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John’s Horror Corner: Mortuary (1983), a weak 80s pseudo-slasher.

September 7, 2022

MY CALL:  Really, the only reason I can muster to sit through this is for love of Bill Paxton. No other reason… none. 

Concerned by the suspicious circumstances of her father’s accidental death, Christie (Mary Beth McDonough; The Waltons) and her boyfriend Greg (David Wysocki; Humongous) are drawn to a local mortuary, most likely riding the coattails of Phantasm (1979). And this movie is no Phantasm (1979)!

The premise sounds good, but executes poorly. Someone is abducting and embalming people while they’re still alive. Sounds cool, right? Yet it manages to turn out so unthrilling. The death scenes are not what I expected—they’re hardly passable compared to B-movies of the era. This movie features perhaps the least convincing baseball bat assault in film history, a B-movie Satanic ritual of typical hokey quality, and… yeah, I have no way to sell this movie. I was hoping for so much more. Truth be told, the only upside here is seeing a young Bill Paxton (Frailty, Aliens, Near Dark).

Director and co-writer Howard Avedis has mostly made racy, sexy thrillers, and his proclivities are made abundantly clear when considering wardrobing Christie’s mother Eve (Lynda Day George; Pieces) and the embalming scenes. You’ll know when you see it.

Yeah, this movie isn’t great. Ultimately, pretty boring.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2022 3:07 pm

    I remember this one! Nice trip down memory lane reading about it. Mostly a memory I’d rather forget as far as movies go, but I’ll pretend it was so bad it was good.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      September 11, 2022 7:07 pm

      If only. I really just found it bad. Shame, too. I felt like I was procrastinating this movie forever. Really, I think the cosmos were protecting me from it… until the cosmos stopped.

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