Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mausoleum (1983)

There are plenty of films that you may have never seen but hear rumblings about from time to time and don't see anywhere but on the bootlegger's tables at conventions. For whatever reason they have notoriety and almost a mystique about them. You anxiously await the chance to see the film that all of your fellow horror fans tell you about, whether they've seen it or not. For years MAUSOLEUM was one such title for me. And while it slipped out of my "Oh my God must see" realm of thinking years ago it has remained in the back of my mind.

Susan Nomed's mother dies when Susan (Bobbie Bresee) is just ten years old. At the funeral she runs away from her new guardian, Aunt Cora (Laura Hippe) and hides in the family mausoleum which is cursed to all Nomed women. Susan becomes unknowingly possessed by the evil within. Now 30, Susan is married and regularly seeing her psychiatrist but with each passing day is losing more and more control. It is up to the psychiatrist to come to terms with the reality of the curse and help Susan before its too late.

MAUSOLEUM is directed by Michael Dugan (who wouldn't direct another movie for 16 years) and he makes it in the true style of the time he was working in. Heavy on tits and gore and short on everything else, MAUSOLEUM is a prime example of what comes to mind first when you think 1980s horror film. The acting is sub par to put it nicely, though this does lend to a few humorous characters. The writing is amateur and the pacing suffers greatly because of it. The story takes 20-30 minute breaks in progression and the movie just plods along between boob shots or gore shots, which more often than not go hand in hand. This movie could easily be 70 minutes long and give us the same result, probably with the same shitty, boring ending. The only real positive are the make up effects from John Carl Buechler (Friday The 13th series, Nightmare On Elm St. series).

While MAUSOLEUM certainly disappointed it wasn't all bad. Some of the kills were creative and a telekinetic demon bitch was a cool enough villain. There just seemed like a real lack of inspiration from anyone on set. Some movies gain the mystique from simply being unavailable for long periods of time. Or from getting a release which happens to be cut. Or from people that saw it as kids and haven't seen it in many years and only remember that fond viewing of their youth. MAUSOLEUM checks off all three of those. It should get a proper uncut release like the one I watched. The prints are obviously out there and there is a market for the movie since the out of print DVD is going for big, big numbers. Release the movie, let everyone see it and decide that this one probably should have stayed ahem... buried.


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