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Funeral Home (1980)

  Tags: 80's, Alfred Humphreys, Barry Morse, Dean Garbett, Funeral Home, Kay Hawtry, killer, Lesleh Donaldson, Mystery, Peggy Mahon, Stephen Miller, William Fruet

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William Fruet
92 minutes
Kay Hawtry, Lesleh Donaldson, Barry Morse, Dean Garbett, Stephen Miller, Alfred Humphreys, Peggy Mahon

This is the second film I've seen from director William Fruet, the first being the oddly-titled Blue Monkey, which I enjoyed to an extent. From the premise of this movie I expected a slasher, but instead, got some misplaced slow-paced mystery thriller. There's one killing about half way, then a few more towards the end to speed things up. The story revolves around a funeral home-turned bed and breakfast, where we follow a young woman who moves into the place to help her grandmother maintain things, but shortly after settling in guests start to either disappear or turn up dead. Who could be the killer? The fat old lady who whispers to herself late at night? Or maybe the mysterious caretaker with a seemingly dark agenda? Meh, who cares? I know I didn't.

As I said before, the film is pretty slow paced, and things didn't actually pick up until about an hour into it, when the killer starts getting desperate after people start poking around for answers about a few disappearances. The person doing most of that poking is a young officer who believes there's more to the story than what meets the surface, but his superiors seem to think otherwise. Either way, the bodies start piling up as more of the truth is revealed. This is one of those films where the most likely suspect ends up actually being the killer, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

There's a little blood, but no gore, and I can't say that I even remember seeing any nudity (rare in a film from this decade), so the only thing that would keep a viewer watching would have to be the engaging storyline, which this movie attempts to deliver by offering some kind of love-triangle mystery, but obviously fails due to the cheesy acting and uninteresting dialogue or characters for that matter. Not only that, but we're shown an ominous black cat that makes an appearance throughout the film for really no apparent reason. Was its presence really necessary other than to freak out the lead girl in the beginning and be-friend the office at the end?

The film has very little redeeming value -- there's no nudity, gore, offers very little deaths, and it's slow-paced for the first hour. However, for those looking for mystery-type horror films, this may be a little more up your ally. Not recommended.

Posted on October 11, 2011 - 6:01pm | FrighT MasteR