Mausoleum (1983) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Mausoleum (1983) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 21st, 2020 | Movie Review | Possession, Cursed, Supernatural

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It's about a woman who gets possessed by the same demon that possessed and killed her mom, grandma, great grandma and great great grandma. So, things aren't looking too good for her.

Mausoleum was directed by Michael Dugan and stars Bobbie Bresee, Marjoe Gortner (from Hellhole and The Food Of The Gods) and Norman Burton (from Deep Space).

Centuries of Evil Have Just Awakened

One of the perks of running a horror database is being able to spend so much time discovering new movies. There's a feature on our homepage that showcases a different collection of movies each day. Maniac Monday, Teen Tuesday, Wild Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Phobia Friday, Supernatural Saturday and Psychological Sunday. Well, last Saturday I was working on the site when Mausoleum popped up as a featured Supernatural and I instantly knew I had to see it. The poster was just too good! I didn't even want to watch the trailer, I hopped on Amazon and ordered the Blu-ray. Sure, it's a risk. The movie could suck and I'd be stuck with a movie on my shelf I'll never watch again. But, I could always look at that cover.. so trashy, so stylish, so 80's.

The first thing that grabbed me (after having to sit through about 20 minutes of pre-credits) was the sheer intensity. The first scene is super intense. The setting of a cemetery on a bright sunny day paired with an anxiety inducing score that would make Dario Argento smile was surprising to say the least. I expected mindless campy fun, what I got was a movie I knew would become one of my favorites within 5 minutes.

Might sound ridiculous, but Mausoleum is actually scary from the start.

What might sound even more ridiculous is that it reminded me a lot of Ghoulies. Now hear me out. Ghoulies is one of those franchises that became known as comedy with knock-off Gremlin's running around getting into mischief. But the first Ghoulies was actually a serious movie that involved the supernatural. The Ghoulies were just demon servants who mostly hung around and watched crazy shit happen around them. And Mausoleum was similar in that way and it shared a similarly cool atmosphere. 

So this little girl's mom dies and while at the cemetery during her funeral she hears voices that call her into a sealed up mausoleum where she instantly becomes possessed. The girl's aunt, now her legal guardian, sees everything and starts to plead with the demon to let her go. Turns out, the aunt knows that the same demon possessed and killed her mom, grandma and many more previous generations in the family. She's basically screwed and her aunt knows it.

Fast forward a couple of decades and the little girl, Susan, is now all grown up and still possessed, only now the demon kicks it into high gear since Susan is finally old enough to execute her plan.

The most surprising thing about this movie is it has an incredible way of pulling you in, despite having aged practical effects. I almost find it to have the same level of engagement as The Exorcist. Part of this is due to the many creative transitions. Things go from chaotic to calm from one moment to the next. It's a unique touch. Overall Mausoleum was a blast to watch and I'm glad I have the disc sitting on my horror shelf.

So, before wrapping this up, I just have to talk about the sick 1981 Bradley GT II that Susan's husband drove. He had money so it wasn't odd that he drove a nice car, but this car was something special. I mentioned in my review of The Skeleton Key how cool it is that unique cars are often used in horror movies. Skeleton Key featured a pristine 1962 VW bug, Joy Ride had a 1971 Chrysler Newport, Jeepers Creepers sported a beautiful 1960 Chevy Impala and Salem's Lot went with a very classic Jeep. I really love when cool classic cars pop up in horrors and the Bradley GT II in Mausoleum was simply next level. 

Mausoleum Bradley GT II Electric

Worth Watching?

Hell yes, Mausoleum is badass. One of the best examples of 80's possession horror that I can think of.

Mausoleum Review (1983) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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