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Grave Robbers (1988) - Blu-ray Review

4 beers

Some girls have all the luck.  Nora Mae Edwards (Elizabeth Mannino), a bummed-out waitress at an all-night diner, just accepted an offer for marriage from a well-dressed dude who likes his women a little cold.  Okay, so maybe she’s not so lucky, but the dude drives a limo!  Surely that counts for something, right?

Turns out, Nora is in over her head.  John Henry Coxis (David Gregory), her new husband, is an undertaker in a small town and he, as well as most of the creepy people around him, like it best when the women in their life wind up stiff.  Because you can’t get AIDS from dead people.  Every necrophiliac knows that.  Errr….

Yes, Boils and Ghouls, that’s the working theory in Grave Robbers, a bizarre straight to video trashterpiece from 1988 in which a group of strange men bring recently deceased women back to life in order to sleep with them.  That’s right, in this flick, the whole dating scene involves resurrecting dead women.  I’ve heard of small towns having no options when it comes to the dating pool, but even this seems a bit extreme. 


"Fierce, funny, and gruesome, Grave Robbers is a bona fide treat on blu-ray"


The dead rise and all it takes is a high voltage shock of electricity to the boobs!  Suddenly, it’s blind date Bingo for the dead.  Co-starring Larry Bockius, Judith Mayes, and Jerry Recter, this film attempts to understand what undertakers actually do to the bodies that they come into contact with. It isn’t pretty.  And Nora, with only one lifeline left for her with which to escape this madness from, must get free. {googleads}

Grave Robbers aka Dead Mate is more gonzo in spirit than the actual Muppet and, because it is all sorts of whacked out, the horror film makes for one hell of an unforgettable comedy as we journey into the bizarre side of “caring” for the dead.  And now, thanks to Vinegar Syndrome, this morbid guide to dating the dead finds its way onto blu-ray with a brand new 2K scan from the original 35mm print.

The acting might be all sorts of terrible from every cast member in this sick flick but that only makes Grave Robbers a bit more cherished and unforgettable.  I mean, when Coxis tries to drown his bride in the bathtub and fails, his only excuse in response to her panic is that his foot slipped on the floor and that caused him to push her head down and then hold her body under the water.  Hilarious.

Outside of the domestic problems, though, there is the surrounding community. It is full of necrophilia. Everyone, including the sheriff, seems to get off on “boinking” a corpse.  It extends to other emergency service workers, too.  Imagine overhearing this as one EMT looks at the exposed breasts of a recently deceased woman.  She’s “one of the cutest dead girls I ever saw,” this awkward dude says.  His quote heard is heard from the back of an ambulance before its driver, another young man, climbs in the back to take turns with the corpse.

Grave Robbers (1988) - Blu-ray Review

Scenes as sick as this one (and there are a lot) would really be horrible if you weren’t laughing so much at everything else in this black comedy.

Fierce, funny, and gruesome, Grave Robbers is a bona fide treat on blu-ray.  It is a rare film and Vinegar Syndrome, working from the original camera negative, brings this darkly comic flick back into the light of day with this crisp and contrast-heavy HD transfer. Direct-to-Video no more!  While limited to just 1500 copies (with the embossed slipcover), Grave Robbers returns once more to finish the job of grossing out the Normies.

Get your shovels ready.  It’s time to collect your next Saturday night date!


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Grave Robbers (1988) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
93 mins
: Straw Weisman
Straw Weisman
Elizabeth Mannino, David Gregory, Larry Bockius
: Horror
What they do to your body after you're dead is the ultimate nightmare.
Memorable Movie Quote: "And best of all she's safe, it's safe sex now, because we can't get AIDS from dead people."
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:
September 1988
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 26, 2018
Synopsis: Nora Mae Edwards had always dreamed that a handsome and wealthy man would offer to marry her, but she never expected to find love while working the night shift at a sleazy diner. However, when John Henry Cox proposes to her within moments of their meeting, Nora can’t help but say yes. Whisked off to John’s home town of Newbury to live in his family’s mansion, Nora discovers that her new husband’s profession is that of an undertaker, and that the local death toll is disproportionately high. As the joys of marital bliss soon give way to increasingly violent nightmares, she begins to suspect that her seemingly gentle husband may be harboring a dark secret, especially when she learns that she’s far from the first ‘Mrs. Cox,’ but even more terrifyingly, that while her husband desires her body, he’d prefer it cold and dead…


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Grave Robbers (1988) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

 Special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Earl Kessler Jr.) is limited to just 1,500 units

Home Video Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome
Available on Blu-ray
- June 26, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A, B

Newly scanned and restored in 2K from the original 35mm camera negative, Vinegar Syndrome’s handling of Grave Robbers is to be commended. This horror film bursts out of the gate with vivid colors and a whole new energy and the contrast is damn impressive. Leafy greens are abundant. Black levels are crisp. The wardrobe items on the actors are crisp. Shadows are defined. The undertaker’s house in the story is also more vibrant – and so are the city locations – than remembered. This AVC encoded image (with a rich 1.85:1 aspect ratio) presentation is another win for Vinegar Syndrome. The crisp 1.0 DTS-HD MA mix serves the dialogue and score well.



  • The commentary track with writer/director Straw Weisman is fun and full of solid factoids about the making of the movie.

Special Features:

Fans of Vinegar Syndrome’s titles get a region free Blu-ray/DVD combo that features good supplemental items, including an interview with Straw Weisman, an introduction by him, and the film’s original trailer.

  • Digging Up the Past
  • Director’s Introduction
  • Original Trailer  


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Grave Robbers (1988) - Blu-ray Review