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Intertwinings of death and desire in Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore

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This article engages in an in-depth discussion of Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore/Cemetery Man, a 1993 film based on a bestselling novel and on Italy's most popular comic-book series (Dylan Dog). Close analysis reveals that, rather than being just another forgettable splatter movie or ridiculous horror comedy, this zombie thriller is a film of great psychosexual complexity, along the lines of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Ligeia' (1838) and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958). In Dellamorte Dellamore, horror becomes the vehicle for the female character's struggle with guilt over infidelity to her deceased husband, with fear of phallic sexuality and with masochistic desires linked to the death drive. For the male character, zombies represent his fear of the femme fatale, his haunting by feelings of impotence in relation to older men and his gradual contamination by cynicism and indifference to life as he loses his faith in love and immortality. This article explores the psychological, sexual and religious aspects of love and death in the minds of the film's male and female protagonists.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2011

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  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
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