Mausoleum - Blu-ray review

Another belter from Treasured Films

Tuesday, February 20, 2024


Treasured Films

Certificate 15

Often forgotten when looking back at 80s horror, Michael Dugan’s Mausoleum is a real curio. A possession movie which takes itself very seriously indeed, it was caught up on the Video Nasty cull and though gory its not exactly hardcore violence infused but instead a solid, slightly dated fright flick that’s been given a cracking release from Treasured Films.

Ten-year-old Susan, mourning the death of her mother, is drawn to the Nomed-family tomb where she awakens a centuries-old evil: an ancestral demon who possesses her. Twenty years later, Susan is now a beautiful lady (Bobbie Bresee), but the demon which has been lying dormant within her - is about to reawaken and take control - leading to a gory nightmare of lust, terror and death!

Playing like The Exorcist meets Knots Landing, Mausoleum is a horror movie which has much to offer but sometimes trips over itself due to some over padding. The script is fun, filled with some unintentional laughs but some great moments of gore. The cast, led by Bresee and Marjoe Gortner put their hearts and soul into this and although the supporting cast, especially Maurice Sherbanee who plays seedy gardener Ben are very one-dimensional this adds to the fun. Comedian LaWanda Page is given a small cameo role which just wouldn’t be allowed today.

The movie does look very Argento in style thanks to the paranormal/fantasy/demonic set-up and the lighting which is very bold and neon like. The effects are all practical and retain that 80s charm which makes viewing these movies such a joy. The soundtrack seems to have had a polish and has a clean tone allowing the speech to be clear throughout.

The shooting of the movie is probably more famous than the film itself as it was riddled with issues, and this would affect some of the production which adds some mystery to the whole thing. Check the extras for more info, speaking of which…

Extras wise the disc is packed starting with two audio commentaries the first from Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw and the second, which dates from 2008 includes Bobbie Bresee and Lee Christian. One of the best is an audio interview with Bobbie Bresee from 2023 which is accompanied with photos and newspaper clippings, many of which are taken from her personal collection. This really is a great piece and well worth listening to as Bresee seems totally at ease with anecdotes flowing freely. When You Comin' Back, Marjoe? is a very informative new video essay on the career of Marjoe Gortner, written and presented by author John Harrison. For more on the history and production of the movie you need to watch Cursed Auras with Stephen Thrower which delivers an incredible timeline on the movie and the recollections of SFX genius John Carl Buechler though short contains some real gems on the movie, whilst we’re talking of SFX the guy who helped Buechler Christopher Biggs is also on hand to tell us all about his work. You’ll also find a trailer, TV spots and an Image Gallery.

Though dated by fashions styles and some awkward stereotype characters, Mausoleum is huge fun and this is the only way to enjoy it.

Another must buy from Treasured Films.