Road Rash Reviews

The House by the Cemetery 4K Limited Edition Review****-

Cert 18 | 96 mins | 2023

4 star, great restoration of a gory but dubious Italian bloodbath.

The House by the Cemetery is an Italian horror film originally released in 1981. Directed by Lucio Fulci (Don’t Torture a Duckling, City of the Living Dead), this is the third and final instalment in the Gates Of Hell trilogy.

It was the first DVD released under the Arrow Video label back in 2012 and will debut in 4K on 9th October 2023. It is presented here with both the original Italian and English soundtracks.

“What do you say to a widow whose husband has another woman and one fine day slaughtered that other woman, after which he hanged himself?”

As the film opens, we see a young woman in an empty house searching for her boyfriend. As she finds him stabbed with scissors, she too is attacked and dragged away by persons unknown.

In New York, a family prepare to move to this very same house, which is in the town of New Whitby, Boston. Their young son Bob (Giovanni Frezza – Manhattan Baby, A Leap in the Dark) is not keen to go, there is a photo of the house on the wall and he has seen a young girl Mae (Silvia Collatina – The Great Alligator) in the window, warning him not to come.

Of course, his mother Lucy (Catriona MacColl – The Beyond, Horsehead) is not interested in his nonsense. They are moving there so his father Norman (Paola Malco – The New York Ripper, Thunder) can continue the work of his colleague Peterson, who has recently commited suicide. Local estate agent Laura (Dagmar Lassander – The Laughing Woman, The Family) shows them to the house, as well as arranging a babysitter for Bob, Anne (Ania Pieroni – Tenebrae, Stay as You Are) who is very strange indeed. It seems the house once belonged to the infamous surgeon Dr. Freudstein – yes you did read that correctly (Giovanni De Nava – Murder-Rock: Dancing Death)

The house has an odd vibe, not helped by the presence of a tombstone in the hallway and it’s not long before things take a turn for the worst and the blood starts to flow (although where it goes to is something of a mystery).

“Don’t go inside. Not inside!”

There is no denying that The House by the Cemetery is a very entertaining watch,  but it is also completely nonsensical. If you’re here looking for a coherent or logical story, you are in the wrong place. For example, Norman goes looking for the tomb of Dr. Freudenstein and is surprised to discover it’s not where the official records say. It’s literally in his hallway. How did he not notice that?!

Glaring inconsistencies in the narrative aside, it’s a true gore fest in every sense of the word, with gouting, stabbing and slashing as far as the eye can see, as well as some very funny bat-on-a-string action.

Most of the effects hold up surprisingly well in 4K and the soundtrack sounds fantastic. Packed with special features, this boxset will delight fans of Italian horror and 80’s fashion alike. Well worth adding to your collection.

“Peterson was reading up about a certain Doctor Freudstein, a turn of the century surgeon, who had a penchant for illegal experiments.”

The House by the Cemetery is available on Limited Edition 4K Blu-ray from 9th October 2023.


  • 4K restoration from the original negative by Blue Underground
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Restored original lossless mono English and Italian soundtracks
  • Optional lossless 5.1 English soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
  • Archival audio commentary with star Catriona MacColl, moderated by Calum Waddell
  • Archival audio commentary with co-star Silvia Collatina, moderated by Mike Baronas of Paura Productions
  • Meet the Boyles – interviews with stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco
  • Children of the Night – interviews with stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina
  • Tales of Laura Gittleson – interview with star Dagmar Lassander
  • My Time with Terror – interview with star Carlo De Mejo
  • A Haunted House Story – interview with co-writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti
  • To Build a Better Death Trap – interviews with cinematographer Sergio Salvati, special make-up effects artist Maurizio Trani, special effects artist Giannetto De Rossi and actor Giovanni De Nava
  • House Quake – interview with co-writer Giorgio Mariuzzo
  • Q&A with Catriona MacColl at the 2014 Spaghetti Cinema Festival, Luton, England
  • Calling Dr. Freudstein – interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
  • Deleted scene
  • Alternate US opening titles
  • Archival introduction by Giovanni Frezza
  • Back to the Cellar – archival interview with Giovanni Frezza
  • Cemetery Woman – archival interview with Catriona MacColl
  • Wax Mask: Finishing the Final Fulci – archival interview with filmmaker and special makeup effects artist Sergio Stivaletti
  • Freudstein’s Follies – archival interview with Giannetto De Rossi
  • Ladies of Italian Horror – archival interviews with Italian horror cinema stars Stefania Casini, Barbara Magnolfi and The House by the Cemetery’s Silvia Collatina
  • The House by the Cemetery Q&A – 2011 panel at HorrorHound, Indianapolis, Indiana featuring the film’s cast
  • International theatrical trailer
  • US theatrical trailer
  • TV spot
  • Poster and still galleries
  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch
  • Limited edition 60-page perfect bound book featuring new writing on the film by Roberto Curti, Stephen Thrower, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Rachael Nisbet
  • Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch
  • Six double-sided collector’s postcards
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DirectorLucio Fulci
StarringCatriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Giovanni Frezza, Ania Pieroni
Category: 4K, Blu-ray, Box Set, film, Review