Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sober Night Part 2: Cemetery of Terror
After "Don't Panic", I was on a role with these Mexican Horror movies, so I decided to delve deeper into my "Horror From South of the Border" box set and watched "Cementerio Del Terror". As the credits rolled and the ominous kettle drum/dissonant piano stab/low growling synth music played, I was excited to see that this was, in fact, another Ruben Galindo Jr. film! I immediately liked this film. You know how a certain smell can evoke vivid memories? Like when you're spray painting some apples gold for your holiday centerpiece and it reminds you of the times in your life when you huffed spray paint on the streets, servicing Johns under a bridge with BJ's, HJ's and ZJ's to support your habit? Well, there is a certain type of grainy film stock that does that for me. I can't smell it, obviously, but if I could, I imagine it would smell like dreams. Which is what Ron Howard's jizz smells like.
But that's besides the point. The point is, as soon as this flick started and I saw that grainy film stock and those deep, garish 80s colors, I knew I liked it. Even though this film is from 1985, it could easily be from 1980 or even the 70s. If it wasn't for one character's awesome Michael Jackson circa Thriller jacket and a few of the hairstyles, I would have guessed that this film was no newer than 1982.
This movie has three main storylines. One traces a doctor who wants to have a famous Satan worshipper named Devlon's body cremated. The other involves some jerky young medical students and their dates. The third involves some kids out trick or treating who want to take a "courage test" in the cemetery. How do these three different threads connect? Welp, without giving too much away, a cop and the doctor go to the morgue to get Devlon's body to cremate, but the jerky med students have already stolen it to play a joke on their dates. The jerky med students invited their dates to a "super" "jet set" party which was never going to happen. They made it up as a cheap scam to get some action. They take the ladies to a creepy abandoned house hoping for a make out party. The ladies aren't enthused, and won't make out. One of the jerky med students, who is wearing an incredible ski jacket, decides to wander around the house. He finds a giant black book that says "DEVLON" on the front. He starts reading it and is excited that its all creepy and shit. He tells the other jerky med students that they should scare the hell out of the girls because then they will come running right into their arms.
So, they go and inadvertently steal Devlon's corpse and hold a black mass in the graveyard. During the black mass, they keep chanting "its the sixth day of the sixth month!" Uh, so is Halloween on June 6th in Mexico? The cop and the doctor show up to grab Devlon's body to cremate it and it ain't there. The doctor freaks out and steals the cop's car and drives around looking frantic. After the black mass in the graveyard with the stolen corpse, for some strange reason, the jerky med students' dates are totally in the mood. A couple of them are listening to some great make out jams on a transistor radio. They apparently can't make out without it, because as Devlon's reanimated corpse approaches the house, the signal gets fuzzy. I don't want to give too much away, but Devlon tears some shit up, literally. His main weapon is his claws.
The trick or treater kids are doing their courage test thing in the cemetery, and zombies start popping up everywhere. In what must be a Rubin Galindo staple, all the zombies look like the zombies from Thriller, just not as good. I hate to dis children, but these kids are extremely stupid. There are tons of moments where they run the complete wrong way when fleeing a zombie. Like, the exit from the house in on the left, a zombie enters the scene from the camera's position and they run to the right.
The crazy doctor finds the kids and helps them by punching the zombies. These are really wimpy zombies. They can be defeated by a doctor who looks like Zach Galifinakis. I mean, its not like Zach doesn't look tough or anything, but you know what I mean. There is a super surprise ending that I can't give away, so I'll end this review like this. I liked this movie, It is dumb, and cheap but it is also fun. One fun thing about it is how off alot of the timing is. An actor reacts to something a little too late here and there, and sometimes the camera lingers on a scene well after the action is over. Its fun garbage. I mean, I took a melatonin with a half hour left and I still stayed awake for the whole thing. That's saying something.