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The widow Leslie Doyle has just lost her husband and moves with her teenage son Jonathan and her young daughter Jamie to a mortuary in a small town in California that she has bought with the intention of starting a new business, practicing her knowledge as mortician. When they arrive, Leslie realizes that she was lured by the former owner, Elliot, and that the decrepit Fowler Brothers Funeral Home was completely abandoned and with problem with the septic sewer. While Leslie tries to improve and clean the place and start embalming corpses, Jonathan is informed about the legend of Bobby Fowler, the deformed son of the Fowlers. Meanwhile a weird substance attacks people, transforming them in zombies. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hard to believe this came from Tobe Hooper, bizarre and inane stuff
I watched this film out of boredom, having read a lot of bad reviews of it, and though it wasn't quite as bad as it might have been, it was still a pretty bad outing. The plot sees a lady uproot her children and head to a new town to become a mortician, in a dirty, unpleasant old house wherein a bad thing is growing. I don't like to go too far things but there is an evil fungus, zombies, and something bad from the past. It doesn't fit together very well, the writing doesn't bother to really explain things and the film is decidedly unsure about whether it wants to be horror or oddball comedy. It doesn't work as horror because the concept is deeply daft, more so than most horror I've seen and I've seen a lot, the pace is slow and suspenseless and there are too many silly lines and things that don't really make sense. However, it takes itself too seriously to really work as comedy, has little sense of direction or flow to it and lacks much in the way of genuinely amusing material. The effects range from passable practical effects to poor cgi work and unfortunately there is virtually no gore. Acting wise, things aren't too bad but no one stands out. Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar from the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation) does her best and overacts amusingly at times, whilst Dan Byrd provides a watchable but kinda bland centre to the film as her son. Rocky Marquette does an OK job as a lively oddball young person, whilst Lee Garlington steals every scene she appears in as a brassy diner owner. For all its glaring badness, this film is just about watchable in a deeply crummy, campy sort of way. For a start Crosby's character is a pretty useless mother, uprooting her children in the middle of a school year to take a job she is not qualified for halfway across the country in a house they have never even been to before and when her son claims to have seen trespassers outside she merely suggests he take a baseball bat next time. Add to this a story that seems to have been randomly cobbled together from some kind of drunken brainstorming session with no regard for coherency, a severe lack of chills, a pace that takes an age to pick up, lax characterisation and laughable effects, and it all congeals together into a lunatic mess that is vaguely watchable in a perverse sort of way just because of how bizarrely bad it is. Its kinda poignant as well when one considers Tobe Hoopers earlier work such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Eaten Alive and the flawed but fun Poltergeist. Its baffling that he seems to have sunk to this kind of work, it really is. I wouldn't recommend this in any way to serious horror fans or anyone even looking for a solid, workable movie. But if you can enjoy malformed, whacked out crackpot junk then this has a certain drecky appeal to draw the attention, even if at the end it gives off the impression of being a pretty useless film.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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