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The Mortician - Lionsgate - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 02 June 2016


A.K.A. Der Sezierer, A korboncnok

Directed by: Gareth Maxwell Roberts
Written by: Gary Maxwell Roberts
Produced by: Rene Batian, Mike Downey, Linda Moyan, William G Thomas, Gary Maxwell Roberts, Clare Tutte
Cinematography by: Michael McDonough
Editing by: David Charap
Music by: Method Man, Mike Benn
Special Effects by: Martin Astles, Ken Decker, Harvey Lowry, Mark Hava, Sav Akyuz
Cast: Method Man, Dash Mihok, Angelic Zambrana, EJ Bonilla, Cruz Santiago, Edward Furlong, David Jenson, Randal Reeder, Idella Johnson.
Year: 2011
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 29min

Distribution: Lionsgate

To think, it all started for Wu-Tang Clan's Method Man as a small almost invisible cameo role in the classic movie, One Eight Seven, as he stabbed Samuel Jackson in a school corridor. From then he played Tug in the prison series, OZ, and goofed around in How High and Method & Red, plus other bits and pieces. So, Method Man (a.k.a. Clifford Smith) could be a weed smoker or a thug. Not the most diverse C.V. for a would-be actor, however he landed roles at least.

Then, along comes a little underground gothic thriller called The Mortician and MM shows he can actually act. His character, who isn't named in the film, is frankly a world away from his usual themes. This guy is introverted, nervous, twitchy and above all, haunted terribly by his past. He dresses very elegantly in a three piece suit, and a bowler hat -- so out of place, yet, just wants to be left alone and unharmed.

There's truly something quite old school about this film. From the slow burning approach, to the solemn acting from all concerned, and above all, the moody lighting. It feels as if this was a tale told in another time.

The Mortician works long hours in a graffiti covered edifice, nervously locking his padlock each night and eyeing the local gangs across the road as he leaves. As he walks across a bridge late one evening, he sees the corpse of a woman being dumped in the canal. He notices a tattoo on her belly as the body vanishes under the grubby water.

We then cut to two jolly armed and offensive officers who take young convicts around the neighbourhood to scoop up the gory remains of dead gang members. These bits and pieces are bagged and brought to our pal The Mortician. They both wax lyrical about the mess of the streets, etcetera.

Make way for the man, fellas.” says Carver, the limping leader of a crew who hangs about outside the building all day. “He's got work to do, we've been keeping him busy.” The Mortician timidly walks by and huddles at his padlock.

We watch him working (technically he's not really a mortician, but hey ho) and then back to his seedy and run-down apartment. His hobby makes him a bit of extra cash. He loves taxidermy. We watch parts of the process and then the tearful joy of the pet's owner as he pays The Mortician with gratitude.

The Mortician doesn't notice there's a hooded child observing his comings and goings. The next day, Edward Furlong, as Petrovski, delivers a fresh porter to the building, a street kid on parole called Noah, who is chewing gum and full of attitude issues. “You need to relax, man.” he tells The Mortician. These two are surely going to have an awesome working relationship together.

Like Blade Runner, it's mostly raining in this film but The Mortician's coat hardly gets wet. He has a head full of echoing voices -- memories of his past which disturb him on a nightly basis. For relaxation he visits a hooker who offers him comfort and a massage.

One day, a body is fished from the canal and brought to him. As he washes the dirt away, he and Noah both see the Venus tattoo on her belly. Noah staggers from the room. The Mortician only smirks, but concentrates on the ink and seems to recall where he's seen it before.

Carver stops him that evening. “Say, you seen a lil kid running around, pretty like me?” The Mortician hasn't seen anybody. Ironically he discovers the boy hiding out the next day, but is oblivious to the lad's obvious plight. The Mortician won't let him in. “It's not permitted.” The boy starts throwing F-bombs at him and runs off. He sees Noah grabbing the boy in the street so breaks it up.

Though Noah is aggressive, constantly late and a dick, The Mortician protects him in front of his parole officer, Mr. Clinger, who obviously wishes Noah had acted up so he could throw him in prison. Noah doesn't show much respect and gratitude for this. “I don't need you to fight my fuckin' war for me!” he hisses afterwards. Later on, Noah is outside again dragging the boy along the street. He follows them to a run-down warehouse.

Keeping a vigil, The Mortician is caught by Noah and locked in a room with the boy. They chat and he discovers the lady with the Venus tattoo is the boy’s mom’s. Why does Carter desperately want to find the boy? What does Noah have to do with everything?

The Mortician takes it upon himself to help and protect the kid no matter how dangerous things become.

Sadly the final chapters of this film feels as if pressure was drawn to make things so apple pie happy.  After the dark and violent humming build up throughout, these moments are so out of place and soil what was a gripping film.

It must be said, the music is fitting for the work. Blues and mood, only brief bits of Hip Hop which is to be expected due to the central star of course. In fact, Method Man sings the blues and comes over quite well. Production values are fantastic and look perfect. The corpse effects, etcetera, are put together with an eye for detail by a team who's worked on such movies as Bullet to the Head, Jonah Hex, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Cooties, Watchmen, and more in various roles.

The acting from everybody concerned are on point and there's no weak links anywhere. Method Man and E.J. (The House That Jack Built, Four) Bonilla, as Noah, are bouncing off each other perfectly, whilst Dash (I Am Legend, Gotham, Punisher: Warzone) Mihok, portrays Carver, as a vile shit with a limp and a cancerous cough. Wendell Pierce and Edward Furlong are both wasted in meatless roles unfortunately, but maybe the pay department was watching their expenses.

The Mortician is recommended as a throwaway movie with some atmosphere and a watchable evening’s entertainment. Lionsgate's DVD has a trailer gallery and... oh, that's it. Shame! A soundtrack would have been nice, or a quick interview.



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 Aspect Ratio: 1.35:1 16:1
 Region: NTSC R1
 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

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