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Mortuary

USA 1983
produced by
Howard Avedis, Marlene Schmidt, Edward L. Montoro (executive) for Hickmar Productions
directed by Howard Avedis
starring Mary Beth McDonough, David Wallace (= David Wysocki), Bill Paxton, Lynda Day George, Christopher George, Curt Ayers, Bill Conklin, Donna Garrett, Greg Kaye, Denis Mandel, Violet Manes, Alvy Moore, Danny Rogers, Beth Scheffell, Marlene Schmidt, Marilyn Corwin, Lisa Durazo, Anita Morales, Denise Polk, Kimberly Polk, Pam Wren
written by Howard Avedis, Marlene Schmidt, music by John Cacavas

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Josh (Denis Mandel) and Greg (David Williams) break into the local mortuary where Josh has worked until recently because Josh figures the owner, Mr. Andrews (Christopher George) still owes him some money, and now wants to steal some tires as recompensation. Once there, they witness Mr. Andrews and some ladies in robes holding a séance - and then suddenly Josh is gone, and somebody takes off in Greg's car. Greg's car is found again eventually by the police, but once there he has to face Mr. Andrews, who's not very amused about the incidence.

In the meantime, Greg's girlfriend Christie (Mary Beth McDonough) has a weird feeling about the death of her father (Danny Rogers), so much so that she suspects her mother (Lynda Day George), who insists it was just an accident), to have killed him together with Mr. Parson. Christie also has picked up to go sleepwalking while carrying a lethal weapon since the death of her father, plus she thinks she's followed by a masked and robed man - but due to her sleepwalking, her mother thinks this is just her imagination in overdrive. Eventually, Greg and Christie start investigating into her dad's death, and all leads do indeed lead to the mortuary, yet at the same time they collect more and more circumstantial evidence for the innocence of Christie's mother and Mr. Andrews. However, Mr. Andrews has a son (Bill Paxton), who has once been a patient of Christie's dad, a psychiatrist by trade, and who simply adores Christie, in sometimes troubling ways ...

 

Now watching the movie, one can't shake the feeling that the plot is somewhat inconsequential and seems to jump between unrelated narrative threads rather at will - but that's part of the fun of the movie, really, as it might by no means be a genre classic, but it embodies everything that made early 1980s low budget horrors so cool as they weren't bogged down yet by strict genre formulas, let alone the need to make post-modern statements on the genre as such, but were supposed to shock and surprise, and were really good at it, even if that meant that not everything made sense. That said, I'd be hard-pressed to call this must-see horror, but it's a great and entertaining trip down memory lane all the same.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD