Blu-ray Review: Mortuary (1983)

July 2, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

That slap-happy duo of lovers Christopher George and Lynda Day George (Pieces, Grizzly) are lighting up the silver screen once again in 1983’s Mortuary, but happy that sure as shit are not… but more on that soon…
Greg (David Wysocki) follows his dumb-ass friend Josh (Denis Mandel) into a warehouse for the local mortuary… an establishment that had the common sense to send Josh’s ass packing mind you… to get some payback in the form of some sweet-ass, pie-bald, steel belted radials that have gotten J-dawg a case of the hot n’ hornies.
Only problem with all of this is, the owner of the mortuary, Hank Andrews (George), is some sort of fucked-up Satanic sorcerer-type and Josh was fired after witnessing one of his black rituals involving the women of the town… and he’s up to the same horror biz at the warehouse!
Long story short, Josh goes missing (in truth the result of a violent, fatal attack by a robed ghoul) and Greg and his gal-pal Christie (Mary Beth McDonough) attempt to get to the bottom of these supernatural shenanigan’s, which also involve the untimely death of Christies father, and her mother Eve (Day George)… and as these things so often do; an unbelievably young Bill Paxton in a role tailor made for Crispin Glover.
Featuring a heady combination of Satanic seventies occultism mixed n’ matched with Hardy Boys/Scooby-Doo level sleuthing, Mortuary seems like it was created a decade earlier than it’s 1983 release date, but that is just one of it’s many off-beat charms!
Add to the mix poorly disguised body doubles (for that sweet, sweet sexy-time lovin’), solid chemistry between Wysocki and McDonough (with game performances from the Georges and Paxton as well… and truth be told, the latter is truly the star of the show), and a dash of whodunit mystery, and you get what could be considered The Asylum version of Phantasmbut this thing dropped right in the golden age of slasher cinema (the ’80s to you uninformed mother fuckers out there), so you get plenty of stalk n’ slay tropes all over this madcap mofo as well.
What ends up happening is the picture become irresistible with it’s Satanic Panic/horny teens one-two punch, and I’m surprised this putrid picture isn’t talked up more than it is!
As for special features (how’s that for a great segue… okay, piss-poor… ) on this Blu-ray release from MVD Entertainment (via their MVD Rewind collection) we get an interview with the film’s composer John Cacavas, the film’s trailer, and a mini-poster!
A supernatural shocker with a foot well-and-truly in the slasher film wadding pool, Mortuary is a fun, off-beat fright flick that belongs on your sinister shelf post-haste!


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