Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MORTUARY (1983) - prepping corpses is no way to go through life

Lynda Day George tries to console daughter Mary McDonough, who suffers from both sleepwalking and stalker-induced final girl-isms

Some guy with a unique perspective on baseball uses some dude relaxing poolside as the ball, knocking a line drive single into the pool (I guess this water polo shit is starting to influence the major sports). Meanwhile, two schmucks investigate a creepy mortuary, not taking this haven of death remotely seriously, which may prove to bite them in the ass. Lo and behold, they happen upon a satanic ritual with some hot robed chicks walking in a circle, with the usual candlelight and fogs and such (this type of behavior was shockingly commonplace in the 80’s). The two dudes still don’t register any alarm, and they unwisely continue to investigate. Alas, the goofy guy gets stabbed with an embalming needle by someone that looks like Death from The Seventh Seal, after a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning. The blonde guy leaves, assuming his wacky buddy ran off, and later checks the local skating rink for signs of his deceased companion. He quickly dismisses this investigation to get jiggy with some girl, eschewing the influence of Ingmar Bergman for the less subtle work of the director of Screwballs, whatever the fuck that guy’s name is.

Poor Bill Paxton, the mortuary assistant, is so nerdy that this has spilled over into retardation (or maybe the other way around). He hits on the blonde guy’s redhead girlfriend (the daughter of the dude that was killed with the baseball bat) by showing her a Mozart record, but she realizes that any background adagios are merely a pretense to some extensive crotch grabbing by a retard goofball. A hearse tails her home, which may or may not be related. The blonde dude alerts the sheriff, but he gives him a speech about how he’s just a punk kid that breaks into mortuaries (although that strikes me as more of a goth deal), but at least he agrees to put out an APB regarding his dead idiot friend.

The redhead dreams about her dying father, and then sleepwalks into the pool while the robed killer stalks her. Her mother (Lynda Day George) tells her “you’re mixing your dreams and reality!”. Hmmm…that’s exactly the kind of shit I get from my mom. Anyway, the blonde dude tells the redhead that Lynda Day is one of the satanists, and Christopher George, the head of the mortuary, also heads this group of scratch worshipers. This may or may not add to the drama at hand, but at least goes to show, once again, that the George’s are a motherfuckin’ team. Paxton also pops his head in, gives the redhead a rose, and skips away like a dandy fruitcake.

Bill Paxton embalms a hot chick with a nice rack, showing off his handiwork to the blonde dude, who doesn’t seem very alarmed or disgusted (or aroused, or anything). He just heads to his girlfriend’s house to boogie down to some elevator disco (boy times were simpler then). However, the power keeps going in and out as if someone is constantly fucking with the fuse box. Lynda Day shows up to tell her daughter that she has an overactive imagination, and the daughter thinks she’s in cahoots to drive her insane (well, more so than usual). They decide to sneak into the mortuary and catch a satanic séance party, and bump into Paxton along the way. Unaffected by these alarming circumstances, they head back to the dark house to have sex, while someone creeps around outside. I guess the couple is unshakable in their quest for nookie.

Well, the redhead sleepwalks again, seeing the creepy hooded embalmer through the window. She tries to sleep stab him through the window in slow motion, missing and slicing up her hand (in a really cool looking shot). Lynda explains the plot to her daughter and they hit the hay, as if this mystery has been sufficiently resolved. Right on cue, the killer crashes through the window, embalming Lynda through her chest, before chasing the redhead through the house. Unfortunately can’t seem to open any of the doors (WD-40 might be a help here).

She finally gets out and runs through the neighborhood in her nightie whilst being chased by this creep. She ducks into what looks to be a greenhouse (he’ll never find you amidst the parsley), and eventually heads back to the house, but is immediately accosted by the killer anyway. He drives her back to the embalming table, presumably preserving her to the point where he can boink her without too much rotting. The boyfriend shows up at the mortuary looking for her, while the killer oils up her naked body, paying special attention to her mammary region (I wasn’t aware that this was a necessary embalming technique).

In case the audience was asleep this whole time, the killer explains the plot, motives, his own psychology, etc., to Christopher George, before stabbing him with the embalming needle (it’s like a fencing sword that shoots corpse fluid). Examining his weapon of choice reminds me of some advice a goth friend once gave me: “don’t ever inject embalming fluid…it’s the worst!”. I have managed to avoid this temptation ever since, soundly relying on booze and weed to get high (and the occasional whiff of a Sharpie). In other words…the more you know.

In a fittingly cliche ending, the killer does a horrible conducting job to that Mozart record with all of the bodies gathered around (I hope I haven’t given away his identity). He’s wearing a tux for his wedding day (the redhead is the lucky gal), as he tells the dead schmucks gathered around him, providing yet more endless psycho babble exposition. The blonde dude interrupts the ceremony with an axe (a possible homage to Dustin Hoffman interrupting the wedding with a cross in The Graduate), but immediately has it knocked out of his hand. Luckily, he finds a machine gun sitting in a coffin, but unfortunately, it’s filled with blanks. Why someone would stick a machine gun filled with blanks in a coffin I do not know. Either way, the never quite embalmed bride-to-be gets up and plants the axe in Paxton’s back (oops…sorry).

All is finally right with the world, except that Paxton’s “dead” mother gets up and attacks the camera, as she was in an embalmed coma I guess. I wouldn’t know. I never touch the stuff. Regardless, the overriding lesson is clear…stay the fuck out of mortuaries. I don’t care if hot satanic chicks get together there and chant about demons or whatever, even with their black eyeliner and sky high teased hair, and those black robes that occasionally fling open. Hmmm…on second thought, considering the scarcity of such a scene nowadays, maybe it is worth it after all. Me thinks our generation desperately needs its own Anton LaVey.

1 comment:

  1. Ha Ha Just remembered this film, It was frikkin bad my mums old boyfriend gave it to me when I was 10 (!?!?) was jaw droppingly funny evan as akid from the first scene where it took forever to hit the guy on the head into the swimmingpool to where the killers havin som sort of dinner party whit his cadaver pals. wish i still had the video as could do with a good laugh again.