I’LL BURY YOU TOMORROW. 2002. DIRECTED BY ALAN ROWE KELLY. STARRING ZOE DAELMAN CHLANDA, ALAN ROWE KELLY, JERRY MURDOCH, BILL CORRY, KATHERINE O’SULLIVAN, KRISTEN OVERDURF AND RENEE WEST.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Wow. Here’s something a little different for you horror fans out there. I found this film in an overcrowded little second-hand shop in one of Dublin’s most famous market areas. It’s the kind of shop I normally frequent because some of the best- and worst- horror films I’ve watched and reviewed on my horror film review blog (sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com) have come from just such places.
I’ve found some real gems in this way and for half-nothing too, so it’s little wonder I’m so often to be found browsing in them, ignoring the impatient stares and throat-clearings of the proprietors trying to get me the hell out of their shops at closing-time so they can go home, eat dinner, watch EASTENDERS, argue with the wife about whose turn it is to put the bins out and fall asleep in front of THE NEWS AT TEN.
This looks good, I thought when I first picked up I’LL BURY YOU TOMORROW, which from now on shall be referred to asIBUT. It’ll be perfect for my blog. And it is good, but it’s also weird and off-the-wall and contains subject matter unlikely to make it suitable for viewing by all the family on Christmas Day between showings of FROZEN and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.God help us all, Granny Ivy would choke on her brussels sprouts and good old Uncle Albert might just have that coronary that’s been threatening ever since Auntie Betty ran off with the milkman in 1974.
This low-budget horror film was made in 2002 and transferred to DVD in 2006, but it has a much earlier feel to it than that. I watched it without first checking the DVD box for the year it was made and so I spent most of the film thinking I was watching something from the early ’80s. Most horror fans will know that this was a very tasty era both for great acknowledged classic horror movies like POLTERGEIST (1982) and AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION (1982), and also for really good bad horror films, if you get what I mean.
I’m talking about movies like DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE (1980), for example, which would be another perfect example of Films Not To Watch With Your Family Over Dinner. DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE was actually classed as a video-nasty, in fact. Some viewers might think the same about IBUT, though nowhere online was I able to find the actual words ‘video-nasty’ in connection with it.
Dolores Finley is the film’s heroine, or maybe anti-heroine would be closer to the mark. She is a rather strange young woman who arrives at the American one-horse town of Port Oram with a trunk in tow, a trunk which clearly contains something she is not keen for others to see. She has come to the quiet little town in answer to an advertisement in the newspaper. It is an advertisement seeking someone to work in the town’s one and only funeral home, run by Percival and Nettie Beech.
Dolores gets the job with little difficulty. She grew up working in her parents’ funeral home, she’s a personable enough young woman who also happens to resemble the Beeches’ murdered daughter Sharon, she was the only applicant for the position and so on and so forth. Percival Beech, her new employer, is hugely impressed by how comfortable she is around the corpses and how competently she handles them. Nettie Beech just cares about Dolores’s uncanny resemblance to Sharon and thinks that having Dolores lodging in their home will be just like having their darling Shazza back again. You can tell already, can’t you, that this is all going to work out wonderfully well…?
We find out early enough what exactly Dolores is humping around in that lil’ ol’ trunk of hers. It’s actually her parents’ heads. Well, what else could it have been? Silly us, we should have guessed. It turns out that Dolores is as crazy as a loon, but not without reason. Through flashback, we see that her Mom and Pops used to tie her to a gurney and abuse her sexually in their own mortuary when she was growing up. That’s enough to turn anyone doo-lally, I suppose. Then, in another flashback, we see Dolores turning the tables on the loathsome pair. Guess whose turn it is now to be tied to the gurneys and horribly tortured…? You guessed it. Mom and Pops Finley. Poor old Dolores. With parents like that, she was never exactly going to turn out stable and well-adjusted, was she…?
Any-hoo, after her arrival in Port Oram, Dolores decides to finally dispose of her parents’ decomposed skulls, probably to avoid detection and public exposure. She buries the heads in a nearby abandoned building, only to later find out that she was being watched the whole time by Jake, a fellow funeral home employee who’s got quite the little racket going on the side. With his transexual partner Corey (played by the director) who does the stiffs’ make-up at the Beeches’ place, he’s been selling the ‘closed casket’ bodies for their organs, and for big bucks too.
Jake blackmails Dolores into joining him in his evil scam, but Dolores is already as mad as a box of frogs and is actually not at all opposed to getting involved in something that will see her become a more powerful figure at the funeral home. Their agreement sets in motion a bloody train of events that sees nearly the entire cast of the film slaughtered and wallowing helplessly in their own blood. Hope that’s not a massive spoiler, tee-hee…
The DVD box promised me ‘murder, mayhem, body-snatching and necrophilia.’ There was murder, mayhem and body-snatching in abundance. Was there necrophilia? Well, it was strongly implied that Dolores likes to have sex with male cadavers. There was touching, fondling and even dancing- yes, dancing- all taking place while the gorgeous Ms. Finley was topless or dressed in sexy lingerie. I can’t really say that I saw any actual corpse-sex, as such, but the implications were strong. Strong enough to cause chaos at that Christmas dinner table we were discussing earlier if you were to stick IBUT in the old DVD player instead of A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL or THE GRINCH THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS, anyway.
There’s a whole cast of weird, unpleasant or just plain ugly characters in the film that are great fun to watch as they run around the place being as sick in the head and utterly dysfunctional as they know how to be. Check out crazy old religious nut Nettie Beech, Corey the transexual make-up artist to the stiffs, the local minister and, in particular, the receptionist at the morgue. Just what is up with that, y’all…? I’m f***ed if I know, haha. It’s the kind of film where you wouldn’t be surprised to have the notorious Divine cropping up doing something disgusting or illegal, or even disgustingly illegal. That’s how messed-up it is. But if you think that’s your thing, then you might just enjoy it.
I found IBUT to be bizarre and even a tad incomprehensible in places but, overall, it’s a terrific watch for fans of the horror genre. It really made me think, too. Like, about who exactly might be interfering with my earthly remains while I lie in my coffin in the funeral home clutching my rosary beads in my cold dead hands. If IBUT is to be believed, well, almost anything could be happening to my pimped-up corpse and I wouldn’t even be aware of it. That’s the real dirty rotten swizz, the fact that I’d be unaware of any sexy shenanigans taking place with regard to my deceased person. If I’m going out on a ride, I want to damn well know about it and enjoy it, haha…
Go forth now, horror fans, and find this film and watch it. Roll around in the foul-smelling vomit that pukes forth from its diseased pores and anoint thyselves with it good-style. Then put it back in its box, say: ‘Well, that was interesting,’ and make thyselves a nice cup of tea. It’s good advice. Thee should take it…