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Mausoleum (1983)

I guess it was inevitable that the word Mausoleum would be used for the title of a horror movie and while it is a genre offering for the fans, others might call it just that, a horror.

With a plot that’s all over the place, I’m glad to say we’re still treated to an exercise in 80’s low budget horror. This includes a cemetery, demonic possession, bare breasts, ghastly murders, sex, blood, bare breasts, Marjoe Gortner, bare breasts …. get the picture? Yes it’s a fun filled throwback to my teenage years of the VHS rental.

Our tale of terror kicks off with a young girl at the funeral for her Mother. She’ll soon find herself drawn to the Mausoleum standing at the center of the cemetery and her journey will take her down to the catacombs beneath. Shadows, smoke and voices soon follow with some poor sap wandering into the proceedings only to flee with his brain being fried from the inside out. Apparently our young gal has become the host to some sort of green eyed demon.

Flash forward ten years and that little gal is now the beautiful and busty Bobbie Bresee who is happily married to our leading man, Marjoe. Apparently Miss Bobbie has some psychological issues and is under the treatment of psychiatrist, Simon Andrews. Turns out there’s a curse on the women of the family that is about to rear it’s nasty self through Bobbie. Case in point, a rude S.O.B. on the dancefloor at a local nightclub that Bobbie and Marjoe frequent. Won’t be long before her eyes turn emerald green and this drunken thug is being fried to death in the front seat of his car.

This gruesome death proves to be the tip of the iceberg.

Now it’s time to introduce the gardener who takes care of all the shrubs and trees around the family home. It’s none other than the specially billed Maurice Sherbanee. Not sure why he’s specially billed as I’m not familiar with him either. On one hand he’s about to become a very “lucky” handyman while on the other he’s about to become a very dead one. Turns out this demon that has taken over Bobbie’s body ( … close to mine. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose ….. sorry couldn’t help myself)  As I was saying it turns out that this demon is a very sexual being and off comes Miss Bobbie’s top as she lures our very receptive gardener to the work shed for some carnal pleasures. Bad location for our specially billed gardener. A work shop has been known to have some claw shaped tools and that’s just what he’s going to get.

Hey, Marjoe just got back from a business trip so it’s time for more sex and bare breasts before Aunt Cora drops by just in time to feel the wrath of the demonic green eyed Bobbie. O.K. now that we’ve got that out of the way it’s time for more sex and bare breasts with hubby Marjoe who has to be wondering what’s brought that honeymoon feeling back to my stale marriage?

I got a good laugh moments later when the one and only Aunt Esther of Sanford and Son fame turned up. Yes LaWanda Page has a brief cameo giving us all a bit of comic relief as a cleaning woman. For those who may recall, her appearances opposite Redd Foxx on the famed sitcom were comedic gems.

Now back to our tale of terror and Miss Bobbie’s breasts. Yes it’s the delivery boys turn to sample the goods on demonic display while Marjoe is away at the Doc’s explaining that he needs some serious help in battling the demon that has taken over his lovely wife. But then that’s all forgotten when he gets home and she’s enjoying a relaxing bubble bath that looks so inviting.

If you want to know anything further about what happens in that bubble bath you’ll have to get yourself a copy of Mausoleum.

I’m quite sure that critics of the era probably trashed this lone film credit from the multi talented writer, producer and director of photography Robert Barich. A credit that was directed by Michael Dugan who would take a break from movie making himself for the next 16 years returning to the medium by writing, producing and directing the 1999 sure fire hit, Raging Hormones. Remember that one?

Coming off some television work, Mausoleum set Miss Bobbie on her career path of exploitation films. Titles that include Ghoulies, Surf Nazis Must Die and Evil Spawn. As for Marjoe Gortner, his career is one of legend. I’ve included the Wikipedia link to give you an overview of this actor who has appeared in films ranging from Earthquake and Food of the Gods to Viva Knievel and Wild Bill. A movie based on Marjoe’s life would surely offer a desirable role to one of today’s “A” list of actors.

So Mausoleum isn’t exactly a classic but I can’t deny it was a hoot. Between Miss Bobbie’s heaving Hammer worthy bosom and the appeal of another Marjoe Gortner performance,, this one’s worth a look for fans of 80’s drive-in features that made those early years of the VHS rentals so much fun when we’d snag three films for a weekend’s entertainment that had to be returned by 4 P.M. on Monday or you’d be subject to late charges. And don’t forget to rewind.

Looking to turn the clock back and get a look at Mausoleum? It’s available on blu ray from Vinegar Syndrome and while I don’t have that copy I do have it as a double feature with Blood Song on DVD. Now that I’ve finally taken a trip to the Mausoleum I guess it’s high time I see Frankie Avalon crooning out a … Blood Song?

3 Comments »

  1. Ha, that’s cool you have some of those Exploitation Cinema discs as well…I have eight on the Monolith, and twenty of the MGM Midnite Movie series. Sadly, however, I don’t have this one. It sounds like a classic, though…and though I’m not a fan of Marjoe Gortner, I could very quickly become a fan of Bobbie Bresee! And guess what I just found available on-line in glorious HD!

    • Yes I can see how might become a fan of Bobbie “Breastie” . Whacked out horror fun to be had here and some of those exploitation offerings can be fun, I just need the time to watch them all. Take a peek at Miss Bobbie’s appearance at Cannes in the see thru blouse if you’d care to goggle it. North American premiers and fests never quite attract the same clothing designers.

      • Ha, just checked it out…type ‘Bobbie Bresee Cannes’ and that’s all you’ll see! Funny, though, that one of the shots shows this kid right up there in front of the crowd…I guess nobody told him that Cannes was rated X.

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