Review

  • A film like this puts everything in perspective. Allow me to elaborate.

    Plaintiff's Exhibit A: Consider, if you will, films like "The Children" (kids on a school-bus ride through a radioactive cloud, become zombies, and hug their parents to death), or "The Dark" (William Devane and Cathy Lee Crosby circle Los Angeles trying to find a monster who can't decide if he's a mentally retarded caveman or an alien from outer space). Before watching "Mausoleum," I always considered these flicks to be kitschy, low budget, suitable time wasters. However after watching "Mausoleum," I can confidently say films like "The Children" and "The Dark" are top-notch, creative, creepy, mind-blowing classics.

    That's an indirect way of letting you know that "Mausoleum" is dreck. Junk, plain and simple. I'm a forgiving soul when it comes to horror movies of all kinds (revisit Exhibit A if you have any doubts)—I'll give just about any "filmic art" the time of day. But 25 minutes into this empty "Mausoleum," and my attention was already wandering to the fridge. FLAT is probably the best descriptive adjective. The characters, the cinematography, the plot, the setting, the music—the whole package is as flat as an 80s pancake. Even the "Oogily Googily!" mutterings of LaWanda Page as the black maid who "exits stage left" in a "comedy" moment when things turn ugly—even that is FLAT. It's not funny or entertaining; Page's portrayal and delivery is so flat, it's not even a racial stereotype. Even Bobbie Bresee's "demon breasts" that come alive and chew through Marjoe Gortner during a sexy embrace are FLAT.

    Well, her breasts aren't flat by any means, but the drooling Muppet-like toothy puppets that her breasts become—the whole thing is inexcusably dumb. And worse, even forgiving the limitations of 80s technology, her puppet boobs look dumb.

    Word to the wise: Skip it. You won't be missing a thing.

    Defense Exhibit B: Allow me to offer one counterargument. There's a potentially revelatory moment in the film that almost makes it rise to the level of "worth mentioning"—-not "worth watching," but worth mentioning. At the end of the film, as Psychologist Simon and Protag Bobbie stumble out of the titular mausoleum having apparently defeated the evil, Simon turns to a mysteriously hooded grounds-keeper sitting near the gate and says: "You've known about this your whole life and have lived with the secret. For God's sake, don't ever let anyone enter the mausoleum!" As the two speed away, the camera centers on the grounds-keeper who is cutting some flowers. He looks directly at the camera and begins to cackle and cackle and CACKLE and CACKLE and---suddenly, just before the end crawl started, just for one freaking microsecond, I could've sworn this dude was LAUGHING AT ME for having just whittled away an hour and half of my life watching this dreck. I even rewound it and watched again, trying desperately to infer the intentions of the actor, the director, the cameraman. Was that their intention? WAS I BEING LAUGHED AT? If true, this might very well be the coolest horror flick on the planet. Even if it were an accident, that kind of self-referential humor (pointed keenly at the audience) is a mark of genius—a genius I only wish the rest of the film bore out. But ultimately it doesn't.

    Anyway, just one last gem of dialog before I go (and I won't make any inappropriate "fish" jokes here—I'll leave that up to you):

    Oliver (husband): "What's for dinner?"

    Susan (wife): "Poached Salmon...and me."