Saturday, October 23, 2010


A mother moves her two children to a new town, where she hopes to start up a new career as a mortician. Unfortunately, something weird is afoot at the old mortuary they move into, and before you know it: zombie outbreak.

I've long suspected, based on comments that Tobe Hooper has made, that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was something of an accidental classic. From what I understand, Hooper saw the movie as a dark comedy and was almost surprised when people found it scary. Which explains why the sequel, and many of Hooper's other films are so overt and over-the-top in their humor.

Mortuary is no different, although I think it's one of his most successful non-Chain Saw films. It's a spirited horror comedy with a lively cast (including Tasha Yar, and that kid from The Hills Have Eyes remake) that starts off with a relatively low-key charm, before going balls-out, nonstop crazy during its manic final act. It's in such a tizzy by the end that it doesn't even bother to explain what the hell is going on (the cause of the zombie plague is never really accounted for, and there's a lot of talk early in the film about a local urban legend that doesn't really pay off in a way that makes sense), and that's all part of the fun. I was not expecting to like this one nearly as much as I did.

Grade: B

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