Lee Weber reviews the RLJ Entertainment and Shudder Blu-ray release of 2019 Horror Anthology, The Mortuary Collection.


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The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

85




Details:

Studio and Year: RLJE Films - 2019
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature Running Time: 108 minutes
Genre: Horror, Anthology

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.38:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Fisher, Christine Kilmer, Jacob Elordi, Ema Horvath
Written & Directed by: Ryan Spindel
Music by: Mondo Boys
Region Code: A


Release Date: April 20th, 2020



"Every Corpse Has A Story"


Synopsis:

“In the phantasmagorical town of Raven's End, nothing is as it seems.... A misguided young girl takes refuge in a decrepit old mortuary. There she meets Montgomery Dark, an eccentric undertaker with more than a few skeletons in his closet. Montgomery chronicles the strange history of the town through a series of twisted tales, each more terrifying than the last, but the young girl's world is unhinged when she discovers that the final story...is her own..” – RLJ Entertainment.

My Take:


The Horror Anthology. It is almost its own genre. From Creepshow to Tales from the Crypt (Tales from the Darkside and Tales from the Hood-- since were talkin' tales), VHS, The ABCs of Death, Cats Eye, Trick 'r Treat...the list goes on and on. Two things are for certain, horror fans eat these up, and sometimes the quality of the writing can widely vary segment by segment. Most have a common theme or narrator, and The Mortuary Collection is no exception. Starring Clancy Brown (Shawshank redemption and almost 300 credits on IMDB) as mortician Montgomery Dark, the movie finds its McGuffin as a Sam (Caitlin Custer, Teen Wolf TV Series) shows up at his mortuary looking for a job. As the two talk, Mongomery shows her different corpses and tells the story of their demise.

The stories range from a woman who is pickpocketing men at a party and ends up in a run-in with a Lovecraftian creature, to the tale of a college womanizer who has a one-night-stand go terribly awry. My favorite is "The Babysitter Murders", an obvious homage to Halloween (even using its originally intended title). Apparently, writer/director Ryan Spindel did a short film called The Babysitter Murders and this was an update of it.

This isn't reinventing any wheels or is it mind-blowing horror, but it was fun as hell, had a cool vibe, and some great wink-and-nods for genre fans. Sprinkle in black comedy, a few gross-out moments, a cool premise, and The Mortuary Collection comes recommended.






Replay Value:



Parental Guide:

Nor Rated - for language, adult themes, and violence/gore.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/Blu-ray disc.



Video: 88

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)




    • Resolution/Clarity:
    • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
    • Color Reproduction:
    • Fleshtones:
    • Compression:


Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



    • Dynamics:
    • Low frequency effects:
    • Surround Sound presentation:
    • Clarity/Detail:
    • Dialog Reproduction:
    • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

The Mortuary Collection comes to Blu-ray Disc from RLJ Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded and lossless DTS HD MA 5.1 channel sound

The Mortuary Collection has super clean video and a dynamic audio track. The segments at the mortuary are dark, but I never saw any crush and was impressed with shadow details. All the segments were filmed by the same crew, so there is not much wavering in quality. The transfer shows off great depth in the image as well as no glaring compression artifacts. The lossless audio track does a great job, but I felt the mix could have had a bit more in the surround channels. The few moments the LFE was let loose it had great presence, but there weren't that many opportunities. The impressive soundtrack sounded great and the dialogue was clean and clear.


Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Ryan Spindell
  • 14 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes (approx 95min)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery


Final Thoughts:

The Mortuary Collection is one of the better of the Horry Anthologies I have seen. It strikes a fun balance between its cheesiness and scares-- all while wonderfully paying homage to the classic 70s and 80s horror that writer/Director Ryan Spindell is obviously inspired by. I say it's worth a spin, especially considering it looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray, and has over 90 minutes of extras to dig into.










Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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Next Level Acoustics Cineweave 138" 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
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Panasonic DB-820 4K UHD HDR Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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Anthem MRX-540-AV Receiver
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