Friday, June 25, 2010

The House by the Cemetery

This is an incredibly erratic story, with a lot of unexplained content, but I'll see if I can clean it up a little so that it can be somewhat understandable. OK, the movie starts out with a couple screwing in an old abandoned house. The boyfriend goes missing (I guess he went to take a piss and never returned) and the girlfriend goes looking for him. Suddenly someone with ugly rotted hands takes a knife and stabs her in the head, then drags her into the cellar. Fast forward to a family in New York. Dr. Boyle, his wife Lucy and the their weird son Bob. By the way, Bob is a dead ringer for a "Village of the Damned" kid. Platinum hair and sky blue eyes. Anyway, the family is planning on moving to an old mansion by a cemetery, so that Dr. Boyle can continue the research of one of his colleagues that killed his wife and daughter, then committed suicide. A little girl named May keeps popping up and talking with Bob. They speak telepathically, which leads us to think that May is either psychic or dead. May constantly warns Bob about the house and not to go there. Upon cleaning the house, Lucy discovers a tombstone hidden under a rug in the hallway. After this unnerving discovery, followed by a vicious bat attack, the family has had enough and consults their real estate agent about moving. Apparently, no one stays at this house more than a few days. The agent comes by while the family is gone. She is approached by the killer, whom again we only see his rotted hands. She runs across the tombstone which splits under her feet. She falls into it and breaks her foot and can't get away... the rotted hands strike again!!! Oh yeah, the tombstone belongs to a Dr. Jacob Freudstein. Upon following Dr. Peterson's research as planned, Dr. Boyle notices that Dr. Peterson's research isn't what it's supposed to be. He was supposed to be researching old houses, but has turned his studies towards the mysterious Dr. Freudstein, who we slowly (very slowly) learn was into some bizarre and highly illegal medical experiments. Dr. Boyle finds a tape recording left by Dr. Peterson, talking about how it was Dr. Freudstein (who's supposed to be dead as of 153 years ago) who killed his wife and daughter (and eventually drove Dr. Peterson to suicide). A babysitter that was hired for Bobby wanders into the cellar and gets decapitated. Later that night, Bobby goes looking for her and gets stuck in the cellar. Mom tries a key which breaks, then tries a knife... which breaks. Soon Dad comes home and has luck with a hatchet. Upon entering the cellar, Mom Dad, and son, finally learn who those rotted hands belong to. Dr. Freudstein has been continuing his experiments, which are based on using dead body parts to keep him alive. I can't say that he's been all that successful, since he looks like a corpse and is composed of maggots and congealed blood. The "dead" doc rips the dads throat out and Mom and Bob make a run for some metal stairs in the corner of the cellar. At the top of the stairs is the tombstone (aptly placed, since the dead doc never leaves the cellar). Since the tombstone is cracked from the death of the real estate agent, Mom and Bob try to get out, but the crack is too small for the mother. Soon Dr. Freudstein grabs her by the ankles (make a wish!!) and drags her down the stairs to a gloomy death. While Bob is struggling to get through the crack, the dead doc is hot on his trail. Suddenly, a small hand grabs Bob and pulls him to safety. It's May, who basically says "I told ya so". Soon May and Bob are joined by May's mother who is a woman seen previously on a tombstone as a Mary Freudstein. Turns out that May is Dr. Freudstein's daughter. May's mother takes hold of both children and walks toward the cemetery. May and her Mom are obviously dead, but what of little Bobby's fate???????? A decently enjoyable piece of badly dubbed italian crap, circa 1983.

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