Tag Line: They were warned… they were all warned… don’t go down to the cellar.
Release Date: 1980.
Director: William Fruet.
Producers: Barry Allen, William Fruet.
Screenplay: Ida Nelson.
Cast: Lesleh Donaldson, Kay Hawtrey.
Running Time: 93 minutes.
How this Canadian no (low) budget movie was nominated for three Genie Awards is a mystery not even Veronica Mars could solve. When the core plot is lifted from a celebrated horror masterpiece you probably should have stopped before you even started.
Funeral Home is a showcase for an assortment of stalwart 1970’s Canadian actors who starred in Anne of Green Gables, The Beachcombers, Starlost, Leon’s commericals or some combination thereof. You would recognize their faces but you wouldn’t be able to place them even if your life depended on it.
The annoyingly cheerful Heather (Lesleh Donaldson), who probably cries rainbows, lends her grandma (Kay Hawtrey as Maude Chalmers) a hand at turning the rural family funeral home into a bed and breakfast. You have your usual dopey hillbilly characters such as the dim-witted farmer, the nosey busybody, the simple farmhand and the Mayberry police force who couldn’t find hay in a haystack.
The business literally starts to bleed out when the guests start checking out of this lifetime. They are slain by a mysterious killer who grunts and groans more than a porn star. Don’t get too excited. Two of the victims are killed when their car is pushed off a cliff Wile E. Coyote style and the rest of the meagre kills are as tame as a stuffed tiger.
About the only thing that’s truly creepy about Funeral Home is the black cat that follows Heather around throughout this entire cornball catastrophe. The feline stalker has more screen presence than the entire cast combined, including the herd of cows. Now that’s deserving of a Genie not this horse manure.
A car is pushed off a cliff killing two people.
Death by shovel.
A victim is stabbed to death with a mortician’s electric aspirator, the electrical suction device used to remove liquid from dead bodies.
Heather for saying to Grandma: “You and me are going to make a million dollars this summer!”
Rick Yates for saying to his cop brother Joe: “Wait until mom hears about THIS….Joey!”
Joe Yates and his pick-up line: “You want to pick up some furniture with me this evening? I will take you out for a hamburger afterwards.”
Pints of Blood