For some reason I always get Funeral Home (1980), Mortuary (1982) and Mausoleum (1983) confused. I own Funeral Home on clam shell VHS, a glorious throwback to the VHS mom and pop stores of yesteryear. And I had seen Mortuary which starred Bill Paxton, an unknown at the time. Therefore, I always skipped watching Mausoleum because I just assumed it was another alias of Funeral Home (its actually aka Cries in the Night) or the similarly themed Mortuary. Imagine my surprise when I found out Mausoleum was released on Vinegar Syndrome. I immediately cashed in my Upside points for an Amazon gift card and here we go! Let’s watch this sumbitch!
Let’s get some things straight first. Wikipedia defines a mausoleum as: “an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the burial chamber of a deceased person or people.” Remember this. Because a mausoleum figures very little in this movie other than giving the excuse for possession!
When I watch these movies, I always consult the IMDB parents’ guide, because with my kids home from school for the summer, I have the option of watching it with them. The top line under sex & nudity is: “Susan takes her top off, a lot.” Guess I’m watching this one solo.
A little background before we begin. Mausoleum was seized and confiscated in the UK during the video nasty era of the 80s, but was not prosecuted. We must be in for a pretty nasty gory movie then, huh? We aren’t in very good hands, though, as director Michael Dugan apparently only directs movies every 16 years, his last being in 2015 and titled The Adventures of Turkey Dude. Is this going to even be competent? Oh yeah, the Sicilian mob helped finance this motion picture.
This young girl, Susan, gets possessed while attending her mother’s funeral. We can tell by her eyes turning a glowing green and the bad effect of smoke or something all over the mausoleum of her dead family. Twenty years pass and her former guardian, Cora, begins to worry about her. I might add that her instincts are correct, as old Susan is a cold-blooded fluorescent green eyed demon killer!
Our first kill happens twenty minutes in with an off-screen car exploding. Then the car, with its inhabitant still alive, appears on screen barely with any flames in it. I’m guessing they invested more in minor scream queen Bobbie Bresee and her topless antics than they did with special effects. Keep in mind, she was 41 here! (MILF boner activated). But, before you get excited about her MILF boobs, she’s 81 now! (MILF boner deflated).
Have you seen “South Park?” Have you seen where the undercover cop poses as a male hooker and bangs everyone, only to arrest them after? Like, why did you go through with it? Once you establish that they’re paying for sex, arrest them! But he enjoys getting blasted by dudes for money.
That’s kind of like old Susan here. She seduces a pervy gardener and kills him, for, you know, reasons. They’re even cuddling in bed after! Why do that? He’s gross and pervy. I guess the fluorescent green-eyed demon inside her likes banging gross old dudes. She then kills him with a hand rake in a pretty cool effect that they actually show. Then, when her hubby gets home, with old pervy gardener’s swimmers still in her love pool, gets it on with him! If only he knew!
More people die and we see Susan with her real demon face. When people catch her in her demon face, she kills them. I’m not really sure WHY she is wearing her demon face around regularly, I mean, if she just let her top down with her girl parts out, no one would be looking at her demon face anyway! Use what God gave ya, girl! I swear this girl wears a cleavage flashing night gown the ENTIRE movie! She is PROUD of those early 80s plastic bags!
Sadly, minorities don’t fare well in this movie. There’s a black housekeeper, who is definitely the stereotypical black maid from a now socially canceled old movie, who is so scared she hysterically (sarcasm) runs from the house to circus music. And of course, the Hispanic pervy gardener who bit it earlier. At least the – no! I’m NOT going to spoil the nonsensical “twist” ending to a 40-year-old movie in THIS column!
Per the usual, they figure out she is possessed. What with the glowing green eyes and a hypnosis session that reveals her demon self, it becomes VERY obvious. Luckily, while doing research, they find out why the demon chose Susan! They even conveniently find a family journal which gives us all the exposition we need to finally get all the answers we have been dying for!
Susan is hot, don’t get me wrong, but she is topless so often, it grows a bit tiresome. I would have liked a little variance in my boob intake. That being said, she is not the best actress in the world, doing her best acting when she is in a nightgown or less, but it’s not hard to figure out why she was cast in the lead role. What is hard to figure out is why they titled the film Mausoleum. Did they name Nightmare on Elm Street — Boiler Room? Should The Exorcist have been called Georgetown? This is fun. Maybe call Return of the Living Dead – Cemetary? Night of the Living Dead – Farmhouse? I could go on and on!
The movie is average at best. Not great. I am not even sure why it was a video nasty. The murders aren’t that gory. The sex and nudity aren’t that graphic. There’s very little, if any, profanity. I don’t really understand the motives of her killing. I don’t truly get WHY the demon curse exists. How does everyone in her family not know about the family curse, other than the dead grandfather, who wrote the secret in his journal? Why is the demon so sex crazed? What if the demon possessed someone who was ugly?
I will go slightly below average here. For a minor scream queen, I don’t recognize the actress. I don’t know the director. The effects are uneven at best. It’s not so bad, it’s good. I will not recommend it, nor will I watch it again. I guess I need to watch Funeral Home and Mortuary now. I want my Upside points back!
3.5/10 Stab Wounds