The Demon Within – Mausoleum (1983)

Mausoleum is a film that finds a demon inhabiting the body of a young girl after her mother passes. As she gets older, said demon soon begins to act out by murdering nearly any man that shows a passing interest in her. The only man that seems to be safe from the creature is her husband Oliver, who is about as nice a guy as one could ever meet. Even then though, it is not long before the demon becomes too strong and it is not only Oliver in its headlights, but its host Susan as well.

There is nothing especially great about Mausoleum, but it does manage to be a lot of fun, especially once the killing starts. It starts off a little slow at first, setting up Susan’s origin and where she is currently in her life, but it does not take very long for the demon to emerge, or at least to get its ire up and when that happens, so too do the bodies start to fall. Playing the woman in question is Bobbie Bresee who is not afraid to bare it all when called for and more often than not, it is then that the audience knows the demon is going to kill. There is quite a bit of gore present during these murders and all of them vary from one to the next, some of them actually being quite imaginative as well. Despite the nudity and the blood and the frequency with which Susan and the demon lash out, the film is never all that scary – instead being more spectacle than horror. Even the demon when it finally shows its face and despite the costume looking quite frightening in itself, was not as scary as it could have been and that is probably the only thing really lacking from the whole affair – that feeling of being afraid.

There are script problems of course and the ending was exceptionally weak compared to the rest of the film. Some of the acting could have been a bit better, though members of the supporting cast including Maurice Sherbanee and LaWanda Page give decent performances. There are times where the movie is slightly suspenseful, and it helps to keep the momentum going, but altogether it never really had that big payoff that people tune in for. It is easy to see that director Michael Dugan was trying to make a serious horror film and the man does a competent job, thus while it was not perhaps as horrific as it could have been and left the audience wanting, it still managed to entertain and generate more than a little fun for the viewer.

2.5 out of 5

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