St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

Cemetery Sisters (1988)

Cemetery Sisters

A few years ago Parker and I watched a treasure called Criminally Insane (1975, also known as Crazy Fat Ethel), a complete treasure of a movie about an obese woman who murders anyone who gets between her and food. It’s low-budget slasher joy because it’s so unapologetically trashy and very, very funny. It doesn’t make you hang around for 40 minutes of character and plot development that no-one cares about before you get to the action. The same goes for tonight’s fare, Cemetery Sisters (1988), a film by the same director only this time shot on glorious videotape. The DVD release is fuzzy and almost proudly boasts videotape artifacts like banding, off-lock errors, and chroma fringing, but then we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is good old-fashioned crap and it’s not here to apologize about it.

A highly suspect 'Just Married' sign.
They shouldn’t have blown the budget on the “Just Married” sign.

Two sisters have an on-going scam where they marry men and murder them to get their money. I can’t say much more about the plot because… it doesn’t have one. That’s literally the entire movie. It is only an hour long, so there’s not a lot of time to do much else.

A suitor shows up in an orange sports car.

Their date shows up, and he’s got a definite geography teacher vibe about him, despite which he’s driving this gorgeous orange sporty number. He is bringing a flower, though, and may I say this: fuck flowers. They’re the least personal gift in the world — you only give someone a flower if you saw some bimbo swoon over flowers in a cookie-cutter romance movie. Look at this bastard, he even brought it in a little pot. That means she has to water it and take care of it now. He’s not bringing her a flower, he’s bringing her a job. Bet you anything he doesn’t last long.

Thirty seconds later they’re getting hitched in Vegas. Which can only mean one thing…

One sister stabs the other's husband.

Yip, he’s dead.

A flashback to when she was a boy playing in the mortuary.
“I’d rather play with you than with my dolls.”

One of the sisters brushes her hair in a shot that will get repeated about three times, giving me fierce déjà vu of the way David DeCoteau will re-use shots relentlessly to pad out his movies. That hairbrush needs to come with a trigger warning, because every time she brushes her hair she experiences a traumatic flashback to when she was a small boy playing with corpses in the mortuary.

Their aunt shows up unexpectedly.

Okay, this aunt is pretty great. I mean to start with, what has she come as? The big boofy hair and the big 80s jacket are amazing, plus she’s got this face like a Muppet. Despite her unpromising looks, auntie gets around. She’s bangin’ pool-boys and lining up multiple dates on the same evening so she can knock ’em down like skittles.

The aunt gets murdered.

Spoiler alert, she doesn’t last long either.

Nick Millard's other movies.

The movie ends with about fifteen minutes of padding where the sister has an(other) flashback to when she was a small boy watching horror movies. These horror movies are, in fact, the director’s previous films.

Where’s the Man Candy?

Mr. Monobrow

Although one or two of the sisters’ dates have geography teacher bods (like dad bods, only not sexy), a couple of them are surprisingly pretty. Even the odd monobrow can’t marr that face.

He who looks like a Disney prince.

Parker: He looks like a Disney prince!

Me: Sure, why not.

The Skinny

Mr. Monobrow meets his end.

“Did you have to stab him so often?”

A no-acting, no-budget gem. Parker and I weren’t sure how to rate this because, while it’s not remotely a good movie, it’s so much fun. In the end if you want to evaluate a movie on its cinematic qualities, you can do it yourself. I think if you’re going to rate a film it should be based on your own enjoyment, and we had a blast with this one.