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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pay no mind to the many troll user comments listed herein. If you're
the kind of person who might rent such a movie as Mausoleum based on
its posterart (or, furthermore, its very title), comments made about
acting, budget, and special effects limitations are completely
Mausoleum is strictly for those of us who cut our canines on '80s direct-to-video horror shinola, and who wax nostalgic for clam shell video cases.
Bobbie Breese is stunning in the film, and how could you NOT appreciate Marjoe Gortner having his intestines eaten away (nevermind the fact that he's simply IN the film in the first place!) by Breese's monstrous, double-breasted chompers.
The gardener is a cinematic wonder/McGuffin to behold, and LaWanda Page doing an incredibly un-PC Steppin Fetchit routine has to be seen to be believed! The movie is a definite throwback to classic '70s horror films (moreso in the beginning), before really taking off in the film's third act. Dugan's direction is especially atmospheric and under-appreciated. It's a shame his film career output was so limited.
If any of these comments sound appealing to you, and you know who you are, help keep the memory of this little cinematic footnote alive in the new millennium.
Judging from the synopsis this just sounds like another Exorcist
rip-off. But after seeing this film I realized this is not so. Instead
what we have here is another forgotten drive-in "classic" that can now
only be found in bargain bins or at yard sales. It may not be the best
of it's kind, but if you've got nothing better to do it'll do in a
Pros: The acting, though not great, is competent. An eerie opening sequence, which makes it seem like this film might be better than it is. Some pretty good gore. A fair amount of cheese and camp. Some things are so laughable that they might get a chuckle out of you. Moves along at an OK pace, but don't expect it to zip by all the way through.
Cons: There's nothing we haven't already seen before a hundred times. Looks more like a made for TV movie than a feature film. Some scenes are poorly lit. Some ridiculous make-up and monster effects. A mediocre musical score, which adds nothing to the proceedings. The final shot will leave you scratching your head.
Final thoughts: I picked this up in a bargain bin a few years ago because it looked like cheesy fun. What I got instead was a very low budget, but mildly amusing hour and a half. Definitely not something I'd go out of my way to find, but if monster movies are your thing then give it a look see.
My rating: 2.5/5
A film like this puts everything in perspective. Allow me to elaborate.
Plaintiff's Exhibit A: Consider, if you will, films like "The Children" (kids on a school-bus ride through a radioactive cloud, become zombies, and hug their parents to death), or "The Dark" (William Devane and Cathy Lee Crosby circle Los Angeles trying to find a monster who can't decide if he's a mentally retarded caveman or an alien from outer space). Before watching "Mausoleum," I always considered these flicks to be kitschy, low budget, suitable time wasters. However after watching "Mausoleum," I can confidently say films like "The Children" and "The Dark" are top-notch, creative, creepy, mind-blowing classics.
That's an indirect way of letting you know that "Mausoleum" is dreck. Junk, plain and simple. I'm a forgiving soul when it comes to horror movies of all kinds (revisit Exhibit A if you have any doubts)I'll give just about any "filmic art" the time of day. But 25 minutes into this empty "Mausoleum," and my attention was already wandering to the fridge. FLAT is probably the best descriptive adjective. The characters, the cinematography, the plot, the setting, the musicthe whole package is as flat as an 80s pancake. Even the "Oogily Googily!" mutterings of LaWanda Page as the black maid who "exits stage left" in a "comedy" moment when things turn uglyeven that is FLAT. It's not funny or entertaining; Page's portrayal and delivery is so flat, it's not even a racial stereotype. Even Bobbie Bresee's "demon breasts" that come alive and chew through Marjoe Gortner during a sexy embrace are FLAT.
Well, her breasts aren't flat by any means, but the drooling Muppet-like toothy puppets that her breasts becomethe whole thing is inexcusably dumb. And worse, even forgiving the limitations of 80s technology, her puppet boobs look dumb.
Word to the wise: Skip it. You won't be missing a thing.
Defense Exhibit B: Allow me to offer one counterargument. There's a potentially revelatory moment in the film that almost makes it rise to the level of "worth mentioning"-not "worth watching," but worth mentioning. At the end of the film, as Psychologist Simon and Protag Bobbie stumble out of the titular mausoleum having apparently defeated the evil, Simon turns to a mysteriously hooded grounds-keeper sitting near the gate and says: "You've known about this your whole life and have lived with the secret. For God's sake, don't ever let anyone enter the mausoleum!" As the two speed away, the camera centers on the grounds-keeper who is cutting some flowers. He looks directly at the camera and begins to cackle and cackle and CACKLE and CACKLE and---suddenly, just before the end crawl started, just for one freaking microsecond, I could've sworn this dude was LAUGHING AT ME for having just whittled away an hour and half of my life watching this dreck. I even rewound it and watched again, trying desperately to infer the intentions of the actor, the director, the cameraman. Was that their intention? WAS I BEING LAUGHED AT? If true, this might very well be the coolest horror flick on the planet. Even if it were an accident, that kind of self-referential humor (pointed keenly at the audience) is a mark of geniusa genius I only wish the rest of the film bore out. But ultimately it doesn't.
Anyway, just one last gem of dialog before I go (and I won't make any inappropriate "fish" jokes hereI'll leave that up to you):
Oliver (husband): "What's for dinner?"
Susan (wife): "Poached Salmon...and me."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Lovely and sweet young Susan Farrell (a respectable performance by deliciously voluptuous blonde bombshell Bobbie Bresee) suffers from an especially nasty family curse: she gets possessed by the spirit of an evil and lethal, yet enticing distaff demonic spirit that takes over the first born daughters of every line in her family. Pretty soon Susan just ain't acting like herself anymore; she starts seducing and murdering various guys. It's up to concerned psychiatrist Dr. Simon Andrews (nicely played by Norman Burton) to save Susan's soul before it's too late. Director Michael Dugan does a sound job of creating and maintaining a flesh-crawling ooga-booga atmosphere, pours on a handy helping of juicy gore (the definite splatter highlight occurs when Susan levitates a guy and sends the man falling to his death from a three story balcony onto a glass table), tosses in several moments of hilariously campy humor, and has the luscious Ms. Bresee bare her insanely hot body at pleasingly regular intervals. The game cast do their best with the rather silly material: the ever-cool Marjoe Gortner as Susan's loving, but busy husband Oliver, Laura Hippe as Susan's worried Aunt Cora Nomed, and Sheri Mann as helpful demonic possession expert Dr. Roni Logan. LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther on "Sanford and Son") provides gut-busting lowbrow comic relief as superstitious black maid Elsie. Maurice Sherbanee likewise amuses as creepy, lecherous Mexican gardener Ben. Robert Barich's polished cinematography makes occasional inspired use of a fluid gliding Steadicam. Jaime Mendoza-Nava's spooky'n'moody score does the shuddery trick. John Carl Buechler comes through with a marvelously grotesque make-up design for the hideously ugly female demon; the foul beast's drooling, fanged, snarling breasts are particularly funky and memorable. Granted, this flick certainly isn't a subtle and sophisticated work of cinematic art, but it does overall pass muster as a highly entertaining piece of cheerfully cheesy trash.
The Nomad family is cursed. Every first daughter of a new generation is
damned to be possessed by a demon that really wants to raise hell.
Orphan Susan is sent to live with her overbearing Aunt after the deaths
of her parents. The Aunt keeps a close eye on Susan for signs that she
will succumb to the nasty familial curse. Her young years go by
relatively quietly but after she marries the demon comes put to play
and nobody is safe.
'Mausoleum' may seem like an average ordinary slasher on top (lord knows this time period was chock full of them) but the supernatural slant gives it a leg up on the competition. Surprisingly the film even manages to generate a halfway decent atmosphere and an occasionally creepy moment or two (young Susan all green demonic eyes aglow). I say check it out if you're a fan of 80's horror or on the lookout for an obscure gem.
Mausoleum is a strange and somewhat interesting film about demonic possession. The special effects for the gore were exceptional, however, the special effects for other aspects were quite poor and low budget. The acting is fair and the storyline is a little far-fetched but the movie itself is pretty good. The movie has its creepy moments and it has a tendency to keep your interest. This is a fairly good B film and if you get a chance check it out.
I haven't got the slightest idea what the hell the story of "Mausoleum" was all about, but it sure was fun to watch! This is another imbecile and over-the-top cheesy 80's horror flick about demonic possession with an awfully bad script and hilarious special effects. Around her 30th birthday, beautiful Susan starts to suffer from the ancient family curse that also caused her mother to die when Susan was ten. Now and whenever she feels demonic, Susan can light her eyes funky green and whatever poor soul she's focusing on dies a very unpleasant death. The script foresees absolutely no logic or suspense, and the only enjoyable sequences (apart from Bobbie Bresee's many nude-scenes) are the imaginative murders. Her elder sister, for example, is lift up over a balcony and her body is torn open while floating around! Quite gory, but not at all scary. The origin of the family curse remains vague and the whole climax is very, VERY lame. Not even an exorcism or a battle between demonic forces. There are about a million better films handling about demons and possession, but if you have a soft spot for low-budget 80's cheese, you might find "Mausoleum" mildly entertaining.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw the ending of this movie at a drive-in once. This place used to
have all night Horror and Sci-Fi Fests on the weekends. I remember my
cousins not liking this and just about a crown of thorns being placed
on this woman head. She sort of looked like a corpse and demon mixed
together. It was pretty strange and I didn't get it. For years I would
see the box cover for "Mausoleum" at the video store and for some
reason was never willing to put down my $4 dollars to see the whole
Well, fast forward more years and I decided to get this recently through Netflix and watch the whole thing. It was a double-feature "Grindhouse" DVD with another cheapie called "Blood Song." (I never knew that drive-in would be considered a GrindHouse Cinema, but I guess they were sort of the same thing.) Anyway, it was awesome to see the old "Prevues" and this movie was some serious camp at best.
You could tell that some attention was paid to lighting, shots, and effects, but the lousy script, acting and editing gets really clunky, comical and aggravating at points. On the DVD commentary we learn that Bobbie Bresee was a Playboy Bunny and had no acting training or real roles prior to this, except the "Hot" girl in various TV shows. The lack of experience is apparent, not that it would matter much as plenty of the other actors are just as awful. There are some really comical moments of supposed terror along with a few cheesy opticals. (When the mausoleum is first shown, we get a hilarious steam/smoke double-exposed on a shot of the building; really unconvincing and laughable, especially when they cut back to it as though the director was allowing the audience a second chance to study it and say, "No, it really looked that bad."
The ending, indeed, has the crown of thorns that I remembered, but it gets really confusing as the characters actions don't seem to make sense. They leave the crypt and go to their car, only to come back in to look at the demon!?!? Not that this breech of logic matters much as there are plenty of other moments creating similar, head-scratching responses such as the opening sequence - and onward!
Watch for some serious chuckles over a few brews with some friends; the "GrindHouse Experience" turned on . . . Then get ready for the less cheesy, but equally quirky and wooden "Blood Song."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Susan Ferrell (Bresee) is drawn to a mausoleum in a cemetery that she enters, and is quickly possessed by a demon that has been in her family for years. Her maiden name is Nomed which is of course Demon backwards. Fully grown up, the demon inside her is awakening and she begins killing off anybody she wishes. The pesky Gardner (Sherbanee) is seduced by Susan, they have sex and then she transforms into a demon. Her eyes glow green and she hacks him up with a four clawed garden tool. Next is a delivery man who is killed when his head suddenly starts bleeding (you never really can tell what happens to him). A salesman in a mall is next. Her Aunt (Laura Hippe) is tossed off a balcony, and even her husband (Gortner, who completely sleepwalks through this role) is killed in gory fashion. Finally a friend of the family who happens to be a psychiatrist named Andrews (Burton) tries to exorcise the demon from Susan. This confusing mess makes no sense at all. The scenes are slapped together without the filmmakers caring if any of it made any sense. A dream sequence the husband has is effective and has some scary imagery but that is about it. Bobbie Bresee is topless and nude many times in this film and she is an eyeful, but a few more acting classes would have helped as you can clearly see in the scene where Andrews hypnotizes her. Her overacting is way over the top. The rest of the cast isn't much better and the sloppy Direction by Michael Dugan is also to blame. John Carl Buechler's make up design is highly inconsistent even though there were a few flashes of brilliance. The Demon's make up looks slightly different each time we see her. The final scene in the movie is the biggest head scratcher of them all involving the Gardner. It's not like any thing else made much sense but this end shot probably proves that everyone involved was on some serious drugs.
Almost impossible to find, even back in 97, save for one video shop, I sat down to this cheesy horror (no potential 'Exorcist') and found it quite a lot of fun. The make up is surprisingly very good, as is Bresee's performance, as the beautiful tormented Susan, who as a young girl made the mistake of wandering into the rat infested mausoleum. Now a full grown woman, and you should see this broad naked, bedding two victims, a young sex crazed electrician and horny gardener who provides a nice twist at the end, our Susan, the possessed, starts adopting violent tendencies. Her eyes light up with emerald green, and she puts her telekinetic powers to work, when angrily provoked. One instance comes when a jealous drunkard, gets burned up horribly in his car. Her successful (just check out where they live) husband, Oliver, played with great calm by legendary acting great, Marjoe Gortner, senses changes in her, and enlists the help of a old family doctor (Norman Burton) who knew Susan's aunt, and the secret she took with her to the grave. There's some scenes, that are so serious, it's hard to keep a straight face, and this is what this b grader does, takes itself too seriously. But this was one of the things I loved about it, as well as Ms Bresee's, you know. This drive in horror that played alongside Basket case is a lot of fun and a horror fan's delight, with 80's unrealistic violence, and impressive ending score. Speaking of scores, one weird moment, I couldn't get my head around, has an unfitting playful (not scary) music score, that has the black maid (Le Wanda 'Sandford and Son' Page) who takes to drinking when it all becomes too much, or if seeing some out of the ordinary s..t, hotfoot out of a room. Please Explain.
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