When her mother died 20 years ago, Susan Walker (played as a child by Julie Christy Murray) went into what Simon (Norman Burton) the family shrink describes as “extreme schizophrenic regression”.
This didn’t prevent her from marrying rich but wimpy Oliver Farrell (Marjoe Gortner) and living in a mansion that makes Tara in Gone With The Wind look like a shanty. She even has a black maid (LaWanda Page), clearly modelled on Hattie McDaniel.
But when sexy blonde Susan (played as an adult by the beautiful and buxom former Playboy bunny Bobbie Bresee) lose her temper her eyes turn aquamarine, she begins to snort green steam, and the objects of her wrath meet a terrible end . . .
A flirtatious barfly at the local country club is incinerated in his car.
Lustful gardener Ben (Maurice Sherbanee) allows Susan to seduce him in the toolshed only to be clawed to death with a pruning fork.
When the owner of a shopping mall art gallery refuses to sell her a (Dali ripoff) painting she covets, she sends him toppling four floors down into the food court below.
Only Oliver seems able to dodge her wrath – for a while. When he returns home after a hard day fussing over some mysterious contracts and asks what’s for dinner, she purrs back at him, “poached salmon . . . and me”. He’d be wise to stick to the poached salmon.
It turns out Susan is not suffering from psychosis after all. She’s the victim of demonic possession – a curse of the Nemod (read it backwards) family dating back to 1682. It must be exorcised by returning a missing crown of thorns to her mother’s rodent-ridden mausoleum.
Beardy Simon the shrink is elected to the task, which is rendered all the more difficult by the fact that it’s always thundering and lightning and raining cats and dogs over the mausoleum while the surrounding countryside is bathed in sunlight.
Despite its rampant silliness, Mausoleum is by no means the worst supernatural shocker in existence.
Director Michael Dugan manages to work up some eerie suspense, and the special effects are suitably repulsive.
Although Susan’s transformation from a languorous executive’s wife to a snarling feline demon is worked a few times too often, it’s ingeniously accomplished and a gory pleasure to watch each time.
Susan Walker Farrell
Dr Simon Andrews
Aunt Cora Nomed
Dr Roni Logan
Julie Christy Murray