A severely confused young woman named Lindsay (Lisa Wilcox) gets her kicks by running around town and sitting in on funerals of complete strangers and landing smooches on the lucky stiff corpses. When a shady mortician notices her at one too many funerals planting her lips on dead folk, he decides to invite her into his exclusive club of corpse fucking cultists. Lindsay struggles to resist her ungodly urges and tries to settle down with a handsome young artist (Lyle Waggoner of Wonder Woman fame), but since he’s not a cadaver, she finds it a little hard to get in the mood. She inevitably finds herself slowly drawn back into the cult’s clutches and when her devoted hubby tries to stop her from getting busy with a dead dude, he’s killed by the mortician. On the plus side though, he sorta makes Lindsay hot in the pants now that he’s dead.
Love Me Deadly takes a far out premise and makes it wholly plausible thanks to some sharp direction and convincing performances. It’s definitely the most sensitive portrayal of necrophilia I’ve ever seen. Wilcox is quite good at playing the more morbid aspects of her character and makes her unnatural attraction to the deceased completely believable. Waggoner is equally impressive as the put upon hubby who tries in vain to understand his wife’s necrophiliac desires while simultaneously trying to deal with an extreme case of blue balls. Christopher (The Howling) Stone is also effective in his smallish role as Lindsay’s jealous jilted ex.
This was writer/director Jacques Lacerte’s only film and it’s a good thing that he stopped while he was ahead because this one would’ve been pretty hard to top in the creepy department. Although he let the scenes of Lindsay’s crumbling marriage play out a little too long for my taste, I have to admit that the man knows how to make his audience queasy. What’s striking about Lacerte is that he doesn’t rely on any jump scare tactics; rather he lets the atmosphere and admittedly unnerving subject matter do all the work.
There was one scene that freaked me out in particular. It was when the weirdo mortician picked up a gay street hustler, took him back to his mortuary, made him strip down, tied him up and embalmed him… WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE! Scary stuff. The scenes where Lindsay was scouting out funerals had a nice black comic feel and made me wonder if maybe Chuck Palahniuk had seen this.
Part Douglas Sirk melodrama, part necrophiliac’s wet dream, Love Me Deadly will certainly fit the bill for any horror movie fan who thinks they’ve seen it all. Don’t worry if things get a little draggy about ¾ of the way in. Stick with the film and you will be rewarded with a memorably macabre little chiller.
AKA: Secrets of the Death Room.