Hollywood Mortuary (1998)
Director: Ron Ford
Randal Malone/Pierce Jackson Dawn
Tim Sullivan/Pratt Borokof
Ron Ford/Janos Blasko
This is the story of self obsessed film makeup genius Pierce Jackson Dawn (Randal Malone) who’s career goes dry when the horror genre dies down. To revive it he literally brings two horror screen legends back to life using Brazilian voodoo in order to put fear back in the press. He didn’t count on feuding horror stiffs Pratt Borokof (Sullivan) and Janos Blasko (Ford) to take their extra time on earth to go on a murderous spree, tearing limbs and ripping heads all over town. He just wanted to scare people a bit, put the macabre back in the people’s mind, instead he gets: Return of the living egocentric dead.
A well done mockumentary mixing color and black and white, filled with "interviews" framing the movie and telling the story. Some of the stars being interviewed are Oscar winning child star Margueret O’Brien, silent screen legend Anita Page and B movie director David DeCoteau, the man responsible for Sorority Babes In The Slime Bowl O Rama (great big tit fun). This film is an inventive, original creation with lots of heart and lots of laughs. Pratt Borokof and Janos Blasko are obvious Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi clones and their endless bantering could’ve been annoying in the hands of lesser actors, but here it’s funny, crude and you never get sick of it. Hearing Ford reprise famous Lugosi lines such as: "why have you disturbed my sleep" or a funny variation on "pull the strings" is a treat.
Because of this movie I have a new collection of obscenities to use in my daily life (you dick tasters), thanks guys. The movie moves at a decent pace helped by Randall Malone’s odd performance, the man carries the movie on his back and I had a blast watching him speak to his reflection in the mirror "Stuart Smiley" style. Add some over the top gore, funny dialogue, a solid story and you’ve got a horror film made by someone who obviously loves the genre. Believe or not dudes that makes a difference. Ron Ford wrote, directed and stars in this film. This one was not made for the bucks, it was made out of love and you feel it coming out of your TV screen. Originality is not dead.
Plenty. Arms torn off, snapped necks, head ripped off. My favorite being the "pen in the eye" scene. My least favorite being the girl getting emptied of her guts (very fake looking). The gore is over the top and fits the comical, surreal feel of the film.
Randal Malone (Dawn) is a big part of the movie. Lucky for us he’s a talented actor. He plays the prima donna effect artist with egocentric glee and very big theatrical movements. He’s unsympathetic and at times downright hilarious. Tim Sullivan (Borokof) and Ron Ford (Janos Blasko) have great chemistry together and that’s important, without it, it wouldn’t have worked as well. They also come up with beautiful swear words/insult that this reviewer had never heard before…I guess it’s an L.A. thang.
I also want to give kudos to that dude that plays the studio mogul "Shine". His cigar chomping performance tickled my funny bone and was very entertaining.
T & A
It’s not a Sunday without the cherry. We get a wondrous pair of melons courtesy of a snake charming gypsy. Thank you.
The interviews add a sense of "reality" to the film amidst the dreamy B&W scenes. I like that most of the gore scenes go quickly to color before going back to B&W for the aftermath, nice touch. The film is mostly filmed straight, documentary style but Ford gives us the occasional stylish shot, one of my favorite involving a black cat. I must say that I’m not a fan of the middle screen separations which I notice is getting more and more common in low budget flicks. (does it come with the camera?)
Although the score jumps in the movie awkwardly at times, it succeeds in complementing the film’s different levels.
What makes a good movie: First a good script, then good actors and then a good director. This movie succeeds on most front. Yes I know that apart from the 3 main actors most of the other thespians are amateurs who got the night off from their waiter gigs, yes I know that some of the locations are badly chosen (the diner scene is obviously some dudes basement) but those faults don’t succeed in drowning the film. This film works on many levels: It’s a comedy, a zombie flick, a look at old Hollywood and a fake documentary. Having said that, this film is not for everyone. The close minded "Scream" crowd won’t like it because of it’s low budget and offbeat mood. But the more die hard fans, the one that also dig the old stuff (original Dracula, Frankenstein) will surely get a kick out of it. I know I did. Broaden your mind and enter the Hollywood Mortuary.
Hollywood Mortuary was shot in two stages. At first it was a short for the "Creature Realm" show. But Ford loved the story so much that he wrote in some new scenes and a year and a half later he made it into a feature.
For the very observant, notice that some of the actors gained some weight over that year in a half and that Malone’s hair is sometime shorter.
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