Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mortuary


I wasn't unreasonably excited for Mortuary. I was a little bit, though. I counted among those who enjoyed Tobe Hooper's Toolbox Murders, although I acknowledge that my crush on Angela Bettis could have played a significant part in that.

This was supposed to be Hooper taking on Lovecraftian themes and zombies. How cool should that be? As it turns out, it's certainly not cool at all.

It occasionally hints at being cool. The blood-drinking fungus was neat. Uh... Well, ok, but the blood-drinking fungus was really, really neat.

Some other things came close, the maniacally laughing real estate agent and the acid casualty diner owner were characters the director of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Eaten Alive should have had no trouble with, but here they're just a little bit off somehow.

Right from the beginning, it starts with a scene of sloppily covered up expository dialogue. Then comes the set-up. A newly widowed mother is moving her family across the country so she can take up her new career as a mortician. There's no real need for this questionable change of lifestyle, mind you. Everything would have made as much sense if she'd moved because she wanted a new start or there was a deal on this mortuary and she wanted to own her own business and got a deal. That would have made a lot of sense actually.

But, those of you who've seen this gem, you know there's a scene where she's reading a book and trying to figure out how to make the equipment work. By the way, can you do that? Is there a correspondence course for morticians or something? Anyway, her failing to be able to use the equipment is important because, as we all know, no experienced mortician could ever spill a few fungus tantalizing drops of blood on the floor, even working alone with a horribly mutilated accident victim and using hundred year old equipment.

I'm obsessing over this one point, but seriously, nothing is smarter than this, and this could be fixed so incredibly easily. Which is kind of the problem with the whole movie. It all could have been done smart and interesting just as easily, so it doesn't make any sense why it's so very stupid.

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