There are many elements of the 80s that I love, one of which are the colours portrayed in horror films. Green, purple, blue, and pink rock my 80s world. You could say it’s very alluring and seductive to me which is why Mausoleum generates much 80s admiration. When the demon takes over and Susan’s eyes are lit green, it’s very reminiscent of the gatekeeper from Nightmare, a very influential part of my childhood that resonates deep nostalgic happiness in me.
Mausoleum begins on a rather serious tone. We see a young Susan who is grieving at her mother’s casket after her recent death. In her saddened state, Susan runs to the mausoleum in the cemetery that is surrounded by fog with distant chanting as if calling to her. What she finds lurking inside amidst purple flashes of lightning is a shadow of a caped being that somehow takes control of her and summons her towards a spooky casket with a creepy monster hand inside. Also people should start wearing capes again!
Ten years later Susan, played by the beautiful former Playboy bunny Bobbie Bresee, still struggles with her mother’s death and sees a psychiatrist. Her sister and husband begin to worry as Susan is exhibiting similar behaviour that her mother displayed before she died. Unknown to her concerned family, whatever evil that was met inside the mausoleum upon her visit as a child, has lurked deep within her throughout the years. Susan has a darkness that resides within her that comes forth to attack and protect her from unruly creeps.
The first incident takes place at a nightclub when Susan’s refusal to dance with a Kenny Rogers look-a-like drunk almost starts a fight with her husband. The demon within her must do its duty to protect her thus attacks Kenny’s car by setting it on fire with him inside. I believe this was actually a benevolent act for a demon because drunk Kenny Rogers shouldn’t have been driving anyway. Who says demons are always nefarious?
When we get the first glimpse of the demon’s form, it’s simply a shadow laughing maniacally holding a bloody rake. Even though it’s a tease, there’s something about monster hands with their grotesque skin and pointy nails that get me excited. Then Mausoleum begins to shine when Susan’s possessions become more demon-like showing a more detailed monster face accompanied with a distorted voice, powers to make people fly, spines being ripped from chest cavities and even theft!
I also just love how many countless possession movies that include a scene of said demon emerging while their host is under hypnosis. But what always leaves me perplexed is how composed the hypnotherapists are post session. I’m pretty sure I’d hit the bricks so fast once I saw glowing eyes and heard a fucking demon voice come into existence! Helpful hint for all you demons out there that need easy victims, possess someone who lives in a mansion. They’ll certainly have maids, gardeners, and other servants to satisfy those bloodthirsty impulses!
Shit gets wild once she takes on her full demon form; all I gotta say is DEMON BOOBS. If you’ve seen this movie, you know what I’m talking about (chomp chomp). The last 15 minutes of the Mausoleum are filled with colourful demon goodness containing charming 80s monster effects by the late great John Carl Buechler. I have a fond respect and love for his work that I’m sure is shared with Mausoleum’s director Michael Dugan. So much so that John’s name appears first before Michael’s at the end credits and that just warms my heart.