1982, Motion Picture Marketing
For the end of the Halloween season, I’ve been trying to watch horror movies that I have never seen or haven’t seen in a while. Funeral Home falls under the “never seen” category, and boy, I wish it stayed that way!
A Canadian production filmed in 1979 and released in that country by Frontier Amusements in 1980 as Cries In the Night, the movie would be re-titled Funeral Home for its 1982 U.S. theatrical and future home video releases. Given the independent distributors and the very low-budget nature of the movie, I imagine this movie probably never made it to a cineplex, but instead could probably have been found as a double feature at a rundown drive-in somewhere.
Movie poster for the 1980 Canadian release
The best thing this movie has going for it are the movie posters. The U.S. version makes it look like good cheesy ’80s horror fun, while the black & white Canadian poster makes me think it might be something a bit more shocking. Too bad it’s neither.
Funeral Home‘s trailer does a pretty good job of making the movie seem creepy, but the actual film moves at a snail’s pace and you don’t even seen anyone killed until 32 minutes into the movie. [SPOILER]And even that is just people drowning in a car.[/SPOILER] The movie features very little gore and mostly relies on darkness and the score to help set the mood. In short, Funeral Home comes across as a late night made-for-TV movie and would be ripe to RiffTrax to pick at.
I will say that the ending is kind of interesting, even if somewhat of a cop out.
Check the movie out for yourself… if you dare.
Doctor Who – State of Decay
1996, BBC Home Entertainment
Originally Aired: November 22 – December 13, 1980
Buy the DVD at Amazon.com
I absolutely admit to being a newbie when it comes to Doctor Who. I don’t know much about the history of the show or its characters and Wikipedia entries are so long-winded that they are very off-putting to someone new to Who.
The above can be applied to every Doctor Who Wiki article ever written.
So, I’m doing things the old-fashioned way — I’m going to experience the show for myself. Thankfully, Netflix has ‘Classic Doctor Who’ for streaming (but they oddly feature only one story arc per season) and a few local libraries have tons, tons, TONS of classic Doctor Who DVDs.
I came across this particular DVD because I was searching the online card catalog for vampires and State of Decay popped up in the results because it features the blood suckers. I had been curious about older Doctor Who episodes for awhile and the fact that vampires were involved in this story arc made me feel justified that I was keeping with the Halloween spirit while watching these episodes.
State of Decay is a four-part serial from the 18th season of Doctor Who and the story as a whole is the second installment of what’s referred to as “The E-Space Trilogy”. For this particular serial, the Doctor and his companions Romana, K-9 and Adric end up on a planet with a medieval setting where there are three lords in what’s called the Tower ruling over the villagers. Every year the lords select young villagers to be brought to the Tower and they are never seen again. Turns out the villagers are being sacrificed to the last remaining Great Vampire (ancient enemies of the Time Lords) and that the lords of the Tower are vampires themselves.
Being my first sample of classic Doctor Who, I was surprised and pleased to see these story carry such a dark tone and Gothic atmosphere. I was expecting something steeped much more in science-fiction and goofiness. On one of the featurettes included on the disc, this serial’s writer stated that Hammer Films was his main source of inspiration for this story.
I also enjoyed Tom Baker’s portrayal of the Doctor very much, so I’m looking forward running through the Fourth Doctor’s seasons.