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MORTUARY (2005)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

Starring Dan Byrd and Denise Crosby

Another disappointing CGI-powered film from Tobe Hooper, "Mortuary" is actually pretty amusing during its quiet first half hour. There's some nifty dialogue as a single-parent family headed by Denise Crosby (of "Pet Semetery" fame) moves into a home/mortuary. The mother has bought the home and business.

Her older son is a budding teen and gets a job at the local diner, where he bonds with a female co-worker and confronts some mean teens. His younger sister mostly waltzes around in ballet clothes.

There's some amusing dialogue with the realtor that sold them the place and with the town sheriff obsessed with keeping kids from having sex in the cemetery (conveniently located next to the home).

But the film quickly derails into a standard ghost story during its second act, with the son delving into the history of of another dead resident of the home/mortuary.

It gets a little more interesting during the final act when a ghost-inspired contamination -- spread via black puke from person to person, or zombie to person -- turns the infected living into rabid maniacs that co-conspire with the evil, dead-raising forces at work. Film borrows a little from "Re-Animator" and "Return of the Living Dead" during its last act, but with less gore and a lower budget.

It's about as good (or bad) as Tobe Hooper's "Toolbox Murders" remake -- in other words, not very good. It does have some decent acting, nice zombie moments and witty dialogue though..

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