MAUSOLEUM (1983) Reviews and overview

 

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‘Centuries of evil have just been awakened’

Mausoleum is a 1983 American horror film directed by Michael Dugan from a screenplay written by producers Robert Barich and Robert Madero (Camp Utopia). Katherine Rosenwink provided the original story and screenplay.

The movie stars Marjoe Gortner (Hellhole; Starcrash; The Food of the Gods), Bobbie Bresee, Norman Burton and La Wanda Page.

Vinegar Syndrome has released Mausoleum as a region free Blu-ray + DVD combo with the following special features:

Newly scanned and restored in 4k from its 35mm original camera negative
“Making Monsters” – a video interview with special FX makeup artist John Carl Buechler
Original theatrical trailer
Multiple TV spots
Promotional still gallery
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles

Plot:

Susan Nomed (Bobbie Bresee) was ten years old when her mother died. Now thirty, blonde and beautiful, she is the heiress to the family fortune. However, for the women of the Nomed family, there is another legacy that no one wants to remember, an ancient and evil curse.

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Possessed by powers that overtake her, Susan’s life becomes a nightmare of lust, terror and murder until even her husband finds himself confronting the face of evil. Only one person can help her cast away the evil, but he will have to face the prince of darkness to free Susan from the grip of Satan…

Reviews:

“The effects are foamy rubber and poster paint. The gore is gooey but it is amateurish and repeatedly shot in a poor manner so that the effects are obscured or unseen. Every character is written to be so dim that the notion that Nomed = Demon is lost on them …The final scene involves a hooded man laughing directly at the viewer as if mocking the waste of time that this film has been.” Blood Soaked Horror Reviews

“It’s fairly easy to get wrapped up in Susan’s daily diet of flesh, but harder to embrace Dr Simon, with windy analysis slowing the pace of Mausoleum, attempting to butch up the writing with wacky stabs at psychological sincerity when all anyone really wants to watch is Susan work her evil charms on dim-wit men who’ve never heard of the phrase, “Too good to be true.” Blu-ray.com

“Minor supernatural tale with hokey effects … John Buechler’s makeup and fright masks are only fair.” John Stanley, Creature Features book

” …the concept has some original touches to it, and certain individual moments work rather effectively […] But the movie has some touches that are really silly (the family name is Nemod, the black maid is a throwback in the worst sense, and Marjoe Gortner’s death is just too ludicrous to take seriously), and the often lifeless direction and weak acting pull it down at every step.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“If you’re looking for a really bad B-movie, though, Mausoleum excels. There are a lot of laughs to be had, most of them at the filmmakers’ expense. The demon makeup reminds of some of the better monster movies of the ‘80s, and there are gory moments that almost make sitting through 90 minutes of stiff acting worth it.” Horror News

“The monster makeup is clearly the only reason the movie exists, and it’s pretty good stuff. Bobbie Bresee also wears a number of demonic contact lenses and makeup appliances, and then there’s a full inhuman creature that appears (the one with the killer breasts). There is some great cheesy lighting throughout the film, and you always know when there’s some demon stuff happening because usually it is accompanied by a green and purple light show, along with lots of fog where no fog should be.” Groovy Doom

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“The story itself is nonsense and, of course, there’s a weird ending (as is usually the case with ’80s horror films) but there are enough scares and tension to make it uncomfortable viewing without being too exploitative. It doesn’t explain itself very well (what does the demon want? How did the curse start? Why does it wait until you are thirty?) but really who cares?  An attractive lady kills everyone around her and that’s all you really need to know about Mausoleum.” The 80s Movie Club

“This is a film that has only been construed around the provision of these cheap effects. None of them are particularly convincing. All else is predicated on lots of pastel-coloured glowing lights and mist effects, as well as Bobbie Bresee who takes her clothes off several times throughout. There seems a complete arbitrariness to things on a scripting level…” Moria

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“Well made possession movies can be counted on one hand…and unfortunately, this ain’t one of them. The drab and unconvincing acting is marred by some rather underwhelming special effects. And the misplaced humor only makes it all add up to one big letdown. Case in point: a pair of breasts with yapping fangs.” The Terror Trap

“The major thing Mausoleum does wrong is trying to combine more than one idea into an already weak script, had they stuck with it being a possession story, a demons movie, or even a horror-comedy the final product would be much better. What we get is a mess of a movie with very few redeeming qualities. The makeup effects are good (done by genre stand-by John Buechler)…” The Video Graveyard

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Cast and characters:

Marjoe Gortner … Oliver Farrell
Bobbie Bresee … Susan Walker Farrell – Evil Spawn; Star Slammer; Ghoulies
Norman Burton … Doctor Simon Andrews – Deep Space; Fade to Black; The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
Maurice Sherbanee … Ben, the gardener
LaWanda Page … Elsie, the maid (as La Wanda Page)
Laura Hippe … Aunt Cora Nomed
Sheri Mann … Doctor Roni Logan
Julie Christy Murray … Young Susan
Chu Chu Malave … Delivery Boy
Ron Cannon … Gallery Owner
Joel Kramer … Tramp in Mausoleum
Gene Edwards … Drunk In Nightclub
Di Ann Monaco … Girl In Nightclub
John Branagan … Nightclub Parking Attendant (as John Brannigan)
Richard Guarino … Nightclub Maitre de
Blake Barich … Little Girl in Mall
Eileen Zimmerman … Woman in Mall
Mildred Lipsher … Woman in Parking Lot
Joe Lipsher … Man in Parking Lot
Joyce Barich … Mother in Mall
William Vail … The Final Demon (as Bill Vail)

Filming locations:

Evergreen Cemetery – 204 North Evergreen Avenue, Los Angeles, California (mausoleum)
Promenade Mall – 6100 Topanga Canyon Road, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California
Northridge, Los Angeles, California
Ventura, California

Filming dates:

24 February 1981 – 20 March 1981

Technical details:

96 minutes
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Release:

Mausoleum was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Motion Picture Marketing (MPM) in 1983. It was subsequently released on VHS by Embassy Home Entertainment. In the UK, it was released on VHS by Satanica.

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Buy VHS: Amazon.com

The film was released on DVD by BCI Entertainment as part of their Exploitation Cinema double feature line alongside the film Blood Song.

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Buy DVD with Blood Song: Amazon.com

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Some image credits: Blood Soaked Horror Reviews | Groovy Doom

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