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The Hearse (1980)

 -  Horror | Mystery | Thriller  -  June 1980 (USA)
4.6
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 988 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 34 critic

Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jane Hardy
...
Walter Prichard
...
Tom Sullivan
Donald Hotton ...
Reverend Winston
Med Flory ...
Sheriff Denton
...
Luke
...
Pete
...
Paul Gordon
Fred Franklyn ...
Mr. Gordon (as Frederic Franklyn)
...
Mrs. Gordon
...
Bo Rehnquist
Dominic Barto ...
The Driver
Nicholas Shields ...
Dr. Greenwalt
Chuck Mitchell ...
Counterman
Allison Balson ...
Alice
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Storyline

Jane Hardy decides to stay the summer in the house her aunt left her when she died, to try and recoup from a bad divorce. Little does she know, her aunt practiced witchcraft and is still thought of very badly by the town's citizens. As soon as she moves in, she is haunted by a old black hearse and it's creepy driver. Is she going insane or is she truly being menaced? She meets a friendly young man and becomes involved with him, but is he and the creepy driver one and the same? Written by <VRSC26B@PRODIGY.COM>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Barrier Between Life and Death is no Greater than the Thickness of a Door...and now that Door is Open! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Hearse  »

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(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical film debut of Christopher McDonald. See more »

Goofs

The front grille of the hearse changes from scene to scene. See more »

Quotes

Jane Hardy: [startled by someone at her back door] Oh!
Reverend Winston: Miss Hardy, please.
Jane Hardy: [laughing, relieved] Oh! You scared the hell out of me!
Reverend Winston: I should probably take that as a compliment. *Ha ha ha ha ha!*
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Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lot of b-movie fun.
16 March 2006 | by (los angeles) – See all my reviews

Jane Hardy (Trish Van Devere) decides to vacation at her late aunt's country home after suffering a breakdown. She unearths and starts reading her aunt's diary, discovering that her aunt was into satanism! A handsome, mysterious stranger appears, and soon, her life begins to parallel what she's reading in the diary. Oh--and someone driving a hearse appears to be stalking her. Should she call her shrink in the city...or face the fact that events in her life have taken a supernatural turn? That's THE HEARSE--if you analyze it, it doesn't deliver big on story. It's more about the set-up than the payoff. It gives you just enough of a situation to make you nervous, and then, straight into the scares. Then it wraps up in a vague manner that doesn't answer your questions, but if you're on the film's wavelength, this really doesn't matter.

This was one of several movies I saw as a kid in the early 80's, and this particular one I came back to see a second time, dragging a friend along to share the popcorn fun. Seeing this in a theatre was amazing--imagine yourself going to see a PG-rated film in the early 80's, and watching the audience around you literally jumping out of their seats with fright, over and over again. This film actually generated one of the strongest audience reactions I've been witness to.

The film established a very unnerving vibe, and made the audience worried about the vague "evil forces" that were lurking out there in the darkness. And when the creepy hearse driver finally showed up and started doing his menacing thing, the audience was primed up and ready to scream. And scream they did.

There is also the strong feeling that the sleepy, secluded town the story takes place in is REALLY far away from everywhere else in the world, and that these strange supernatural-ish events could really happen here without too many people even noticing.

This is fun on home video, but if you ever have a chance to see it at a revival theatre (not likely but you never know!), go check it out. Maybe the days of really good popcorn budgeters are gone but this was very effective in its day. Nice musical score, too. Trish Van Devere and the whole rest of the cast are excellent. I thought Perry Lang was especially good as the local boy who takes a shine to Jane and experiences some misfortune because of it. An inexpensive, non-gory horror movie that does its job. It was worth the $2.50 and popcorn money.


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