Zeder

  • 1983
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror

Like Pupi Avati's equally well regarded HOUSE WITH WINDOWS THAT LAUGH (1976), this film makes absolutely no sense but is suffused with a disturbing sense of dread. It begins in Bologna in the early 1950s, as a mysterious group of researchers investigate an old villa. With the help of a young psychic, Gabriella, they search the basement until she collapses...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Like Pupi Avati's equally well regarded HOUSE WITH WINDOWS THAT LAUGH (1976), this film makes absolutely no sense but is suffused with a disturbing sense of dread. It begins in Bologna in the early 1950s, as a mysterious group of researchers investigate an old villa. With the help of a young psychic, Gabriella, they search the basement until she collapses in a fit on the floor. Moments later, she's been mauled by some unseen something, her leg so torn that it will need to be amputated. And they've found the grave of Paolo Zeder, a researcher who believed that certain ancient ruins were build on places he called "K-Zones," where death ceases to exist. All that's left of Zeder is a moldering skeleton...but Gabriella's slipper is clutched in his bony hand.

In the present day, aspiring novelist Stefano (Gabriele Lavia) is given a used typewriter by his wife Alessandra (Anne Canovas). The first time he uses it the ribbon becomes tangled. As Stefano unravels it he sees traces of the last document typed on the machine, something about experiments in bringing the dead back to life. At first Stefano thinks he's found the basis of a good novel, but his investigations attract the attention of a series of peculiar characters: An ex-priest everyone swears is dead, even though Stefano saw him alive and well; the priest's spooky, blind sister; an avuncular doctor with something to hide; a woman with a false leg; and a group of researchers camped out in a half-finished hotel near the site of a former children's summer camp. The ending is both inevitable and baffling, and the complicated plot never comes together into anything coherent, but the movie's creepy atmosphere is memorable. A word of warning: Video box art suggesting that this is a standard-issue zombie picture is misleading, and viewers expecting gut-crunching high jinks will be sorely disappointed.

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  • Released: 1983
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Like Pupi Avati's equally well regarded HOUSE WITH WINDOWS THAT LAUGH (1976), this film makes absolutely no sense but is suffused with a disturbing sense of dread. It begins in Bologna in the early 1950s, as a mysterious group of researchers investigate an… (more)

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