Okay, first off this is NOT a remake of the 80’s classic, Mortuary where a young Bill Paxton rammed embalming needles through the chests of young girls. This is a new flick by Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hooper and it stars Denise (Pet Sematary) Crosby as a widowed mother who moves her two kids to a decrepit mortuary so she can make a fresh start and earn a living by embalming dead bodies. One day she accidentally cuts herself and when her blood hits the floor, it unleashes a bunch of slimy black pipe cleaners. Whenever that stuff gets inside a dead body, it re-animates the stiff and turns it into a zombie. To make matters worse, there’s also a deformed psycho named Bobby living on the grounds and whenever a bunch of stupid big breasted teenagers mess around in one of the tombs, Bobby pops out to turn them into lunchmeat. Since the tomb contains a bunch of that scummy pipe cleaner stuff, it brings the dead teeners back to life as half assed mixed-up zombies that vomit black lung butter in people’s faces. Crosby gets a mouthful of the black puke and pretty soon she turns into a deranged zombie too. The kids learn that salt is the only way to kill the zombies, so they go around salting zombies as if they were soft dough pretzels.
Post 1986 Tobe Hooper has never been known to make movies that make a whole lot of sense and this flick is no exception. It’s not up to the standard Hoop set in the 70’s but it’s slightly better than most of the crap he’s been churning out recently like The Toolbox Murders remake (which was also written by the same people). The highlight is a creepy dinner table scene where Crosby goes bat shit insane and tries to make her kids eat a bowlful of pipe cleaner stew. It’s not a hair on the ball sac of Tobe’s ultimate dinner table scene from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it’s the best thing this flick has going for it.
The effects on the zombies are pretty decent, but the CGI is weak as all get out. Not only does the pipe cleaner look like a coked out Etch-A-Sketch, but there’s one hand through the heart effect that looks incredibly fake. The movie runs a little slow, but things pick up at about the three quarter mark when the kids get chased by not only the zombies, but also Bobby the psycho AND their schizoid mom as well.
Crosby is funny as the hapless mortician (imagine if Martha Stewart was an embalmer) and is especially great at playing a zany zombie. (Though she looked pretty nutty to me from the get-go, seeing how she packed her embalming equipment in with her silverware.) She also gets the movie’s best lines like “We’re in business! Two bodies came in!” and “It’s my first embalming, I’m just a little excited!”