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The House by the Cemetery (1981): Soundtrack

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The House by the Cemetery (1981): Soundtrack

The House by the Cemetery album sleeve on Death Waltz Records

The House by the Cemetery‘, also known as ‘Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero‘ is a horror film that was released in 1981 and directed by Italian horror legend, Lucio Fulchi. It is the third film in what has become known as the ‘Gates of Hell’ trilogy – the other two films in the trilogy are ‘The City Of The Living Dead‘ and ‘The Beyond‘ (both with Fabio Frizzi soundtracks).

The House by the Cemetery‘ isn’t strictly a pure zombie film as such, it basically makes our list as it features one undead corpse that lurks in the basement.

The plot follows as researcher that moves to a remote house in upstate New York with his family, to take over the work being done by a college who mysteriously killed himself. When he gets there things aren’t what they seem – his son starts chatting to a girl that nobody else can see, the door to the cellar is nailed shut, oh and there is a tomb embedded in the floor that is hidden under a rug in the lounge. And if that isn’t enough the house belonged to a near perfect horror portmanteau called Dr. Freudstein. With a name like that he was never going to be a regular G.P.

To be honest, the film isn’t great – it has its moments of atmosphere, but this is a case of a sub-par movie with a decent soundtrack.

The soundtrack for ‘The House by the Cemetery‘ was composed by Romano “Walter” Rizzati.

Walter Rizzati stated out in vocal groups before his fascination with music led him to study music composition. Over the years he composed many pieces of music for theater, TV shows, and numerous movies – interestingly his score for ‘The House by the Cemetery‘ was his first horror soundtrack.

The Soundtrack:

The soundtrack itself definitely leans towards the prog-rock end of the spectrum, and it isn’t unlike Frizzi’s score for ‘The City Of The Living Dead‘ in the sense that it is a synth heavy score that features the electric guitar and electric bass prominently.

The main theme to the movie is a atmospheric and mournful piece that starts with a fast paced Gothic organ recital, before an electric bass and drum-beat kick in, followed by a soaring and ethereal wordless vocal chant. It’s very eerie and very distinctive, and comes across like a funeral march. Even when his movies weren’t great, a Fulchi could always be depended on for a great soundtrack.

Listen to ‘I Remember‘ the main theme from ‘The House by the Cemetery‘:


Rizzati also mixes things up with mournful and beautiful piano led tracks, and manages to accentuate the peculiar loneliness and sadness that infuses the film with tracks like ‘Tema Bambino‘. This theme appears in the film on a recurring basis and acts as a backdrop to the storyline involving the young boy’s relationship with the apparition of the dead girl.

Listen to 2 variations of the ‘Tema Bambino‘ theme below:




The more disturbing moments of the soundtrack are provided by Rizzati’s use of electric guitar and piano to create tension in tracks that never resolve themselves into a pattern or structure and keep you on edge. Two examples of this disorientating style can be seen in ‘Blonk Monster‘ and ‘Incontro‘ – both tracks are soaked in clanging and off beat sounds, that hint at an underlying form and structure that ultimately never appears.

Listen to ‘Blonk Monster‘ below:


Listen to ‘Incontro’ below:

Releases:

‘The House by the Cemetery’ has had a few releases over the years, and was first made available in 1981 on Beats Records under the original Italian title for the film ‘Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero‘. You can see the artwork and track list for the release below:

The House by the Cemetery (1981) Soundtrack

Tracklist
A1 Quella Villa 2:55
A2 I Remember 1:20
A3 Tema Bambino 2:17
A4 Blonk Suspense 2:00
A5 Blonk Monster End 1:50
A6 Verso Il Terrore 1:16
A7 Incontro 1:20
A8 Tema Bambino 1:45
B1 Blonk Monster 3:06
B2 Voci Dal Terrore 1:51
B3 Chi Sta Arrivando? 1:30
B4 Walt Monster End 1:50
B5 Blonk Fascia 2:14
B6 Verso Il Terrore 1:36
B7 Tema Bambino 1:52

More recently the album was released on Death Waltz records and was given the usual premium treatment that Death Waltz adorn on their releases. The album was released on red vinyl and had new artwork that was created by Graham Humphreys (you can see the sleeve art at the top of this page).

If you want to listen to the full soundtrack for ‘The House by the Cemetery‘ then check it out below:



Notable releases:

  • Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero ‎(LP) Beat Records Company Italy 1981
  • Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero ‎(LP) Beat Records Company Italy 1981
  • Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimitero ‎(CD) Beat Records Company Italy 2010
  • House By The Cemetery ‎(LP) Death Waltz Recording Company 2013

Useful Links

Walter Rizzati official website: http://www.walterrizzati.it/
Get the soundtrack on Amazon.com
Get the soundtrack on Amazon.co.uk
Find out more about the film at The Zombie Site

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