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2016 Movie Mortuary Massacre: Oh, the Humanity

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BY October 26, 2020
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Who doesn’t love a horror anthology? I know I do, and if you do, too, then we should talk about the 2016 movie Mortuary Massacre. I know the title seems self-explanatory, but is there more to the story?

Let Me Guess: It’s About a Massacre in a Mortuary?

Well, not quite. Although the name is quite eye-catching, the movie is more about what happens before we get to the mortuary. And I don’t mean that in a pseudo-deep, philosophical way. A hardened police detective, Detective Giger (Todd Brown) is investigating multiple homicides that took place on Halloween night. Upon a visit to the mortuary, Mortimer King (Carl Crew), the local mortician, gives him information about the bodies in his care. Their conversation forms the framing device for anthology-like stories about each murder.

This all seems like fairly quotidian stuff for a homicide detective, of course. If you read mystery/thriller books, for example, then there are frequently scenes where detectives visit the medical examiner and/or even attend autopsies. But this is a horror movie, so things are a little different here.

Every tale Mortimer King tells is just a jumping-off point for gory shenanigans. As the promo material for the movies says, “…with each tale more gruesome and insane than the next, until the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur.” The trio of stories he tells are “The Apartment,” “False Face,” and “Snake-Eyed Jack.”

In “The Apartment,” an apartment manager takes his anger on vandals too far. In “False Face,” an actor lets competition with another actor go–you guessed it–too far. And in “Snake-Eyed Jack,” a group of young folks celebrating Halloween accidentally resurrect a notorious Old West outlaw. Don’t ya hate it when that happens?

Who Made the 2016 Movie Mortuary Massacre?

Christopher James Miller, an actor, director, and writer directed the movie. In his acting career, he’s appeared in movies like Star Trek: Generations. As a director, he’s made a number of video shorts and some features like 2013’s The Forbidden Dimensions.

Miller co-wrote the screenplay with Erin Blaisdell, who also appears in the movie as Leslie. Mark McGarrey, Kyle Morris, and Sean Stearley also contributed to the story. This is Blaisdell’s only writing credit; primarily she works as an actress, and she’s worked with Miller several times. In fact, she also worked on sound for this movie.

This was a very DIY production. For example, in addition to his other work on the movie, Miller also did makeup effects and composed the music. Morris, the other makeup artist, and Stearley were boom operators.

Razorwire Productions produced the movie, which Wild Eye Releasing distributed.

Is It Scary, Though?

The 2016 movie Mortuary Massacre is an homage to 80s splatter movies. That’s kind of a specific taste, though, so it’s no surprise that Mortuary Massacre didn’t appeal to everyone. The level of acting skill varies, which isn’t unexpected. That’s par for the course with lower budget movies. Some viewers also felt the humor fell flat. Others didn’t like the grainy look, used to make the movie look like grindhouse. However, if you like gore and classic practical effects, then you might want to give this one a look. You might find it as entertaining and fun as most viewers have.

Mortuary Massacre is available on demand on Roku – sign up and watch it on HorrorMax TV!

featured image via Wild Eye Releasing

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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