Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bury Bury Good: "I'll Bury You Tomorrow" (2002)



As a passionate horror film fan, I have been known to become physically ill when I hear the words "shot on video horror film." I have been burned too many times to count, and I did not hold out much hope for this little zinger. Color me surprised, "I'll Bury You Tomorrow" may be the best shot on video horror film I have ever seen.

Cute blond Dolores (Zoey Daelman Chlanda) pops into a small town with a large trunk in tow and heads for employment at the Beech Funeral Home, run by nerdy Percival Beech (Bill Corry) and his religious nut wife Nettie (Katherine O'Sullivan). The Beechs are mourning the loss of their daughter a decade earlier, and look alike Dolores knows her way around a mortuary. She's hired, much to the chagrin of make-up artist Corey (Alan Rowe Kelly) and the horny delight of goofball handyman Jake (Jerry Murdock). Corey and Jake are not only lovers, but make a little scratch on the side selling bodies on the black market.

Jake's brother, Mitch (also Jerry Murdock), is the local straight arrow sheriff dating the cute barmaid Ellen (Kristen Overdurf). Ellen has a ne'er-do-well bro of her own, Eddie (P.J. Mehaffey), who is run off the road by Jake and killed. Dolores takes quite a shine to Eddie's remains and keeps them in her closet. It seems while this small town is full of sickos, Dolores is the queen of all sickos, and a psychotic murderer to boot. Bodies start turning up all over, as Mitch and Ellen learn the truth.

Alan Rowe Kelly wrote and directed this over the top flick. You can see his character Corey as either a very mannish woman, or a very feminine guy. Either way, he is very good. Kelly does a great job with a very capable cast. Chlanda is both beautiful and unsettling as Dolores. It was about half way through the film before I realized Jake and Mitch were being played by the same actor, Jerry Murdock. He does an absolutely fantastic job in both parts. Corry and O'Sullivan are also perfectly cast in their roles.

Tom Burns' musical score is a great mishmash of strings and noise, and there is even a theme song to hum along to! The editing is crisp, the video picture is pretty clear, and the film does move quickly.

My complaints would be minor: a few loose plot points that could have been tied up (the Beech's daughter, the sudden investigation into Dolores' past), and there are a few too many secondary characters that threaten to topple a long film (two hours, plus another half an hour of deleted scenes). The gore is pretty good, there are some scattered laughs, and the locations cannot help but work for the film.

Alan Rowe Kelly should be congratulated for restoring my faith in the "shot on video horror" subgenre. I will call upon his name every time I am in the video store and the cover for the unwatchable "Ax 'Em" is staring back at me. (* * * *) out of five stars. Get this film now!: I'll Bury You Tomorrow