Epitaph (1987)
Implausible but fun - in a cheesy sort of way
21 October 2001
The main problem with this film - which isn't as amateurishly made as some I've seen - is the writing. The crazy mother's actions are just too implausibly tolerated by her family. Her husband says he loves her but you'd be hard pressed to understand why, as she's just an aggressive, screwed up bitch most of the time. Her family stay loyal even as she becomes a threat to them all, but at least this means she gets to go further and further over the top, which is what the film really wants to do. If you hate movies where people doggedly refuse to act in their own best interests then this one will drive you up the wall. But casting aside these criticisms there's a lurid, cheesy quality to the film, thanks to the shameless over-acting of the mother, and the 'Mommy Dearest' aspects of her relationship with her daughter. Fans of the TV show 'Absolutely Fabulous' should see this as it's like a trash-horror variation, even down to the doddering grandmother and dowdy sensible daughter, whilst the mad mother plays like a mixture of Edeena and Patsy from that show! And it deserves mention as a film whose set piece is a stab at that classic rat, bucket and blowtorch trick so beloved of torturers with a history degree...
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