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Mortuary (1983) - Blu-ray Review

2 beers

Maniacs on the loose are nothing new.  But watching the actress who once played Erin Walton of The Waltons get it on over and over again with her bleach blonde boyfriend (think Fred from the cartoon Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?) adds a novel dimension to the murdering madness of yet another asthmatic-sounding killer.

Skating rinks and center parted hair galore! 

Mortuary has been resurrected by Scorpion Releasing for this its Blu-Ray debut.  Let the battle of the plunging nightgowns begin!  Yet, somehow little of what it offers adds up to a very exciting horror film.  If it wasn’t for an insanely good performance from Bill Paxton and more than a couple moments of killer cleavage, this horror film just wouldn’t keep returning to the surface of the grave.

"If it wasn’t for an insanely good performance from Bill Paxton and more than a couple moments of killer cleavage, this horror film just wouldn’t keep returning to the surface of the grave"

What the hell is a Mozart?!  For a nerd like Paul Andrews (Bill Paxton), it’s one way to get a chance with his crush, Christie (Mary McDonough) … or so he thinks.  Christie; however, is firmly with her boyfriend, Greg (David Wallace), and the two of them are all Scooby Doo-like in their search for their friend Josh (Denis Mandel) and his Mystery Machine. 

Directed by Howard Avedis, Mortuary is a low budgeted attempt at doing something different with the slasher as dreams crash with reality.  While it misleads audiences on its way toward just another slasher, this film attempts to set the stage for an all involving mystery.  Alas, it is solved all too easily. {googleads}

We get séances, sleepwalking, and psychosis!  All in a breezy 93-minutes.  And it all centers around the Andrews family as they go about scaring the shit out of damn near everybody in the town.  You see, Christie is haunted by her father’s unexpected passing.  She is afraid that it wasn’t an accident and, even in the privacy of her own home, she fears for her own life. 

And for good reason.  Someone or something is after her.  Hell, even Christie’s mother (Lynda Day George) can’t be trusted.  Turns out that Mr. Andrews (Christopher George) reach is far and wide.  And so the mystery begins!

Mortuary (1983) - Blu-ray Review

Andrews, owner of the town’s mortuary, is not the nicest of bosses.  Maybe it is because of all the secret séances he holds in his mortuary.  Maybe he’s just tired of all his employees screwing around on him.  Whatever the reason, his mean side extends to his painfully obtuse son, Paul, who skips happily through graveyards when he isn’t prematurely embalming young women.  Flesh for fantasy, you know?

Call this film the attack of the flying tires.  There is a jump scare involving exactly that.  I suppose the tire is supposed to be tucked against the door that Christie opens.  Regardless, when that door is opened, that damn tire comes flying toward her with purpose.  The scene is hilariously ridiculous.  But, as such things do, this scene only adds to the charm of this R-rated Scooby Doo mystery. 

Damn those meddling kids!


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Mortuary (1983) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
91 mins
: Howard Avedis
Howard Avedis, Marlene Schmidt
Mary Beth McDonough, David Wysocki, Bill Paxton
: Horror
Before you are buried...be sure you are really dead!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I could run things smoother if people died between 9 to 5"
Theatrical Distributor:
Film Ventures International
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 2, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 7, 2014
Synopsis: Christie Parson has been having terrifying nightmares ever since her father drowned in the family swimming pool. She knows his death was not an accident, but no one believes her. That is, until her boyfriend Greg sees a hooded figure, identical to the one that Christie has described as being in her nightmares, in the town's mortuary. Greg and Christie's curiosity plummets them into a series of bizarre and terror-filled circumstances at the mortuary, a dark and ghastly place run by a Mr. Andrews and his son Paul.


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Mortuary (1983) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- October 7, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

With a new 2K scan of the original camera negative, Scorpion Releasing gives fans of this little shocker something to celebrate.  The images are crisp and detailed and retain their edges throughout the rain and the mud and the chicken house.  Framed in a tight 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p transfer is good, good stuff.  Colors are bold.  Shadows run deep and the crisp textures in the walls and in the backgrounds of this slasher are focused.  The DTS-HD mono soundtrack is perfectly suited for this lo-fi production.



  • None

Special Features:

The new 2K scan is only the beginning of what this disc has to offer.  There is a new interview with John Cacavas and a trailer.

  • Interview with John Cacavas
  • Trailer


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Mortuary (1983) - Blu-ray Review