Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 10th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1983
Director: Howard Avedis
Writers: Howard Avedis, Marlene Schmidt
Cast: Mary Beth McDonough, David Wallace, Bill Paxton, Lynda Day George, Christopher George, Alvy Moore
DVD released: May 15th, 2012
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A young woman enlists the help of her boyfriend in hope of uncovering the truth behind her father’s death.
Mortuary was co-written and directed by Howard Avedis, who is most remembered from directing the film The Teacher. Other key collaborators on Mortuary include cinematographer Gary Graver (The Toolbox Murders) and composer John Cacavas (Horror Express, The Satanic Rites of Dracula).
Though this film has all the ingredients that should have translated into a fairly successful horror film. Like a creepy location – the mortuary and satanic cult members. The end results is a rather pedestrian affair that would have been forgotten all together if it weren’t for a few memorable set pieces. Most notable a scene in which the killer is outside of the window of the young woman’s, who is investigating her father’s death.
Another area in which this film is lacking are its bland characters, none of which evoke any sympathy and are all devoid of any charisma. Also to make matters worse the performances from the entire cast are at best mediocre. If any performance of note, that would be Bill Paxton (Weird Science, Near Dark) in the role of the mortician’s eccentric son.
By their design Horror films are mechanical almost to a fault. And yet despite this fact, the ones the rise to the top of pack and have lasting legs at least bring something new to the table. This is not the case with Mortuary a film that is predictable that one has an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu while watching it.
Scorpion Releasing presents Mortuary in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s intended aspect ratio. This a brand new transfer that has been created for this film’s first ever DVD release and the end result is very good.
This release comes with one audio, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Though limited range wise, the audio is also in good shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (48 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a interview with composer John Cacavas (14 minutes 56 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), who discusses his score for Mortuary and various other films that he has worked on.
There are two ways to watch the main feature, ‘Play Movie’ or ‘Play Katarina’s Nightmare Theater’. This second option include comments before and after the main feature from Katarina Leigh Waters, who’s comments are done in a more analytical way as she gives a overall of who all the main players in this production are and she closes with her thoughts on the main feature. Overall Mortuary gets a strong DVD release from Scorpion Releasing.