Sunday, March 1, 2020

nemod syad.

Noticed the the blog seems to be full of politics and pictures of late so thought I'd better watch a wee film so I could actually post a review.

Mausoleum (1983).
Dir: Michael Dugan.
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Bobbie Bresee, Norman Burton, Maurice Sherbanee, LaWanda Page, Laura Hippe, Sheri Mann, Julie Christy Murray, Chu Chu Malave and Gene Edwards.

There's some strange shit goin' on in this house!

Like any good horror film worth its salt we open on a windswept graveyard where the young - and frighteningly dog faced - Susan (bony kneed Murray in her only film role outside those shorts she did to pay her way thru' college) is mourning her recently deceased mother as her posh tottie-like aunt Cora (Logan's Run and Swinging Barmaids star Hippe who killed herself shortly after making this movie - take from that what you will) pats her on the shoulder uncomfortably whilst offering to buy her ice cream and a pony to replace her dearly departed parent.

Why do I never get offered ponies?

Oblivious to all the bribery being offered (and wanting a unicorn probably - girls are never happy) Susan legs it and soon takes refuge in an old superimposed rainswept and spookily lit mausoleum (bearing her family name - Nemod - I'm sure her family must originally be from the village Nilbog featured in Troll2.) that is in no way at all scary or foreboding.

No seriously it's not, it actually looks for all the world like it's been outlined in Sharpie the matte work is so shit.

As a spooky fog rolls from its gates Susan pricks her finger on a crown of thorns hanging outside before entering the tomb to be confronted by a shadowy figure with unkempt nails who offers her blessed relief whilst making a passing pedophiles head explode.

Which seems legit.

I can see your house from here Peter.

Thru' the power of editing and rudimentary dissolves we're suddenly in the present day (which is the past now....scary eh?) where we find a now adult Susan (ex Playboy bunny Bresee in a performance that's all tits and teeth but not much else which at least means she fits in right at home here) living in a massive house albeit one filled with way too many windows and staircases than is needed and happily married to the ferret-like business bloke Oliver (Starcrash 'star', B'-movie god and once the world's youngest ordained preacher, Gortner) and obsessed with the colour brown for some reason.

Seriously, the house, her clothes, the plants - everything in this movie has the colour palette of dried cack.

Except when a demon appears then the fucker is lit up like a disco.

But I digress.

All seems normal (if you ignore everyone's stilted body language and speech patterns obviously) until that is Susan starts to act a wee bit strangely - or is that just begins to act?

Answers to the usual address.

Oliver thinks he has the perfect answer to Susan's woes so decides to take her disco dancing at the local nite spot where they enjoy (well I say enjoy but to be honest they just look dead inside tho' at least Bresee tries her hardest to look hip n' happening as she pulls a classic 'Le disco duck face') frugging away to some turgid instrumental disco track that even Mike Read would balk at for being too shit.

And he wrote the UKIP Calypso.

Luckily (for us) the whole ordeal is cut short when a drunken beardy man (who I was convinced was original Grizzly Adams star Dan Haggerty but was in fact Gene Edwards who played him in the 1990 remake/sequel) tries to molest Susan on the dance floor whilst Oliver is on the phone causing the couple to call it a night and head home.

Unfortunately the drunk bloke follows them but after a wee bit of shoving he wanders off to his car in order to drunkenly drive home, probably killing a few kids on the way.

But hey it's the 80s and no-one cared back then.

Suddenly and without warning - if you don't count the spooky score - Susan's eyes begin to glow green as she stares at the car for what seems like an eternity (thanks in part to the eye effect being animated over a still) before causing it to burst into flames, trapping and burning weirdy beardy to death inside.

"Eye hen!"

And from then on things go from bad to worse as poor Susan experiences angry mood swings and night sweats before turning into a full-blown psycho when she starts offering Ben the sleazy gardener (council estate David Hess, Sherbanee, who's probably been in other stuff but I can't be bothered checking) fresh cups of coffee whilst stroking her breasts then having sex with him in the garage and finally murdering the poor sod (to death) with a garden fork.

Aunt Cora is next on the death wish list, slashed to death whilst being levitated over the staircase after popping round with a cake.

Luckily no-one seems to notice until Oliver wakes up one night to find Susan sitting in a chair spouting gibberish and sporting a pair of comedy horns on her now donkey like head.

Terrified he runs down stairs and quickly calls their old friend and family psychiatrist Dr. Simon Andrews (Burton from Simon, King of the Witches which scarily is actually sitting on my desk as I type this) to ask for help.

It seems that Susan had a few mental health issues as a child due to her dad dying whilst trying to exorcise the demon that had possessed her mother.

Turns out that according to family legend a demonic curse has been passed down the female line of the Nomed family ever since some bizarre incident involving a crown of thorns (what? another one? - maybe this is important) and a sausage roll way back in 1692.

Anyway with all this demonic possession shite going around and with the movie hitting the halfway point it's time for a wee bit of comic relief so enter (roughly behind the bins) the Farrell's cleaner cum housemaid Elsie (Sanford and Son's Page who bizarrely enough at the start of her career, while performing as a burlesque style stripper in Missouri, was billed as "The Bronze Goddess of Fire" because she could light cigarettes with her fingertips*) who - in either a piece of post-modern comedy genius or ill advised racial stereotyping spends her time rolling her eyes whilst shouting out stuff like:

"There's some strange shit goin' on in this house!"
"No more grievin'. I'm leavin'!"

And the classic

"Great googily moogily!"

Whilst running about in high-speed effects whilst comedy 'wah wah' music plays in the background.

I'll not comment.


With time - and anything remotely resembling logic - running out, Andrews contacts an old friend and colleague of his, the boyishly barnetted Dr. Roni Logan (Mann) for help.

Which is lucky cos she knows loads about demons and the like.

Bizarrely all she does is rereads the family diary as it turns out that the way to kill the demon and Save Susan is actually written in it.

In English and everything.

Yup it appears that the pesky crown of thorns from earlier is important to the plot and all Adams has to do is place it on Susan's head whilst she's not looking.

This will in turn force the demon back to it's tomb giving our heroes time to then place it on the tomb itself locking the creature inside.


Andrews probably skipped that bit but makes amends by phoning Oliver to warn him that when he returns home from work not under any circumstances to have sex with his wife in the bathroom as her breasts may grow teeth and bite him to death.

Which is fair enough.

"Are you the farmer?"

Meanwhile back at the house an Hispanic bloke (Malave who scarily actually had an acting career of sorts, appearing in everything from A Force of One alongside Chuck Norris to multiple roles in the Barney Miller TV show and starring alongside the 'statuesque' Dona Speir in Fit To Kill) is delivering plants and the like to Susan.

But that's not the only thing he wants to fertilize and he's soon in the kitchen phoning his boss to say he'll be late back to the garden centre as Susan seductively flashes her ample breasts at him.

Don't worry tho' as there's no time for any more uncomfortable sex scenes as Susan has t go shopping for some shit occult based art before the movies climax so she quickly makes the guys head melt before going heading to the mall.

No really.

She actually goes shopping and steals some sub Boris Vallejo fantasy art** - she also kills a bald man by dropping him on a spiky sculpture that just happens to be sitting conveniently  on a picnic table before heading home for a well deserved bubble bath.

It's interesting to note that the mentalism and murders isn't the thing that sends Oliver over the edge but the crap art scattered around the house so to prove his manliness he storms into the bathroom to confront his wife.

"Spice Girls number one for Christmas...MONSTA!"

His anger soon subsides tho' as Susan steps out of the bath and into his arms but as the pair embrace Susan begins to change.

It seems that the demon is aware that Andrews is attempting to steal the crown of thorns from the mausoleum at end its reign of terror.

 Will Andrews succeed?

Will Oliver get eaten by the terrifying tittie teeth?

Will Susan actually put some proper clothes on?

At the height of the 80s low budget horror resurgence film maker Michael Dugan (director of the classic Raging Hormones and currently making Youtube shorts and something called Chubby Chasers - go figure) decided what the world needed was a new scream queen to rival the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne King and Linnea Quigley so to that end decided to unleash the 'buxom and beautiful blonde actress' (according to IMDB) Bobbie Bresee upon the world in his second feature - after the 1976 family comedy Super Seal - Mausoleum.

Now don't all thank him at once.

A living embodiment of everything terrifying about the 80s - big boobs an even bigger blonde barnet and teeth so white they could blind you, Bresee is the main focus of the movie and Dugan structures the whole endeavor to showcase her talents as she runs the emotional gamut from happy to sad to sexy via sleepy and maybe bashful and it's her powerhouse performance that makes the movie so compelling.

Only joking.

He cast her cos she didn't mind getting her kit off.

But she's not the only one.

If there's a chance that a character can appear topless Dugan grabs it - from 'star' Marjoe Gortner pulling angry cum faces on a faux fur rug to the mightily manbreasted Norman Burton seductively taking a phone call in his bed, we're not even spared the sight of Maurice Sherbanee's sweaty pot belly being on show as he wanders around with the bottom of his shirt unbuttoned rubbing it seductively as he lusts after Bresee.

None of this nudity would be that bad tho' if any of the cast actually looked happy doing it but as it stands they all just appear nervous and wishing they were anywhere else but there.

I just sat watching hoping and praying that the director would realise that if the actors look uncomfortable pretending to have sex or being naked then maybe he'd see that we the viewer will feel uncomfortable watching.

Poor sods.

Except Sherbanee obviously - he seemed to be reveling in his new found freedom.

Creepy bastard.

"Shite in mah mooth!"

This isn't helped by the cast actually coming across as quite likeable - Gortner is his usual inoffensive self whilst Burton and the rest appear to be enjoying themselves (mostly) and Bresee comes across as a likeable enough person out of her depth both onscreen and off which means at time rather than reeling in terror at the horrors onscreen you're cringing like a parent watching your offspring mess up their lines in the school nativity.

Hopefully not whilst naked tho.

Its saving grace tho' is the fantastic make-up FX work from the late great  John Carl Buechler whose career spanned Friday 13th Part VII to Hatchet and everything in between - the gore effects (especially the head explosion and melting man) are top notch and it still gives me a warm feeling to see a full prosthetic bodysuit on screen even if at times it looks more Space Precinct than Pazuzu.

Fairly mad, sometimes bad - frustratingly so at times - Mausoleum is a harmless and fairly pain free way to spend an evening provided you have enough beer and crisps at hand plus for anyone who's ever wonder what a school disco would look like if lit by Mario Bava then the possession scenes will answer that question for you.

And there isn't much higher recommendation than that.

* She also swallowed fire and touched flaming torches to her naked body during her act as well as appearing on Rupaul's Supermodel Of The World Album and playing Rupaul.s mum in the Back To My Roots video.

**Tho' let's be honest he did produce some utter wank this Star Wars inspired piece for example:

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