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09 February, 2008

Horror-Host Review: The Mortician's HOUSE OF FEAR

Program: The Mortician’s HOUSE OF FEAR

Host: The Mortician

Location: Brunswick, OH

Carrier: Brunswick Area Television; http://www.the-mortician.com/


[Ed. Note: If you happen to host such a program, and would like to see it reviewed here, please contact me at: unimonster64@gmail.com.]

If Heavy-Metal lovin’ Headbangers need a Horror-Host to call their own, they need look no further than the Mortician, the grimmest, most gruesome Host ever to broadcast low-budget B-movies to an unsuspecting audience.

Eschewing the humor that is the usual stock in trade of such programs, the Mortician goes straight for the jugular, with a look and style that’s straight from 1970’s Grindhouse movies. With a distinctive skull mask and long dreadlocks, he resembles an unmasked Predator, looking for an Alien Queen with which to do battle. His backwoods mortuary, where all his interstitial scenes are set, is also where he embalms his clients (victims?) as he discusses the evening’s entertainment.

This episode’s feature was HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY, the heavily-edited American release of Lucio Fulci’s QUELLA VILLA ACCANTO AL CIMITERO, released in 1981. This movie fits very well into the Mortician’s dark theme, in addition to being a very good film in its own rights.

As I stated before, there’s no humor inherent in this program, but it works—very well—given the Mortician’s distinctive style. The interstitials, shot on video then aged to resemble old 8mm footage with sepia tones, scratches, and dust spots, are visually very appealing to those with an eye for horror. The one flaw that does prove bothersome, at least to those with hearing difficulties, is the occasionally poor audio.

The Mortician, when he is describing his current activities with his ‘client’, or discussing what has transpired in the movie since the last break, speaks in a low, grumbling monotone… which is fine, as it fits his character perfectly. However, it does make him difficult to hear, and harder to understand.

Another aspect of The Mortician’s House of Fear that is unique is the occasional inclusion of a musical performance video by area Metal bands. Other than to inform the reader that these segments appear to be very well done, I am in no way qualified to review that portion of the program… my musical tastes end in 1989. Also on an occasional basis, episodes of the early ‘60’s TV series ONE STEP BEYOND are included. Both these and the musical segments are used to balance out the excessively short runtimes of some of these films.

DVD’s of The House of Fear episodes are available on the Mortician’s web-site, at http://www.the-mortician.com/. The cost is very reasonable, and worth it to check out this unique, and entertaining, host. The program might not be for everyone, and youngsters should probably steer clear, but true Horror fans will love it. I sure did.














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