Monday, January 18, 2016

Funeral Home, Don't Go into the Basement

"Don't go into the basement," is some sage advice that Mrs. Chalmers (Kay Hawtrey) gives her granddaughter, Heather (Lesleh Donaldson) in 1980's "Funeral Home." Filmed in Ontario, and hugely popular in Mexico (...hey, if David Hasselhoff can be big in Germany, Lesleh Donaldson and this film are allowed to be big south of the border) "Funeral Home" is a creepy slasher flick.  Made just before she did "Curtains," "Funeral Home" casts Mrs. Donaldson as a naive teen, put in much peril by the homicidal deeds occurring at her grandparents' funeral home...turned bed and breakfast.
After Mr. Chalmers has gone missing, Mrs. Chalmers has turned their funeral home into a quaint guest house.  Fortunately for Mrs. Chalmers, her granddaughter, Heather, has come to help her run the place over the summer.  What Heather does not know is that six guests have turned up missing. Each of the missing guests have put the house in some peril...including a developer who desires to move the house and adjacent cemetery to make room for a mall. Uh oh....mysterious noises and voices emanate from the cellar, and Chalmers warns Heather not to go down there.  Fortunately for Heather, she becomes sweet on Rick (Dean Garbett), a nice boy ( pre-marital sex).
As current guests go missing, Heather gets suspicious.  In one instance, Florie (Peggy Mahon) and Harry (Harvey Atkin), check into the inn in order to frolic with each other outside the marriage institution.  This of course spells their doom. Now the cops are revving up their investigations into the missing guests, and Mrs. Chalmers isn't exactly becoming forthcoming to their questions. As Heather begins snooping on her own, her boy toy, Rick, joins her.  Of course, the voices in the basement get more pronounced, and bodies begin to turn up ( room temperature).  Now Heather and Rick decide on the forbidden, and plot to enter the basement.
Directed by William Fruet, "Funeral Home" isn't the best slasher film to emerge from the 80s, but it is fun.  Lesleh Donaldson does a nice job as a good looking teen in much peril.  If the Christmas season has left you bored with it's over-rated new releases, try "Funeral Home" on YouTube.

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