It’s Terrifying Tuesday again, and have I got one for you folks out there. It’s the sweet story of an orphaned girl who grows up to have everything a girl could ask for. She has a fine house, a loving husband, and her boobs occasionally turn into flesh eating demons. So maybe it’s not the perfect life, but it might have been a lot closer if only she could have kept herself out of the….
Mausoleum (1983) starring Bobbie Bresee, Marjoe Gortner, Norman Burton and LaWanda Page. Directed by Micheal Dugan.
When Susan was just a young girl of 10, her mother died and left her in the care of her stern Aunt Cora. Little did Susan know that her Aunt was overprotective due to a family curse that left the girl open to demonic possession. All should be well though as long as the girl says out of the family mausoleum. Naturally when young Susan got away from her Aunt at her mother’s funeral she headed straight for it.
Now 30, Susan (Bresee) lives an idyllic life with her lawyer husband Oliver (Gortner). She has been under the care of a psychologist, Simon (Burton ) ever since she was a girl, but he never noticed anything amiss. Yet something takes a hold of Susan and soon with her eyes glowing green her demon side begins to show though. She causes a man to burn to death in his car after he insults her, kills her gardener and her Aunt, and even runs off her maid (Page). Soon Simon and Oliver learn of the curse, but can they stop the demonic force before it consumes Susan.
–Marjoe Gortner was one the world’s youngest evangelists getting his start when he was only 4 years old. In 1972 he was the subject of the documentary Marjoe where he detailed the tricks of the trade and his opinion that religion was nothing more than business. Gortner would have a movie career in films such as The Food of the Gods, Starcrash, and American Ninja 3.
–Director Micheal Dugan only has two other credits to his name 1976’s Super Seal and 1999’s Raging Hormones.
–The special effects were handled by John Carl Buechler who worked on many films including the recent Hatchet. He is also the writer/ director responsible for the movie Troll.
–The soundtrack is provided by Jamie Mandoza- Nava who also scored Equinox, The Town that Dreaded Sundown, and Vampire Hookers (1978)
The Bug Speaks
When you get down to brass tacks, this movie is terrible, but there is some kind of charm to it’s terribleness that makes it an intriguing film. It has everything working against it. The acting is poor, the direction practically non-existent, and a story obviously meant to cash in on the Exorcist even though that film was 10 years earlier. I suppose it gets into the cliched “so bad it’s good” roster of films.
Bobbie Bresee is a terrible actress. From the get go she it completely unconvincing as a normal woman much less a demonically possessed one. Sure I’ll give her credit for delivering some of the film’s worst lines with a straight face (i.e. Oliver: What’s for dinner? Susan: Poached Salmon…. and me.) So I’m sure a bad script doesn’t help her case any, but Marjoe Gortner actually manages to be entertaining each time he appears as the bewildered husband. By the time he (Spoiler Alert) gets his chest gnawed off by Susan’s boobs turned little demons, you actually hate to see him go. Speaking of going, perhaps the only character with any sense is LaWanda Page’s maid. Saddled with some of the worst lines in film history since Stepin Fetchit, she does sum up what the audience must be thinking when she intones, “Enough grieving, I’m leaving.” I’m sure more than one viewer of this film took that as good advice.
I don’t even need to expound of Micheal Dugan’s direction. There was nothing special to be seen in any of his work. It comes as no surprise that his films seem to have long breaks between them. Some of the special effects do come off nicely, but I do mean some. Susan’s glowing green eyes look endlessly cheesy, and the demon boobs are worthy of a laugh. However a couple of the gorier parts do have a good look to them and you can see why Buechler continues to get work in the business.
The whole film struck me as something that had a very European feel to the script. It’s too bad this film did not end up in the hands of someone like Lamberto Bava or the like. With a proper atmosphere and a more competent cast and director the ideas behind the film could have been well executed. As it is, the film is a mess of epic proportions. Yet it is still one of those films which would be just perfect to put on if you had a group of people over. It begs to be made fun of, and with a group of friends and a few drinks it could be very fun indeed. However I don’t recommend watching it alone or you’ll probably just feel like taking up LaWanda’s advice.