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DVD Review: I’ll Bury You Tomorrow

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The Beech Funeral Home is the setting for a carnival of weirdness in I’ll Bury You Tomorrow. Mr. Beech’s employees, Jake (Jerry Murdock) and Corey (played by the director, Alan Rowe Kelly, in drag) are secretly running a black-market organ business. Mrs. Beech, who is gradually losing touch with reality, adds to the insanity of the situation with her hopes that their deaddaughter will come back to her.

Dolores Meanwhile at the Port Oram train station, Dolores Finley (Zoe Daelman Chlanda) — left — arrives sporting a circled ‘Help Wanted’ newspaper ad for a position at the Beech Funeral Home. At first glance she looks fairly normal, but her arrival scene is spattered with vignettes of carnage and visions of bloody body parts that could possibly be hiding in her luggage. She gets directions from the train station porter and lands on the Beech Funeral Home doorstep.

She subsequently impresses Mr. Beech with her knowledge of the funeral business and her expertise with embalming tools. Dolores seems like a perfect fit for the job and is hired on the spot even though her references are lacking. Little does Mr. Beech know, Dolores has a nasty habit of transforming into a mask-wearing (ala Paula Sheppard in Alice, Sweet Alice), slutty, schizophrenic, necrophiliac.

This film picked up a total of 6 International Film Festival Awards:

  • Feature Film Winner – Telluride IndieFest 2002 and Key West IndieFest 2003
  • Best Horror Feature – New York Int’l Independent Film & Video Festival 2002
  • The GORE-GORE Award – Festival of the Macabre
  • Best Make-up Design – The B Movie Theater Film Fest

    Although the premise of I’ll Bury You Tomorrow is ideal fodder for a B-movie, horror flick, it fails to provide enough momentum to push this film into the realm of “campy but cool.” I wasn’t expecting to see Oscar-quality performances or cinematic breakthroughs, but my expectations were set a bit high after reading the laundry list of awards this film garnered during its original theatrical release.

    Besides a running time one minute shy of two hours, one Stiff Called Jakemajor problem with this film is that it doesn’t effectively capitalize on the basics: fear of abandonment, anxiety of being lost, fear of the unknown, etc. (See The Hills Have Eyes, Evil Dead, and more recently, The Blair Witch Project).

    The best performances by far were turned in by Chlanda as Dolores and Murdock, who played a dual role as Jake and Sheriff Mitch. I didn’t even realize Murdock’s dual role until I scrutinized the credits, then went back to view some scenes to verify it. Kudos go to make-up artist Kari Arthurs for helping to pull off Murdock’s dual role, Kelly’s gender-bending role as Corey, and the realistic look of the stiffs on the mortuary slab. I also think that Chlanda may have a shot at feature films if she can hook up with the likes of Wes Craven, George Romero, or Sam Raimi.

    The bottom line: I’ll Bury You Tomorrow was gory and amusing, but not outright scary. I’ll probably make up an I’ll Bury You Tomorrow drinking game and add it to the roster of movies I watch the week of Halloween.

    The Electron Sea

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