17 October 2005 | vertigo_14
Another cult classic with Mary Woronov (spoilers).
Mary Woronov had (and probably not coincidentally) a habit of showing up in a number of strange b-grade (and sometimes lower) cult classics. Some good (Eating Raoul, Rock N' Roll High School), some so bad they're good (like Terror Vision), and some that were just out and out awful. Mortuary Academy is laden with obvious jokes and puns, mostly tasteless humor, and unfortunately was hard for me to wade through patiently until at least the last forty minutes or so. But understandably, this is the kind of material that makes a cult classic, appreciated by a few who find something pleasing enough about it to watch it ad nausea. I'm not quite sold on it as much, but I do like quirky films like these, and at least for this one, a horror comedy to some degree with emphasis on lame jokes and pure corniness (but certainly not in a family-movie kind of way).
Mortuary Academy is the story of two brothers who are written as the next-of-kin to inherit their late uncle's mortuary, but only on the condition that they pass Mortuary Academy in order, at least as their lawyer explained it, develop an appreciation for the craft of a business which they may soon be running themselves. Of course, they are imbibed in an odd selection of classmates (naturally) and rebuffed by the two current heads of the mortuary (Mary and Paul, not coincidentally played by Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel), who initially plot to keep the brothers Grimm (for real) from successfully completing the conditions of the will, sure that if they did, Mary and Paul would be no longer be in charge.
Regular fans of b-movie cult classics are advised to at least give this one a try. Besides b-movie cult regulars Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel look for Tracey Walter (of Repo Man fame) as Mortuary Academy's 80s variation on Dr. Frankenstien (which made for at least an more interesting ending to an otherwise relatively lukewarm movie overall).