Set in 1979, the Sanchettis, Anne & Paul move into the Dagmar house to heal following the dearly departing of their son. Convinced that he is trying to make contact with them from beyond the grave, Anne – Re-Animator’s Barbara Crampton – invites her clairvoyant friends to investigate. Little do they all know that the house holds a dark and terrible secret. And in the spirit of some of the Lucio Fulci’s greatest movies, all the real fun starts in the cellar...
Mr Geoghegan first caught my undivided attention as the scribe for super splatter movie, 2009’s Sweatshop, in which a monster meat-masher from hell obliterates his victims with a humungous hammer. I just HAD to see this dude in action. And whoa Nelly! I don’t think even Thor could lift that fucker. Despite being spread thinly over too many characters, almost none of them likeable, it delivered on the promised spectacle, but was let down by its overuse of computer generated imagery during the climactic dancefloor massacre sequence. Still, I was satisfied. Sometimes we just wanna watch motherfuckers die in interesting and fucked up ways: a fitting cue for Lucio.
The House by the Cemetery (1981) was the first Lucio Fulci movie I ever saw, hidden among the Hs of the horror section in my local HMV; safe in its card sleeving; Arrowdrome, in the red, white and black. Little did I know then that it was the beginning of something dark, and totally fucking awesome. From Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) to The Beyond (1981) to City of the Living Dead (1980) – the horror of the supernatural had once again left its mark on me; touching on levels of fear and dread that I thought would remain dead and buried with my childhood and early teen years.
Inspired by Cemetery and just a hint of Beyond, Ted Geoghegan emerges triumphant as writer and director of We Are Still Here. And what’s a Fulci tribute without not one, but two gory and gratuitous head explosions. They don’t quite rival the complete cranial annihilation seen in The New York Ripper (1982), certainly not The Beyond, but it’s enough to rile a hormone-defying, high-pitched “woo-hoo!” of exhilaration from this greatly appreciative viewer.
From that point, things only get better... and bloodier. It is such a pleasure when a movie both exceeds and over exceeds your expectations. You’re not supposed to play it safe with horror, and yet too many do. We Are Still Here bears every middle finger it can muster to these corporate-controlled cowards, and goes to balls to the wall with some A grade carnage and a few moments of eviscerating brilliance.
There ain’t enough severed main arteries in my body to help me gush over this fantastic fright flick in the grisly fashion that it deserves. Maybe I should’ve said something – anything! – about the actors, other select aspects of the movie. S’all good! But for me, the show belongs to Ted. Where have you been hiding, mista? Very excited to see what he can do when he’s not paying homage to THE king of Italian horror. (Reviewer struggles to resist an evening long Fulci marathon with a midnight viewing of Sweatshop) I am too weak…