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Film / Mortuary (1983)

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Mortuary (known internationally as Embalmed and Hall Of Death) is a Horror Movie by Howard Avedis.

Christie Parson (Mary Beth McDonough) is a teenage girl from her father's (Danny Rogers) recent death. It was ruled out as a drowning, but Christie is convinced he was murdered. With the help of her boyfriend, Greg (David Wysocki, billed as David Wallace), who discovered the local mortician Mr. Andrews (Christopher George) and Christie's mom, Eve Parson (Lynda Day George), holding a seance with a bunch of other women, Christie begins an investigation into what happened to her father.

The film was released March 18th, 1983.


Mortuary contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Paul's father is revealed to have locked him in the mortuary as a punishment for misbehaving.
  • An Axe to Grind: Christie uses an axe to kill Paul and save Greg.
  • Ax-Crazy: Paul, once he's revealed as the killer, starts acting much more erratic and murder-happy. While the weapon in question when Paul murders Mrs. Parsons with a mortician's trocar, with which he stabs the unfortunate woman repeatedly in her chest and abdomen isn't an axe, Paul certainly uses the thing with ample vicious insanity.
  • Batter Up!: At the start of the movie, Mr. Parson is attacked with a baseball bat and knocked into the pool by Paul.
  • Black Cloak: Mr. Andrews, the women he holds seances with, and the killer wear black cloaks.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The machinegun that Greg and Josh find in a coffin in the mortuary warehouse becomes significant later on when Greg grabs it and trains it on Paul.
    • Defied. The gun didn't have bullets in it.
  • Creepy Mortician: Paul, aka, the killer.
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  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted when Paul stabs Mrs. Parsons to death with a trocar - the instrument is shown being viciously and repeatedly thrust into her chest and abdomen, and a bit later when he stabs his own father to death, and, in a different context, when Mr. Andrews embalms the dead girl; he thrusts the trocar into the body's abdomen, which is pretty clearly shown, and the transparent hose fills up with her blood being drained from her corpse.
  • I Love the Dead: Paul, who works at his father Mr. Andrews' mortuary as an assistant, inappropriately shows off the body of a pretty dead girl he's embalming to Greg while making creepy remarks. Later on, Paul tries to embalm Christie with the intention of making her his necrophile bride.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Paul has the (surprisingly well-preserved) corpses of Mr. and Mrs. Parsons, Josh, and his own parents to his wedding to Christie, setting them down on chairs as witnesses.
  • Murderer P.O.V.: A couple of times in the movie, we see things from the killer's perspective, which is accompanied by deep breathing.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Paul has this reaction after stabbing and killing his father.
  • In the Back: Christie chops Paul in the back with an axe.
  • One-Word Title: Mortuary, obviously.
  • Spooky Séance: Christie and Greg catch Mr. Andrews and his female seance friends hosting a seance in the mortuary. They are trying to contact Mr. Parson.
  • White Mask of Doom: The killer's face is revealed to be a white latex face mask with black eyes and lips when Christie pulls it off, revealing that Paul is the killer.