing this cheese is worth a shot.

1 female clawed to death
1 male shot to death
1 female found with throat cut
1 male clawed repeatedly, disemboweled
1 male had the back of his head pushed to a wall lamp
1 female repeatedly stabbed on the gut with broken bottle
1 female clawed to death
1 male gets a battle axe to the head
total: 8


  1. You know they always have sex for no apparent reason in old manor houses, abandoned psychiatric hospitals, open graves, mausoleums. Guess it amps up the thrill. ;)

    I have to re-watch this. I think I saw it when I was like 16 on VHS.

    1. well, guess there's that adventurous side of it...still, had they seen all that dust?