Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Undertaker

Director - Franco Steffanimo
Starring - Joe Spinell (Rocky, Taxi Driver), Rebeca Yaron, and Patrick Askin
Release Date - 1988
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "He'll love you to death"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

      Alright, I got the sleaze back out of my system and ready to hit the horror in full force.  I had plenty of films to pick from but I decided to go with the Vinegar Syndrome release of The Undertaker starring Joe Spinell.  This is one of the many films that I have always wanted to see over the years but never had the opportunity.  When Code Red released the film on DVD sometime ago I was about to jump on it when I learned that there was a big problem with the editing of the disc and the quality of the film.  I held off and I'm glad I did because this release is fucking amazing.  The sleeve is one of the best I have seen on a horror release and the artwork is killer.  Thanks Vin Syn for hooking me up!
     The film follows mortician Roscoe (Spinell) who kills locals so he can bring them back into his basement where he keeps them as his friends.  His nephew suspects that his uncle is a necrophiliac and tries to convince he extremely young female teacher that he is.  They break into his uncles basement to find proof but is unable to find it.  His uncle later catches his nephew in the act of snooping and kills him.  When he fails to show up for class the teacher tries to get the police involved but he kills those as well.  He learns that his nephew brought her into his basement and sets his sights on her and her roommates before he is caught.
     The Undertaker is one of those movies that I had heard about years ago but never heard another horror fan talk about it.  I never heard mention of it being good, bad, or meh.  Sadly, after watching the movie I can say that this film is extremely underrated.  The film really surprised me and I have since watched it five times since my original viewing.  The acting in this one is what you would see in a typical 80s slasher.  The cast goes through their scenes with dry performances and no natural reactions to the scenes laid before them.  With that being said, Joe Spinell was fucking intense.  He portrays one convincing deranged character.  He was an amazing actor and its a tragedy that he passed away before we could get more films like it.  The story for this one is not that original.  We have seen other films following an undertaker/mortician that killed for one reason or another.  The most obvious film is The Undertaker and His Pals.  What makes this one different is that the undertaker is not killing for profit but because he is completely mental.  The film flows rather slowly like most slashers but we get a lot of character development that you typically don't see in a film of this caliber.  Finally, this slasher has a decent body count.  The kills are violent and fun, just the way I like them.  The effects for these kills are just as good which is something that does stand out for slasher films in the late 80s.  By 1988 the slasher was starting to dwindle so to see a slasher with this much carnage without going the murder mystery route is rare.  Overall, The Undertaker is one of the most underrated horror films that I have reviewed.  The film is outright fantastic and the fact that you never hear anyone talking about it is a fucking shame.  Check this one out and I mean yesterday!


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