Sunday, November 22, 2015

In short: Mortuary (2005)

The Doyle family – mother Leslie (Denise Crosby), teenage son Jonathan (Dan Byrd) and little daughter Jamie (Stephanie Patton) – move into some god-forsaken small town so that mum can fulfil her mortician dreams. Too bad their brand spanking new mortuary is actually a ruin and that strange stuff seeps from the septic tank. And let’s not even start on the blood-drinking fungus turning people into fungus zombies.

I’m usually giving Tobe Hooper’s later works a bit more of a chance than most tend to do, but when confronted with a confounding piece of crap like Mortuary, even my tolerance goes out the window. I do assume this isn’t actually supposed to be a pure horror film but rather a horror comedy – or Hooper’d have to be stupid, which he clearly isn’t. Unfortunately, it’s a horror comedy whose every single joke isn’t funny, and that also takes ages to get going.

Now, in other films you’d suspect the slowness of the first hour or so had something to do with the film building mood and character, but since everybody’s a cardboard cut-out, and the mood is mostly childish, there’s only boredom coming through. Afterwards, it’s thirty minutes of kids screeching while people in bad zombie make-up waddle around or puke at them, with no second of tension, fun, humour, or whatever. Despite some awkward attempts at the grotesque, the proceedings feel painfully harmless too, with nothing to even vaguely keep one’s interest, wasting the generally decent potential of what could be a tale of kids not being able to trust grown-ups anymore (with added fungus zombies).

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