Director – Michael Dugan
Cast – Bobbie Bresee, Marjoe Gortner, Norman Burton, Maurice Sherbanee, Laura Hippe
Release Year – 1983
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I had always wanted to get my hands on this film, but before today my only way of doing so was to buy it as a double feature with another film that I did not wish to see, and given the going price I was not willing to spend that amount of cash on what could have been a dud. My feelings though were that Mausoleum was nowhere near a dud and would result in an uber cheezy watch that I would enjoy deeply, and that is exactly how I feel about Mausoleum after finally getting my hands on the DVD. If you love utter cheeze and sleaze then Mausoleum is sure to satisfy your thirst.
Susan has been forever traumatized since her mother’s untimely death during Susan’s childhood, although she never learned the true cause of her mother’s death…demon possession. When grief causes Susan to pack and run through her mother’s cemetery she comes across the very demon that possessed her mother, and the demon assumes a stranglehold on the young girl. Susan is now an adult, and her husband has begun to notice strange changes her her behavior, causing him to seek the help of the very psychiatrist that treated her mom. Everyone is a skeptic at first over the possibility of Susan acquiring the demon that possessed her mother, but when she begins to suffer the same horrors her mother did, including killing off unsuspecting lustful lovers, her husband and psychiatrist must do all they can to save Susan from the very demon that took her mother.
You know those cheezy 80s flicks that are so bad they’re good? Well Mausoleum falls into that category. We should all be aware that there is such thing as “good cheeze” and “bad cheeze”, and thankfully this watch comes with enough awesomely cheezy elements that it falls into the “good cheeze” variety.
I absolutely love films having anything to do with demons and/or demon possession, so naturally this storyline appealed to me from the get-go. The idea of a daughter contracting the same demon that killed her mother was awesome to me, especially when you consider the emotion involved given Susan suffered much trauma over her mother’s death. There are many faults that come with the film’s storyline, including cheezy dialogue and some senseless scenes that would normally turn me off had this film not portrayed them in a fun manner. Most of the story follows Susan and her descent into the possession, with the rest of the small minority following her husband and psychiatrist as the debate over her condition. The demon scenes were very well written and despite the cheeziness contained some pretty creepy dialogue that I found very pleasing.
Director Michael Dugan did a good job bringing on the cheeze, which I am sure was the most he could stretch out of his limited talents. The atmosphere and lighting was incredible, and came in a simple yet well-executed package that consisted of lots of fog, purple/green/red lights, and dark shadowy cinematography that set the stage for some good chills. We get lots of live-action FX and great gore as well, including drawn-out possession scenes that left me only wanted more of what Mausoleum had to offer…sleaze and cheeze. There is not much more to this film than what I have already mentioned, and of course the acting performances could have been better as well as the editing and camerawork, but for what this film is it amounted to a fun and enjoyable watch that made up for its flaws just as long as you can watch this for what it is.
Overall, Mausoleum is an awesome film that consists of heavy amounts of sleaze and cheeze, driven by a demon possession story and complimented by positive direction that resulted in great atmosphere, zany gore and creature FX, and a cheezy feel that makes for a good beer-n-wings film for any night of the week.