Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 22nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Director: Franco Steffanino
Writers: William James Kennedy
Cast: Joe Spinell, Rebeca Yaron, Patrick Askin, Susan Bachli, Martha Somoeman
DVD released: October 5th, 2010
Approximate running time: 82 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Code Red
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: Looking to drum up some business for his mortuary. A psychopath mortician stalks and kills victims.
The Undertaker is a predictable by the numbers horror film that suffers from bad pacing, hap hazard editing, stale direction, a generic score and uninspired performances from the entire cast. Reportedly this film was never finished due to its star Joe Spinell’s (Maniac) untimely death. And while some of this production flaws can be attributed to it being a unfinished film. This is not enough of a setback that so many things should have gone awry as they have in this film.
Even Joe Spinell’s performance lacks the intensity that is present in countless other film’s in which he portrayed a similar character. Another area where this film comes up short is its overuse of footage from the Bela Lugosi film The Corpse Vanishes. When all is said and done, even an ample amount of gratuitous nudity and women strutting around in leotards are not enough to save this film drowning in its own mediocrity.
Code Red presents The Undertaker in a 4:3 full frame aspect ratio. This video sourced transfer looks pretty good all things considered. Colors generally fare well and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels are average at best and details tend to look soft more often than crisp. Also is should be noted that there are some tape based defects, none of which are too distracting.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. There are instances where the audio sounds muffled and some issues with distortion.
Extras for this release include a brief intro to the film with actor Robert Forster, a four minute interview with Robert Forster and his daughter Kate. Also included with this release Nightmare, The Carrier, The Visitor, Slithis, Horror High and Family Honor.
Overall The Undertaker gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Code Red.