Cemetery of Terror (1985)
Watched October 24, 2009
Half-slasher, half-zombie-movie, this Mexican flick follows a group of teens who happen to revive a psycho killer with some sort of ability to raise the dead and throw people around with his mind.
"Cemetery of Terror" isn't bad, but it's pretty forgettable and it suffers from bad pacing.
This is my first review for I Watch Horror Movies since June. I don't really even know why I'm trying to revive the site, because I don't have enough time to do so, but I have had over 2,000 visitors in the last few months, and I figure that's pretty good. So what better movie to revive my awful site with than a forgotten Mexican slasher flick that 99.9% of people don't give a shit about? Yay!
"Cemetery of Terror", released in Mexico under the name "Cementerio del terror" in 1985, is partly a rip-off of "Halloween" and partly a rip-off of "The Evil Dead". The first half of the movie is a bunch of dumbass teens who find a black book in the attic of an abandoned house, and decide to revive a dead man with the chants hidden inside it. Of course, the dead man they steal from the morgue turns out to be a psycho killer who may just be a demon from Hell. And so the teens are hunted one-by-one.
The second half of the movie follows a bunch of kids who somehow got the bright idea to go trick-or-treating in a graveyard (?) and end up trapped in said graveyard, with revived corpses chasing them around.
And then there's a doctor who is running around, yelling about he needs the black book to somehow kill the psycho.
"Cemetery of Terror" isn't technically a bad film, it's just that it's completely underwhelming, and you've seen it all before in the films it ripped off. That being said, it's pretty solid if you forget about the fact that it presents no original ideas. It's got some pretty good gore and kills here and there, and even manages to be suspenseful for brief periods of time. The 2nd half, the half with the zombies, isn't as good as the 1st half, but that's only because the zombies seem practically incapable of doing anything of use. For God's sake, they can't manage to kill one little stupid kid, not even the 10-year-old wearing the comically large Michael Jackson jacket.
I think the main problem with the movie is the pacing. For 40 minutes, nothing really happens. There are six ridiculously underdeveloped teenagers (Horny Guy 1, Horny Guy 2, Horny Guy 3, Scared Girl 1, Scared Girl 2, Scared Girl 3) that you have to follow along for a while. The whole point of this forty minutes is to basically show you that these guys are so horny, they are willing to steal a body from the morgue and hold a black magic ceremony just so the girls will get scared and maybe possibly have sex with them. This is a lot of work just to get laid.
But after that 40 minutes of nothing, suddenly there are six kill scenes in 15 minutes. That's like a kill every two and a half minutes. What really pisses me off is that there wasn't really even any point to the six teenagers, as they just walk around for forty minutes and then get killed immediately after they revive the killer. They could have stretched this part out a little more...
The kills are pretty gory, but they're never really that interesting. Almost every kill (if not every one) in the movie is the killer dude scratching people up to death with his nails. I don't know how the hell he makes his fingernails so deadly, but they're almost as effective as Freddy's razor gloves. If you want really inventive kills, "Cemetery of Terror" isn't the place to go, but there's enough gore to make them interesting.
Then, after the teenagers are dispatched, you meet some even more ridiculously underdeveloped characters, this time in the form of kids. Since they're kids, they don't even get the adjective of "horny" to describe them, they're all just scared. Doesn't make you particularly interested in the characters if all their characterizations are exactly the same. Then, the useless zombies are revived. Even though the zombies look pretty cool, like I said, they're completely useless and never accomplish anything in their part of the movie.
I feel like I'm dragging on a bit. Basically, this is just a "Halloween" rip-off (doctor tracks down his ex-psychiatric patient who happens to be a psycho killer) with some zombies thrown in to keep things interesting. Completely underwhelming and forgettable, but I've seen a lot worse, and if you're interested to see what a Mexican slasher would be like, this is one of your best bets. I'm giving "Cemetery of Terror":
3 out of 5 chainsaws (AVERAGE)