Ryan Spindell (director)
15 October 2020 (released)
20 October 2020
There has been a slight tendency with some anthology collections to just string a load of short films together with a very loose frame. There’s usually precious if any connection between them and so they are very structurally loose and unsatisfying. The Mortuary Collection is a bone-fide anthology with some cracking stories that neatly fit within the structure of the funeral home and director telling them.
The first story is short and sharp and lesson in curiosity killing the cat as a thief (Christine Kilmer) gets more than she bargained for when she forces open a bathroom cabinet door. There’s not much else other than the colours are rich with that ever so slightly metallic look that is in vogue at the moment.
Next up is frat boy Jake (Jacob Elrodi) looking for another notch on his bedpost preaching the use of condoms that he doesn’t follow. Which leads him into a very embarrassing and painful situation when he meets Sandra (Emma Horvath) who asks him to use a condom that he flips away. So after condomless night of passion pays a very high price when what went in has to come out the same way. A gross out, good fun story with a social message and warning.
Taking a darker turn with the wedding of Carol (Sarah Hay) and Wendell (Barak Hardley) who marry ‘til death us do part’. Wendell several years looking after Carol now very ill and in a catatonic state needing everything done for her. The doctor’s assessment that she could survive another one or two years creases Wendell’s face. The doctor makes a suggestion that Wendell takes up only for it to go horrendously wrong leaving him no choice but to try and get Carol out of the building. A sad, creepy story of everlasting love that actually does have its limits.
The fourth story about a babysitter with an escaped lunatic on the loose posing a threat to her charge is a peach. I won’t say too much more other than it’s a well-constructed bloody and frantic, chase and hunt around a house with clues scattered around for the sharp eyed.
It’s a terrific collection that get progressively darker and nastier with each story – there’s definite black water between the daftness of the opening two films and the grimness of latter two. And all kept together by an entertaining frame that is a tour of the mortuary conducted by undertaker Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown) with Sam (Caitlin Fisher) who has applied for a job there and following the process of a child’s coffin to its final resting.
There’s a decent rapport between the two making the best director Ryan Spindell’s smart script which links the stories and the frame. It looks fabulous too from the opening shots through the town to the funeral home together with the sets that are in perfect sync with action. One of the best and most entertaining anthologies for some time.
The Mortuary Collection is available on Shudder.