Conrad Brooks and David DeCoteau appearing in the same video? Run for your lives!!! Sorry. I was simply overcome with the horror that is Ron Ford’s part-dramatization, part-mockumentary “Hollywood Mortuary.” The aforementioned “B” movie figures, along with silent movie legends Margaret O’Brien and Anita Page as well as other Hollywood figures, appear in the smaller mockumentary portions of this video which, intercut throughout the film, introduces us to fictional legendary silent movie make-up artist Pierce Jackson Dawn.
It’s too bad these interview segments didn’t comprise more of this film, because the more the pompous, foppish, overbearing blowhard Dawn appears, the less appealing it is. Best known for his work in “Baron Vladimir” with Janos Blasko and “The Walking Cadaver” with Blasko’s bitter English rival Pratt Borokof, Dawn has been unemployed since the demise of the classic Hollywood monster movies. Desperate to work again, the flamboyant make-up guru pitches Cosmopolitan Studios on another monster movie, only to be met by deafening disinterest. With Blasko killed by a heart attack and Borokof killed by Dawn in a fit of rage for his refusal to help, Dawn’s chances for a career resuscitation appear slim. That is, until he discovers a way to use Brazilian voodoo to create zombies and what better way to generate some Tinseltown buzz for a horror movie than to re-animate his best creations and most bitter rivals? Yes, it’s silly. Not to mention ludicrous, trite, and not just a little bizarre.
Yet, “Hollywood Mortuary” could have worked, with its tongue jammed through its cheek, except that we’re stuck watching Dawn, in truly one of the most obnoxious and irritating on-screen performances ever, for the majority of this torturous video. There are other problems as well; horrible pacing, a complete lack of comic timing, overacting by the supporting characters, senselessly juvenile gore and make-up effects…well, you get the idea. “Hollywood Mortuary” couldn’t have been any worse if DeCoteau had produced it and Brooks had starred in it. The only humane thing to do with this cinematic corpse is to bury it deep and dark in a real life Hollywood mortuary.