Mortuary (1983) - Horror

Hohum Score



Convinced that her father's death was not accidental, a beautiful girl decides to investigate to find out the truth, aided by her boyfriend. Her sleuthing draws her to a local mortuary, where many secrets will be revealed.

IMDB: 5.2
Director: Howard Avedis
Stars: Mary Beth McDonough, David Wysocki
Length: 91 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 6 out of 44 found boring (13.63%)

One-line Reviews (38)

Granted, the story is a bit disjointed, and a sizable chunk of the film is spent following an ultimately insignificant subplot concerning the owner of the titular funeral home and the strange ritualistic séances he conducts in the basement.

There is little blood or gore, but there is one really intense murder.

It's a prime example of what a suspenseful chiller should employ to elevate or enhance the apprehensive sequences that follow.

Director Howard Avedis, who also co-wrote the compact script with his wife Marlene Schmidt, relates the engrossing story at a steady pace, does a sound job of crafting a creepy'n'morbid atmosphere, stages a couple of grisly murders with flair, makes good use of the scenic California locations, tosses in a bizarre death cult as well as a smidgen of sizzling soft-core sex and a dash of tasty female nudity for good measure, and pulls out the stops at the ghoulish conclusion.

Poor Chris George just sleepwalks his way through the film, obviously either ill (he died after the film was completed) or just bored and thinking of the paycheck he was getting and what to spend it on.

There's nothing truly special about Mortuary and it plays things fairly safe throughout with about as much style as a TV movie of the week, but the performers are game and competent and the script does present a fairly intriguing mystery to solve.

Paxton puts his all into making every one of his characters entertaining and this film is no different.

Okay, I blame myself for anticipating zombie-action (the title and video cover mislead me completely), but even as a slasher movie this is a total waste of time!

Plus, you get Bill Paxton (who deserves the credit for this movie's two and a half stars) in an early, over-the-top performance, before he toned down for big-budget blockbusters (and yawn fests) like "Twister" and "Titanic.

As Andrew was doing his thing, contacting dead people, in his empty wear-house where he keeps his coffins and bodies on ice two teenager Greg & Josh, David Wallace & Denis Mandel, happened to sneak in looking for excitement.

Just a yawn fest.

All in all Mortuary is a waste of time.

While MORTUARY is no doubt likable fodder for 80's horror fans, it might better be avoided by more demanding horror viewers, due to the rather thin mystery (it holds up pretty well in the first half hour, but the red herring with the black masses/séances ends up going nowhere) and all too predictable plot development.

Also, after the beginning, the movie becomes way tedious, with the killer constantly stalking the lead actress and nothing really happening.

"Mortuary" was painfully slow-paced and lacked anything even remotely thrilling.

What a totally pointless film, this is.

A movie with a mortuary, a cult group and Bill Paxon is always worth watching.

Those nightmares and visions are pretty nice, since they use the rarely-used sleep-walking technique to good use, and with the mention of the killer chasing her in them, there's some suspenseful moments to be had.

" That sounds intriguing.

(**1/2 out of *****) In spite of some mediocre acting and a somewhat rambling storyline, this tasteless sickie has enough suspenseful and shocking scenes here and there to at least make it interesting.

I don't see how the director could possibly see this as interesting, freaky, scary or entertaining.

Still, on the whole I thought the film was quite entertaining and especially when compared to what most horror films were doing at the time.

Grisly but gripping .

The stuff with the wacky cult headed by Christopher George goes absolutely nowhere and the whole sleepwalking angle seems random and pointless.

For a slasher movie then "Mortuary" was anything but interesting or entertaining.

When you don't like the supposed heroes, it's hard to care what happens and when the plot, acting, writing, directing are all dull too...

Add in a few go-nowhere subplots about her mother (Lynda Day George) and the mortician (Christopher George) having black mass rituals and some relationship drama with her boyfriend (David Wallace) and the mortician's creepy son (Bill Paxton) and you have a surprisingly engaging 80's whodunit slasher.

For the first two thirds Mortuary is a rather dull run of the mill slasher.

), one particularly brutal killing, sleepwalking and the stunning Lynda Day George.

Give this movie a try, it's not necessary a summary because the movie it's very simple but entertaining.

There's even one stalk & slash scene - ultimately leading to the death of mommy dearest - that's fairly suspenseful.

Paul has an obvious crush on Christie but due to his awkward disposition and banal persona he is denied outright.

This flick is rather boring and lags with scenes that didn't seem to benefit the plot.

David Wallace as Christy's boyfriend is gorgeous and is a bit wimpy but in all he did an OK job and Mary McDonough shaking of her wholesome girl next door image she had in The Waltons brings a wholesome, vulnerable quality to her character, but her sleepwalking scenes are a little embarrassing and rather pointless.

This largely unheralded artifact from the Golden Age of splatter is admittedly more enjoyable because of the aesthetic it shares with the classic films surrounding it than because of the movie itself.

However, overall the performances (especially the female lead) were decent enough to be believable and the screenplay was quite engaging and I was not bored at any time.

The excitement that they got was totally unexpected with Josh ending up stabbed to death by a masked psycho and Greg totally in the dark, with the killer driving off with his van, to what happened to him.

Mary seems to be the only person who thinks her old man was murdered and when her jockish bore of a boyfriend spots her mother at a seance, he feels Mary's mommy (Lynda Day George) may be a bit of a Satanist.