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1 rating: 4.0

   Mortuary (also known as Embalmed in the UK and Hall of Death in West Germany) was a 1983 slasher film/horror movie which starred Bill Paxton, Mary Beth McDonough, David Wallace, Lynda Day George, with Michael Berryman (in an uncredited … see full wiki

Tags: Suspense, Horror Movies, Thriller, 1983, Bill Paxton, Christopher George, see all
1 review about Mortuary

Some Things Shouldn't Stay Buried

  • Dec 3, 2009

Favorite Movie Quote: "He's got a little weird since his Mother committed suicide!"

I know this is telling my age but I am actually old enough to remember seeing this one at the local mall in 1983 with my mom. I was almost nine years old back then & I'm quite sure my mom was anything but thrilled with this film. Actually, I think she thought it was an ok film but simply believed that I was much too young to see it. Needless to say, I remembered the film fondly & even rented the VHS tape many moons ago. Mortuary was exactly the way I remembered it.

Fans of Bill Paxton SHOULD take note: This is perhaps one of his earliest roles & people who are familiar with his resume already know that Bill owns every role he accepts. This time, he really goes overboard with his character making this one of his most entertaining roles in my opinion. Paxton plays a geek who works for his father as an embabler in the local morgue, listens to Mozart, & fantasizes about the day he will marry his childhood crush Christy (Mary McDonough).

On the other hand, his father (played brilliantly by the late Christopher George) holds cult meetings where the members of his group chant & dance. Interesting family, eh? Ironically, Christy's mother also partakes in these bizarre meetings which could also suggest that she may also have some foul part in the recent murder.  

Christy, however, has become obsessed with the recent tragic death of her father. As a result of this traumatic experience, she suffers from nightmares & sleepwalks. Convinced without a doubt that her father's death wasn't a mere accident, Christy is determined with the help of her boyfriend (David Wallace) to solve this mystery & to finally comes to terms with the truth. Naturally, no one buys her claims of a ghoulish paint-faced killer lurking in the shadows either & Christy begins to distrust everyone after discovering her mother belongs to a coven of witches.

Mortuary may not be the greatest slasher film of all-time but there some pretty incredible moments &  decent performances from familiar faces both young or old. Trust me, there are quite a few creepy moments & even some rather cool death scenes which include embalming equipment. Fans of early 80's slasher flicks should give this one a try.
Sadly, this one is not yet available on DVD to the best of my knowledge but I'm hoping this will come to pass. In the meantime, you can probably rent it from the old-fashioned VHS rental stores or look for used VHS tapes on Ebay. I am shocked that Code Red, Anchor Bay, or Blue Underground have not already released this little gem as a North American DVD release is long overdue.  
Some Things Shouldn't Stay Buried Some Things Shouldn't Stay Buried Some Things Shouldn't Stay Buried Some Things Shouldn't Stay Buried

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January 14, 2010
I spent the longest time hunting up a video copy of this for a friend back home. It took almost a year, and 3 counties worth of video stores. I couldn't believe it was hard to find. At least it only cost $2 when I finally did locate it.
February 05, 2010
Oh wow! I've wanted this one for years even if it means just making do with an old worn-out vhs tape but not much luck anymore. I saw some cassettes through the years but they were all EP & weren't more than a few bucks but I waited in hopes of getting one of the original Vestron releases. I am shocked that there is still no record of any major North American DVD releases for this one. Bill Paxton was a nut!
February 06, 2010
Are your sure? The one I found for my friend was an sp. It may have been Canadian but that still counts as North American. It did play on his VCR.
February 06, 2010
Sadly, I haven't been so lucky on this one but Woo has an import copy. Maybe he can burn me one. He says it's not much better than a vhs copy but that's fine by me. I haven't seen the film in nearly 20 plus years.
February 07, 2010
I know what you mean. There are a lot of films I'd be happy to have ANY kind of copy of.
December 03, 2009
Yes! This was very good. Good one making a reference to fellow luncher Christy! I think there's an import dvd before but it never became mainstream. nice one, bro.
December 04, 2009
I remembered you telling me about that. Do you have that import dvd by any chance? If so, would you make me a copy? I've been wanting to watch this one again for years but I can't seem to find any imports or even the videotapes are obsolete. Thanks for dropping by here as always! This was a film I'd never forget. Maybe I should write a homage to Christopher George sometime?
December 04, 2009
sure I can make you a copy...the quality isn't the best and it looks like a laser-disc transfer but better than vhs right? Any homage is great, bro!
December 04, 2009
Cool! That would be awesome man. Laserdisc transfers were still better than most vhs tapes & this would probably tide me over until I can get my hands on a legitimate copy one day. That's assuming we will eventually see a North American release for this one. That homage is one of the future projects I have in mind & I'm also toying with the idea of doing a review on the Native American kachina. Of coure, these are both half-baked ideas for starters but those would make some fun reviews. Let's just say they are in pre-production right now. LOL Thanks a mil Woo!
December 07, 2010
Woops, where my Mortuary at? LOL
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