‘Some things never rest in peace.’
Funeral Home – aka Cries in the Night – is a 1980 Canadian horror film produced and directed by William Fruet (Death Weekend; Spasms; Killer Party) from a screenplay by Ida Nelson. It stars Kay Hawtrey, Lesleh Donaldson and Barry Morse.
A young woman, Maude Chalmers, arrives at her grandmother’s house, which used to be a funeral home, to help her turn the place into a bed-and-breakfast inn. But soon after they open, guests begin to either disappear and/or turn up dead…
“The movie brings forth a spooky tone and psychological mystery that most slashers simply do not, and yet it still maintains all the wonderful cheese you expect from an 80s slasher. Funeral Home is Canada’s Psycho!” Oh, the Horror!
“Unfortunately, just as the film builds up to an enjoyable and campily frenetic climax it blows it all with a complete dramatic damp squib of an ending- it’s one of those, you know the ones, where you exclaim to yourself, “Oh,…. is that it?”. Hysteria Lives
“Some hack n’ slash tendencies are present but the consistent level of pacing and atmosphere here is usually unseen in the wave that came after Carpenter’s Halloween. Definitely recommended however; don’t come in expecting to see a body count or an emergence of an unheralded slasher icon.” Basement of Ghoulish Decadence
“[spoiler] … ultimately it’s the drunken abuses of the absent grandfather that are blamed for the murderous rampage well, kinda-rampage. Here, the poisonous male character is a mere spectre, and Fruet shows us that even in death, dudes are potent saboteurs. Too bad he couldn’t explore that idea in Ida Nelson’s script with a lot more punch.” Canuxploitation!
“Several standout scenes are spooky, but you can feel a spirit of fun behind the whole thing. It could have had more flashbacks and better dialogue, and the end should have been campier, but it’s worth watching if it comes your way.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“William Fruet’s direction is workaday, and Ida Nelson’s script is too derivative of Psycho to stand on its own. Good track by Jerry Fielding.” John Stanley, Creature Features
The film was released in Canada in 1980 by Frontier Amusements and in America in 1982 by MPM.
It was released on VHS by Vouge Video in Canada in 1982 and Paragon Video in 1983 and again in 1986 as a big box reissue. Subsequent DVD releases have all been transfers from poor quality VHS.
Cast and characters:
- Kay Hawtrey as Maude Chalmers [as Hawtry] (Love at Stake; Haunted by Her Past; American Psycho 2)
- Lesleh Donaldson as Heather (Happy Birthday to Me; Deadly Eyes; Curtains)
- Barry Morse as Mr. Davis (Asylum; The Changeling)
- Dean Garbett as Rick Yates
- Stephen E. Miller as Billy Hibbs
- Alf Humphreys as Joe Yates (Death Weekend; My Bloody Valentine)
- Peggy Mahon as Florie
- Harvey Atkin as Harry Browning
- Robert Warner as Sheriff
- Jack Van Evera as James Chalmers
- Les Rubie as Sam
- Doris Petrie as Ruby
- Bill Lake as Frank
- Brett Matthew Davidson as Young Rick
- Christopher Crabb as Teddy
- Robert Craig as Barry Oaks
- Linda Dalby as Linda
- Gerard Jordan as Pete
- Eleanor Beecroft as Shirley