Friday, November 8, 2013

The Undertaker

Directed by Franco Steffanino (1988)

For everyone who's ever seen the incomplete Maniac 2 film Mr. Robbie and said " Why did Joe Spinell have to die before this masterpiece was completed", you can now rejoice! That is if you can get your hands on an uncut version of The Undertaker.

The Undertaker is a very low budget slasher film that tries to harnesses the psychotic, creepy, tour de force acting that Spinell gave us in William Lustig's Maniac. However his performance never quite reaches the level of Maniac but it does gives us a few freaky moments, more often laughable ones.
Spinell plays Uncle Roscoe, the undertaker of his family run funeral home. His nephew Nick catches him fondling and talking to some corpses one day behind closed doors and gets deeply disturbed. The next day during one of Nick's college classes he gets a lecture on necrophilia which brings back old childhood memories of Uncle Roscoe forcing him to touch cadavers in the morgue. Nick confides to his teacher about Uncle Roscoe's behavior and that he may be behind some recent murders in the town.

"Whistle while I kill"

Sex Ed or Sex Dead?

Behind this door is where the stiffs make my uncle stiff!

Roscoe suspects that his little Nicky knows about his sinister ways so he knocks him off and when Nick disappears the police suspect him as the local killer. Luckily Nick told his teacher all about his depraved uncle so she begins her own investigation. Someone else is also beginning their own investigation, the owner of local theater. He's noticed Roscoe seeing the same horror movie three nights in a row and when a young girl is tied up and gutted just like what happens in the film he suspects the creepy undertaker as a copycat killer. The police are still clueless but with Movie Guy Private Eye and Nicky's teacher putting all the clues together things aren't starting to look so good for poor ol' Roscoe.(insert a Dukes of Hazard joke here)
You really can say that his business is making a killing, can he be stopped! This film's ending has to be seen to be believed. Your eyes will bulge out of your head, it defies all logic much like the ending in Juan Piquer Simón classic Pieces.

A rough day at the office

Only 2 on a meathook!!!

"Officers it wasn't me, your "dead" wrong!"

Undertaker really is an underrated gem. Code Red has released an incredible cleaned up version, I have not seen the DVD, just clips and some screenshots. The cruddy uncut VHS bootleg I saw added to the films charm picture wise but the crappy audio mix did hurt the film a bit. Joe Spinell, dead bodies, gore, and gratuitous nudity make The Undertaker a true underground classic

Watch it UNCUT


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