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  Cemetery of Terror Killer Thriller
Year: 1985
Director: Rubén Galindo Jr
Stars: Hugo Stiglitz, Edna Bolkan, José Gómez Parcero, Servando Manzetti, Andrés García Jr, María Rebeca, César Adrian Sanchez, Lili Zoto, Eduardo Capetillo, Mineko Mori, Usi Velasco, César Velasco, Erika Buenfil, Jacqueline Castro, Bety Robles
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Doctor Cardan (Hugo Stiglitz) is asleep in his chair in front of the television, which has been showing nothing for a while as it is after midnight and the station has closed down. But the images in his head are more vivid and more disturbing, as he dreams of the serial killer Devlon (José Gómez Parcero) who he helped to capture and now lies dead in the morgue. However, seeing that reminder of the murderer and his Satanic ways, Cardan wakes up with a start and determines to cremate the corpse - just in case.

Cemetery of Terror, or Cementerio del terror if you were Mexican, was one of a number of low budget productions overseen by Rubén Galindo Jr, some of which acquired a minor cult standing among those wishing for an alternative to the usual Hollywood fare, and finding those of this type just off kilter enough from the typical to entertain, though they still adhered to a formula established by those movies north of the border. Therefore this example, a hit in its native land, was set at Halloween, was a slasher flick, and featured gory death for the victims, yet was still not utterly American in its style.

Galindo would not be the first non-American to ape that nation's genre movies, and much of the amusement here was gained from not simply noticing the references to the works he had considered worth being influenced by, but seeing what craziness he got up to as a result. This meant we got two sets of victims, one for whom bloody demises were all too likely, and others for whom the audience would likely be in an uproar if anything too terrible happened to them. The former are a group of twentysomethings who we are introduced to as they sun themselves by a marina, but one has an idea for a wild party.

A "jet set" party, no less, which lands them in a cobwebby old house that little do they know belonged to Devlon and still contains his grimoire. After ascertaining that no wild party is forthcoming, you might have thought they'd head off home, or somewhere more comfortable anyway, but instead the boys in the six-person company vote to go to the local morgue and steal a dead body, like you do. I'll bet you can't guess whose corpse they purloin, oh, you can, that's right they bring Devlon back to the cemetery near his house (hence the title), read a little from the grimoire and resurrect him, not that they notice immediately.

As all this is going on (and going badly, as you might expect), a group of kids are out for Halloween and end up in said cemetery, offering us some characters to divert us when the other group end up gutted by the ghoul. The scariest aspect of this lot is the jacket one little boy wears with a large Michael Jackson face emblazoned on the back, but stick around and you'll find this is plot foreshadowing - no, not because of anything dodgy, but because Galindo was obviously very impressed by Jackson's Thriller video, and recreates the zombies minus the dance moves for a last act set of thrills. Meanwhile Cardan drives around somewhat uselessly in a stolen police car waiting for his moment of glory when he can save the day. Or the night. Anyway, you can't say this isn't eventful, even if it is diffcult to take seriously mostly because the film is more intent on scaring the kids than aspiring to anything more artistic. But hey, who needs that when this is making you chuckle? Music by Chucho Zarzosa.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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