Well it’s that magical time again friends. Sitting in the late night hours with drink in hand and needing to talk about movies. On this evening’s edition of going back to the past I would like to share my drunken thoughts on the 1983 film Mausoleum which recently got a beautiful reissue on Blu Ray thanks to our good friends at Vinegar Syndrome. So let’s dive into this little gem with bizarre moments directed by one Michale Dugan.
Our story begins with a young girl named Susan who along with her Aunt Cora is at the funeral of her mother who has died very young under some bizarre circumstances. Bummer indeed. Now young Susan is told she will be living with her Aunt until she’s old enough to inherate the estate of her parents. Yup, dad is dead too. Double bummer. Anyways young Susan is not digging Cora’s plan and has a freak out and runs through the cemetery as a storm is coming in . Now I have to mention that when I say rainy storm I mean someone has a rain machine going in the forground of the scene. Suddenly Susan has a vision of a burning mausoleum. Eat your heart out ILM. These effects are top notch indeed. Moving on…she enters the creepy burial tomb as a voice calls to her. Once inside the atmosphere is all trippy green, red, and blue and she stands infront of tomb covered in rats. Lots of rats. Something is awakened inside and just when she is about to go look a man comes from the behind with the “Hey Kid! What are you doing in here?!” line. Judging by her new looking green glowing eyes that was a mistake.
You see, some weird evil demonic shit is passed into him from her and his head starts to hurt…badly. Now I figured once he left the mauloseum he would feel better. I was sadly mistaken. The only thing that got better was the weather because suddenly it was sunny outside again. Anyways, he holds his head with great pain until…BANG….the top of it explodes like having a gun unloaded below your chin. He falls dead and thus the movie has begun. I wanna just say the FX for that scene were sweet and the great JOHN CARL BUECHLER was the man in charge of the gooey stuff for this film.
Now it’s years later and young Susan is all grown up to a 30 year old beauty played by Bobbie Bresee who is great in this role at being disturbed and seductively sexy as hell in that 1983 kind of way. Also has to mentioned she played the “temptress” in Ghoulies a couple years later who had the wicked tongue come flying out to fuck over a young horny man. The more you know my friends.
So things look good for Susan from a materialistic point of view. Her place is huge. She has hired help, huge property, and a husband, Oliver, that seems to love her and you know he’s a success because he’s never around enough due him always having to get papers signed, business meetings, etc. But hey, their house is huge so I think Susan understands. But all is not right in the world. Susan still has nightmares and visions from the “Mausoleum” and when she goes to visit her mother’s grave every year she feels the need to enter it once again.
Now Oliver might not think much his wife’s behaviour because I’m guessing Susan never filled him on the details on her past and her parents. But good old Aunt Cora is super concerned. I’m guessing she might have noticed the guy with the hole in his head that day at the cemetery all those years ago but it’s never really made clear. Anyways like any good rich husband who is never around but wants to support his wife’s issues he has hired a great shrink for sessions named Dr. Andrew Simons. We find Cora talking with the good Doc about Susan. You see Cora is convinced Susan’s odd dreams are from their family’s past and it deals with, get this, the demonic supernatural. A family curse from the NEMOD clan. Cora tries to convince the doctor by giving him the family’s ancient diary that goes back to the 16th century. Ofcourse he feels that’s all bullshit and knows better. Can’t blame him really, old Aunt Cora does come off a bit pushy during this exchange. Still he humours her and takes the diary promising to read it at a later date. I wonder if that will come in handy down the road? Hmm…
Meanwhile back at the mansion, I mean, very relatable household that we can all see ourselves living in, it seems the local grounds keeper Ben enjoys looking at Susan. A lot. He’s always looking for excuses to creep up on her asking for coffee when he should be gardening. Usually he does this when Oliver is gone to work. We’ll get back to Ben shortly.
In a rare turn of events Oliver finally has time to hang with his wife and they decide to go dnacing at the club. Sadly the date ends quickly when Oliver is called into work from the club. Crazy, no cellphones back then yet his work still tracks him down. Anyways, during his phone call some drunk Grizzly Adams looking son of bitch tries to put the moves on Susan. She tells him to get lost and Oliver and her leave to get their car. The drunk stumbles outside and bumps into them like the prick he is. Oliver steps up to defend his wife but the bearded douche is just too sloppy drunk to bother. We follow him get into his car and try to start it in the parking lot. Now this is where Susan’s powers and emotion get the better of her. She literally causes the drunk’s car to catch fire, his doors to stay locked, and ultimately the vechile to explode into a fireball infront of their eyes. Good thing Oliver never noticed her green eyes during this. But we did.
Now the next day as Oliver is once again working Susan is changing her vibes. As peeping tom Ben is actually trying to do work for once Susan is looking seductive as hell and literally lures him away from work into the garage to get frisky. Now this is odd because the day earlier you could see she was repulsed and creeped right out by Ben. But hey, that was Monday. Now it’s Tuesday. People change. Or do they…
After they have done the forbidden dance old Ben is looking and hoping for round 2 but with green eyes taking over once again we see Ben’s expression of horror looking down at Susan in bed and next thing you know a demonic claw is gouging his face.
As time goes one I think Oliver askes once where is Ben is. Susan gives him an excuse and he’s satisfied. Again, Oliver is never home so why wouldn’t he believe her? Anyways, while this is all happening we go back to Dr. Simon who has been reading the family diary and discovers a curse going back centuries to the female members of the clan. It seems according to this written literature the cause of Susan’s mom’s death was a the curse of Nomed. Yes, spelled backwards it’s demon. You think the writers might have tried harder on this one. Oh well. Now he’s still not a true believer but he figures to get to the bottom of this maybe some hypnotic therapy might open a door.
Another day, another Oliver has no time to deal with his troubled wife at home so he tells the maid Elsie to keep an eye on her. Well, god bless Elsie, because like any smart person would do she walks upstairs to check in on Susan and sees strange lights and smoke coming out of her bedroom, takes one quick look inside, and basically says “fuck this” and gets the hell out of dodge never to be seem again. Fuck yes Elsie, Fuck yes and well done.
Later that day Susan again is looking all seductive as a delivery man shows up with flowers. She tells him these are not hers and there has been a mistake while slowly opening her robe and gently touching her breasts. She insists the young man comes in and calls his boss from her phone to talk about the mistaken delivery. Now we have all seen enough old school porno set ups to know where this might lead, especially the young delivery boy, but unfortunately for him he does not know he’s in an early 80s horror film and we have not had a good gore gag in 10-13 minutes. So….
Poor delivery dude. As he is actually on the phone with his boss Susan uses the powers of green eyes and causes half of his face to melt off including his eyeball sticking to the palm of his hand. Poor bastard. He just wanted to bring flowers…and maybe sleep with Oliver’s wife.
Next up Aunt Cora. She comes over to the house to bring some documents for Susan to sign. Honestly I can’t remember what it was all about. I think I was refilling my drink at the time. Anyways, she gets to the top floor where Susan is in her room and Cora sees first hand the transformation physically that is happening to Susan. Freaking out naturally Cora tries to escape but the supernatural evil has her. It raises her off the ground and literally begins tearing her in half in midair before dropping her body the twenty feet down below to the floor. Pretty creative death I have to say.
The events are odd in this movie because we can go from carnage from Susan and Oliver’s place to now seeing her with Dr. Simon about to get hypnotic therapy. Anyways, I’m sure she hid all the bodies somewhere before Oliver could find them. So while under the influence of the good doctor’s treatment Susan is now the demon that possesses her and right infront of the Doctor’s eyes hits him with green eyes and facial transformation. Hey Doc, I’m guessing you’re a believer now. But he’s smart in waking her up from the trance and making sure Susan has no recollection of what happened. No, the Doc is gonna need some advice from a trusted friend first before telling Oliver his wife might be possessed by an ancient demon. Smart.
So now shit just keeps getting more strange. Susan is in an art gallery in some mall and is obessed with getting this twisted demonic painting. The dealer tells her “I’m sorry it’s already been bought” but we know that won’t fly with our demon friend. No, Susan literally steals it and begins to run down the mall with it. The dealer follows yelling at the top of his lungs for her to stop. Big mistake. With one turn of her head and green eye power she lifts this poor son of bitch off the ground and over the railing from the second floor of the mall. And sadly for him drops the guy on a piece of strange shopping mall art below that kills him.
Meanwhile Doc Simon meets up with his trusted friend Dr. Roni Logan and explains what he saw. She is a woman of science but more open to the supernatural and basically tells Simon to man, study the ancient family diary, and do the thing that has to be done to kill the demon and save Susan before it’s too late and more people die. Also it is made clear that Susan’s father actually died by trying to save his wife. Shit, this family is really cursed. Anyways, atleast Oliver is still around.
So we are back to the house of Susan and Oliver. He is weirded out by the damn painting in their living room but whatever, Susuan is is having a bath and looking frisky so they start getting it on. Oliver, like most husbands I’m guessing, is not even gonna question the complete change in character of his wife when it involves her being horny 24/7 lately. They start getting on as she is covered in soapy suds and BANG! Things go bad for poor Oliver.
You see while they are in full embrace she turns full monster and her breasts become two monster heads that chew through his chest and rip out his heart. Bravo movie, bravo!
Oliver, we hardly knew you, working all the time and stuff. Oh well. At this point Doc Simon shows up wearing his trusty trenchcoat and reminding us of another determined man of science ready to put his life on line to stop the uncontrolable evil.
The Doc has come prepared though. Before he hit the house to face Susan he took a pitstop at the Mausoleum to grab the sacred crown of thorns that has guarded the doors of the mausoleum for years to kill evil. Shit, I forgot to mention that plot point earlier. Oh well, it’s 3:45am and I’m still drinking. Anyways, he finds Susan or a version of Susan in a hidden room in the attic. It turns out it’s her room when she lived as a child when her parents were still alive. In the room the Doc sees her as a child once again along with all the previous victims’ bodies laying around. So that’s where they went! Anyways, he puts the crown on her head and the demon and herself split into two. This sends the demon running out of the house leaving Doc Simon and a confused Susan alone. But there is still one thing left to do to stop the evil once and for all.
Our heros get back to Mausoleum and enter it with crown in hand and as they make way to the main room with the tomb they see the demon struggling and place the crown of thorns back on it’s head forcing it inside the concrete tomb with the rats and sealing it once and for all.
Now I have to bring up the very end. Doc Simon and Susan leave the building as the daylight is once again upon us. Looking back at the final resting place of the demon they begin to leave the cemetery probably thinking how the hell are we gonna explain all the people killed on Susan’s property during all this. I mean, you gotta think she is gonna be serving some hard time over this shit. Well, maybe the Doc will use his scientific mojo and convince the law it really was a demon and supernatural evil. Ya, I’m sure it will be fine for everyone. But in one of the more bizarre twists that felt tacked on at the end a mysterious robed man is seen sitting outside of the mausoleum on a tombstone. Doc Simon goes up to him and makes him swear the same oath his family from past generations swore. And that is to be the responsible guard of the tomb and never let anyone set foot inside. Really? How did the Doc know about this stuff? Was it in that diary? Maybe? Where the fuck was the previous dude when young child version of Susan just walked in at the beginning of the movie? Anyways, that’s not even the twist I was talking about. When the face of of the so called guardian is shown to us I lierally was like “WTF?”
That’s right. It’s Grounds Keeper Ben! Wait? What! That makes no sense at all. Like in any way what so ever. I literally went outside for a smoke after starring at the stars like someone trying to find the meaning of life or is there a god? But no, all I wanted to know was why the hell was Ben the Gardener now part of this line of gatekeepers in the cemetery. Ugh. My brain hurts. Anyways, that’s the movie.
Regardless of the silly ass ending I had a fun time with this beauty. You want gore? You got it. Demon shit. You got it. Bobbi Bresee half naked most of the movie. You got it. Logic thrown out the window every ten minutes or so. You got it. And that’s why this movie works. For all the imperfections this is reason enough to give it a watch and appreciate a more fun innocent time of making genre flicks. Now since they are running out of titles I’m curious when we get the announcement that Blumhouse will be remaking this soon enough. Anyways, thanks as always for reading the ramblings of a guy who likes to write about silly shit so the world doesn’t seem so serious and messed up all the time. See you at the videostore down the road. Cheers!