Mortuary (2005)
By: Devon B. on June 27, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
IDT (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1. 90 minutes
The Movie
Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Denise Crosby, Dan Byrd, Stephanie Patton, Alexandra Adi, Rocky Marquette
Screenplay: Jace Anderson, Adam Gierasch
Country: USA
Mortuary is yet another cinematic turd helmed by Tobe Hooper. The story concerns a single mom (Denise Crosby, granddaughter of Bing) moving her family into a rundown house where she's going to start her new career as a mortician. They settle in, despite the sleazy estate agent not even removing dangerous chemicals prior to their arrival. When the mom cuts her hand, the floor begins oozing, cluing us in rather quickly that there is a supernatural element at work. Kinda. It also seems that the family has moved into the local boogeyman's former house, which is always a bad idea.

Not as bad an idea as actually watching Mortuary, though, because this movie is boring as all fuck and about as tense as a trip to a day spa. Like a fourth rate Six Feet Under, this banal film plods along destroying the brain cells of those unfortunate enough to encounter it. Mortuary is padded, with scenes that should take 30 seconds playing for three minutes. It also has terrible attempts at humour, some downright nonsensical and confusing, but then the the rest of the dialogue is idiotic, so at least the scriptwriter kept it 100% awful. Not only that, the character's tell you what to think, as in one 'gross out' sequence where the character involved actually says that it's 'so wrong' (it isn't THAT wrong, and having the character say that makes it more of a 'so annoying' situation).

Crosby's character is repeatedly so stupid, I am going to have to assume she's supposed to be an idiot. When her son has someone follow him in the graveyard adjacent to the house, she advises him it's a graveyard in a less than great area, so he should take a baseball bat when going out there. When he brings friends over, she shows them dead bodies, even wondering aloud if it's legal to do so. Plus, she bought the run down shithole in the first place. She also appears to have gotten her mortician's license via mail order, given the skills with which she performs the job.

To be fair, the film does have one good gag delivered by the police officer, and there is one shock scare that is well set up. But the rest of the movie is terrible.

Watch for the magic keys that shift around in a jar between shots.
Mortuary is presented at 1.78:1 in a 16x9-enhanced print. The film is new, so it's a pretty clean print aside from the occasional speck. It it does have grain, and at times heaps of it. The image is sharp, but the colours are a little muted, but perhaps this was a stylistic choice.
The audio is a 5.1 track. The dialogue is a bit low, and volume levels fluctuate.
Extra Features
For extras, we get some irrelevant trailers, and a 54-minute behind the scenes. This feature is made up of the usual bullshit, such as discussing the 'eerie' location and giving various people involved back pats. It's as worthless as the film itself, and was put together by people who have NO concept of keeping things interesting.
The Verdict
I watched Crocodile. I watched Eaten Alive. I even fuckin' watched The Mangler, but this does it! I am not going to be fooled by Tobe Hooper again into thinking just because he's made a horror classic, he might produce another worthwhile film. Mortuary suffers too many script problems, the main one being that it was ever written. Avoid this DVD, this film, and this director.
Movie Score
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