Playing at Fantasia Digital Film Festival 2020 On Demand till Sept 2. Buy your virtual ticket here.
From Fantastic Fest 2019 to Fantasia Digital Film Fest. 2020, The Mortuary Collection is making its rounds to other celebrations on cinema. Filmmaker Ryan Spindell‘s work is a retrospective on modern-20th century horror—four tales said in summary to start from the 50s and leap each decade to spotlight a particular style of horror relevant for that time. If further screenings and a home video sell out prove successful enough, I can hope for the making of a second volume where it goes back to the ages I adore–The Wild West, Renaissance and Victorian Age.
This work is a mixed bag of suitably themed pieces about various ways one can meet the Reaper, and one reused tale. The Fraternity piece will certainly have its accolades and The Babysitter Murders is a callback to 80s slashers. Clancy brown chews up the scenery as Montgomery Dark, the mortician who runs the funerary home up on that hill. Sam (Caitlin Custer) is cute. We don’t know why she wants a job here. There must be an agenda other than to learn how to be a goth. When she counters with her own story, The Babysitter Murders, this collection felt thematically off. That’s because Spindell made this piece some years prior, had it playing at festivals with some success and decided to give it a second life.
Some eras are better than others when reflecting on how we deal with death. That’s why I find tales about the fear of death during the Black Plague far more disturbing. During Victorian times, it’s tough to beat the lasting mystery of who was Jack the Ripper and the emerging revision of the classic vampire as a romantic figure. While these tales here are more like one-offs conveying what Sam expects from a modern tale of terror, a strongly knit thematic arc would make this anthology collection absolutely killer.