Road-weary and apprehensive, 16 year old Heather finally arrives for the
summer at her grandmother's tourist home; formerly a funeral parlor.
As the weeks disappear, so do several of the guests. However, Heather's
concern is quieted by Grandma Chalmers' assurances that they slipped away
quietly into the night.
These excuses hold up relatively well until the young girl begins hearing
muffled voices in the cellar. As the heavy bolted door slowly creaks open,
a horrifying terror begins its long journey to Hell.
riddance to bad rubbish!"
- Maude Chalmers
When it comes down to pure, unadulterated 80's horror. I'm a fan. Not just
one of those "I saw this movie called Friday the 13th about twelve
years ago and I liked it" horror fans, but a true slave to the 80's horror
and the miles of blood covered 35mm slashers that spawned faster than the
hemorrhoids on Michael Jackson's pixie nose.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen,
it's true... I'm a complete slut when it comes to that little purple stretch-marked
scar in time, known as the 80's. So, it's no surprise that for the past
decade or so, I've been raiding those shady little video shops looking
for dust covered slashers in the only format which most of them will ever
know... VHS. In my opinion, slasher films are much more enjoyable in VHS
for multiple reasons. -- A.) It's the original format! This is the way
most of us have been watching these films for years! B.) You get that grainy,
raw feel to the film which makes the film seem more genuine. (This is horror
people. Not 21st century romantic comedy.) C.) It gets you laid. Well,
for some of you, even an 80's slasher on VHS won't get you laid... but...
-- Moving on, one of my raids on a video store outside Minneapolis, Minnesota
coughed up this great film, Funeral Home. I figured the film would end up being like most videos you buy from an old woman with a twitching right eye and smoking a cigar, but I was dead wrong.
I was working on the site one night, which is every night, and while cracking
open my 6th or 7th beer, I decided to rummage through the hundreds of horror
films I've purchased but never had the time to watch. While flipping through,
my eye caught a bright blue video box with bold white lettering on the
side. FUNERAL HOME Needless to say.. in it went like a teenage
boy discovering his hand and after an hour and a half, it had earned it's
place on The Flesh Farm. Let's get to it...
The Gory Good: Funeral Home is one of those films that tricks you at first. It seems as though the film is going to flop and you'll be watching porn before you're half way in. But you'd be
wrong. The writers have done a superb job slowly building up the suspense
before tearing it out of your grasp, only to rebuild it again. The filmmakers
also did a great job with casting Kay Hawtrey as the overbearing funeral
home owner, Alf Humphreys as the rookie deputy and Lesleh Donaldson as
the innocent young woman who comes to visit her grandmother for the summer.
It always amazes me how a well chosen cast can make a slow movie just as
enjoyable as a fast paced film.
The film does a fantastic job at keeping you guessing. It's a classic "who
done it" with a Psycho type twist. I had no idea by the end who
was running around this funeral parlor (turned motel) hacking up unsuspecting
The Bloody Bad: I'm giving this film slack
on the production aspect because of its budget. Because, last time I checked,
finding funds for an independent film in Ontario, Canada didn't necessarily
break the bank. So, it's quite obvious that the film is independently made
by the sloppiness of the editing and the quality of the printing... but
this is horror damnit! And we love it anyways. For all its greatness,
I have to mention that this film is blatantly ripping-off Psycho and I'm sure Alfred Hitchcock has been rolling in his grave over this
film. I'm not going to tell you exactly how they rip it off... but you'll
know what I'm talking about after seeing the film.
Slaughter/Carnage/Butchery: Not much to say
here. The only gore seen through the film is during the excruciatingly
short murder scenes, and I'm not sure you could classify it as gore. A
little blood here, a garden tool to the head there, but nothing to get
too excited about. Tits and Ass: Absolutely zero. The closest
we get is watching Peggy Mahonthe in her tight
shirts and the beautiful Lesleh Donaldson bounce
around in her swimming gear. Not nearly enought if you ask me.
| | |
- For Lesleh Donaldson,
this was one of her most challenging films because it was one of her first
- Supposedly a huge
cult classic in Mexico.
- The writer of the
film was going for a Little Red Riding Hood meets Psycho feel.
- Also known as Cries in the Night.
- Released on August 12th, 1982 in the United
- Filmed entirely in Ontario, Canada.
- Was nominated for three Genie awards. Best
Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.