We love a good anthology horror here at GBHBL. However, the important word there is ‘good’. Aside from the classics and the occasional one that popes up here and there, quality anthologies are hard to come by. Especially from those that have tried to capture the spirit of things like Creepshow or Tales from the Crypt.
The Mortuary Collection is one such anthology that looks at the gleeful and fun aspect of the past to tell its wicked tales of horror. The end result has way more hits than misses and ensures it can be held up alongside the greats of the genre.
Written and directed by Ryan Spindell, The Mortuary Collection stars Clancy Brown as a Montgomery Dark. An old mortician on the island town of Raven’s End in the 1980s. He is looking for a new employee but the spooky mortuary, his own cold demeanour and the job itself has meant very few people have taken him up. That is until the young woman, Sam (Caitlin Custer) arrives and shows an unhealthy fascination with the mortuary.
After being taken on a tour of the facility (it’s quite a sight), she insists that she doesn’t get scared. So to test her mettle, Dark tells her several stories about the horrible ways some of the Raven’s End residents have died.
The first is a super-short one and sees a pick-pocketing woman at a party wish her curiosity hadn’t gotten the better of her. Something lives in the medicine closet of the house’s bathroom and it has tentacles. I love this. It’s short, very entertaining, looks great and sets up exactly what kind of anthology this is going to be.
The next one is far more intense and way more visceral. Telling the story of frat boy Jake (Jacob Elordi) using the value of sexual freedom and liberation as a way to get girls back to his fraternity and have sex with them. At a party, he is taken in by one named Sandra (Ema Horvath). They go back to his room and start to have sex. She insists on him using a condom (obviously) but behind her back, he throws it away. A big mistake as he soon will discover that he is pregnant. Just what is inside of him?
Less gleeful and much darker but still very entertaining. The next segment tells the story of Wendell (Barak Hardly) who is struggling to care for his catanionic wife. He is sinking into depression, so when his doctor suggest he ‘accidentally’ give her an overdose of painkillers, he decides to do it.
Unfortunately, his plan goes wrong and what should have looked like an accident turns into a murder. Now Wendell has to dispose of the body and she isn’t going to go quietly. Another class effort, this is easily the most visually impressive and most emotionally effecting of the bunch.
Before the last story can begin, the framing story of Sam and Montgomery Dark reveals her actual reason for being at the Mortuary. It’s here she decides to tell him her own story, one where she was attacked while babysitting, by a deranged killer. It sounds like par for the course horror but has one of the most surprising and unexpected twists that turns it into an unforgettable entry.
Having revealed herself to Montgomery, the framing story comes to an end as it began. In a delightedly dark and twisted way. While not as good as most of the actual stories, it is still a lot of fun to watch. Which sums up The Mortuary Collection perfectly… a ton of fun. One that is well-acted, wonderfully shot and edited, well-told and bloody. One of the best modern anthologies in quite some time.
The Mortuary Collection
The Final Score - 8/10