Can roller-disco eventually lead to insanity and murder? The undeniable answer is yes! In director Howard Avedis' Mortuary (1983), we get to see not only the horror of that short-lived craze but also a séance, cool custom vans, great early 80's hair styles and clothes, and of course let's not forget that wacko in a black hood and clown make-up running around killing people with an embalming tool, he is the real star of this sideshow.Poor Christie (Mary McDonough), first her father was murdered when someone whacked him on the head with a baseball bat, sending him tumbling into the family swimming pool. If that wasn't bad enough, no one, not even her own mother (Lynda Day George) believes her when she begins telling people that her father didn't die in an accident. If all that weren't more than enough for our little heroine now she knows that someone (maybe the same someone that killed her father?) is following her, some mysterious nutcase in a black car and a black hooded cape has been following her all over town. And if her plate wasn't full already with all of those problems, since her father's death Christie has also developed a problem sleepwalking. She is apt to get up anytime in the night and wander around, jump in the pool, put her hand through a window or do any number of crazy things to help convince her mother that perhaps she really is crazy after all. But looking on the bright side, it does give her an opportunity to romp around all night wearing nothing but a revealing nightie and a glazed look. Despite everything poor little Christie sticks to her guns though, her father was murdered and she is not crazy!Fortunately she has a big handsome blonde boyfriend to help her out. Greg (David Wallace) has his own problems, his best friend Josh (Denis Mandel) is missing after they broke into the warehouse of the local mortuary owner, Mr. Andrews (Christopher George) and no one has seen Josh in days. Before Josh got himself run through like a shish kabob he and Greg saw some strange happenings at the warehouse. Mr. Andrews and several women (including Christie's mom) were seen there performing some type of strange ritual. Together Christie and Greg decide to investigate the case, and with these two on it we know we'll get results.I think I forgot to mention that Mr. Andrews has a son, Paul Andrews (Bill Paxton). We know very little about Paul, we know that he loves Mozart. We know that he works at his dad's mortuary. We know that as a child his dad locked him up with dead people. But most of all we know that Paul has a big crush on our little Christie. Paul wanders through the film on occasion, giving little clues to who he might actually be. He does everything but wear a big sign around his neck, "Hi, I am a crazy killer who stabs people with a embalming tool." But even without such an obvious clue our two detectives finally solve the case and have a kind of happy ending after all (unfortunately not before several more people get punctured).
Originally posted 6/26/2005