Can you be all things to all people? Apparently so, if the curious Mexican horror, Cemetery of Terror is any indication, a grab bag of every possible genre often haphazardly tossed together.
What begins as a standard Night of the Creeps/Hell Night style film built around the usual bunch of collegiate types with designs on spending a night in a dilapidated mansion, turns into something else entirely – shifting gears to focus on a different set of principals altogether, which is a bit jarring, not to mention an entirely different genre (zombie).
As infomercial pitchmen say, “but wait, there’s more!” Against this pretty standard horror boilerplate, there’s…a psychotic killer, who’s also a Satanist. Strangely, he’s dead but is brought back to life through some incantations a la Lamberto Bava’s Demons (or any other type of film, really, with a Nekronomikon-like tome). He claws at victims like a bear, and has lupine facial features. Keen-eyed viewers will note nods to Silent Night Deadly Night, George A Romero and the work of Lucio Fulci.
While the first set of victims is being dispatched, very unceremoniously (this is pretty low budget fare), younger kids are trespassing at the local cemetery with a pumpkin in tow, and very cavalierly encountering skulls, etc. However, given this is the culture behind Día de Muertos perhaps not surprising.
Soon, the revivified loon is out for blood and tearing after a younger demo.
This is all glorious stuff, complete with vinyl windbreaker red handkerchief drip, generic references to “rock concerts” and living a jet set lifestyle, tepid cutaways, and uproarious dialogue. Bonus: Italian horror heads will get a kick out of investigation psychiatrist Dr Cardan, played by genre legend (and legend in his own right, of course), Hugo Stiglitz.
***1/2 (out of 5)