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  Love Me Deadly NecromanticBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Jacques Lacerte
Stars: Mary Charlotte Wilcox, Lyle Waggoner, Christopher Stone, Timothy Scott, Michael Pardue, Dassa Cates, Terri Anne Duvalis, Louis Joeffred, Bruce Adams, Barbara Fisher, Edith Sills, Irving Rosen, H.B. Halicki, I. William Quinn, Michael Jacobs
Genre: Horror, Trash, Romance, Weirdo
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lindsay Finch (Mary Charlotte Wilcox) has an unusual fetish, one she is reluctant to share with anyone else, but a strong hint to what it might be is her predilection for attending funerals, though only those of attractive men. Once the mourners have filed out of the chapel, she finds herself alone with the body in the coffin and approaches it to smooch with its dead lips and press herself up against it, gaining sexual release from her perversion. The origins of this stem from her troubled childhood and her relationship with her adored father, but how could he have turned her onto this habit, and how can she ever have a normal bond with a living man when she is a... necrophiliac?!

Not a subject that comes up often in the movies, or indeed real life, the practice of loving the dead in a sexual manner can't be a particularly widespread problem, and that is reflected in the number of fictions it emerges in, with the occasional serious treatment not really raising its profile. Not that you would hear too many complaining that necrophilia did not get much of a high profile in the media, as for a start, well, ew, and there are not many performers willing to take a chance on their careers being plunged into jeopardy by adopting such a role. After all, Julia Roberts never starred in a movie where she was fucking George Clooney's corpse, did she?

It's just not a matter that crosses the mind of the vast majority of people, but it was evidently in the thoughts of writer-director Jacques Lacerte, for whom this was his sole excursion into filmmaking, either because after this there was nobody who wished to hire him, or because he was satisfied he had said all he needed to say with this tale of a woman who cannot resist the lure of a cadaver. If you have to give them credit, you could observe everyone involved approached the project with a straight face, with the consequence that any laughs you might derive from watching Love Me Deadly would be strictly of the unintentional variety, rather than deliberate.

Needless to say, what had apparently started life as a serious examination of the topic was retooled into a horror flick to increase its commercial potential, not that this was a blockbuster by any means. Wilcox, more fruitfully seen in comedy, dedicated herself to rendering Lindsay as sympathetically as possible, but the fact remained she was a weirdo, and the film itself was weird, and not in a fun way either. What it resembled was as if a US daytime soap opera had gone insane and included a storyline about one of their characters developing a lust for the dead, it really was filmed as flat as that, and the presence of television staple Lyle Waggoner as Lindsay's nose-sucking fiancé, later baffled husband, did little to dispel the feeling of watching pure small screen-style melodrama that was dabbling in X-rated big screen material.

So while you were witnessing the heroine's unspectacularly-shot anguish and wondering how odd this was going to get, your answer came with the introduction of a Satanic cult (because they were all the rage in horror of the early seventies) who try to coax her into their gang of corpse-lovers, centring around a morgue whose mortician sends her letters inviting her to pop around the back room and do what comes unnaturally. When Lindsay and her fiancé do get married, she cannot consummate the relationship because, well, he's moving around too much for her liking, but more than that she has a guilty secret from her past (as opposed to one from her present) that is to do with her father, for, as any pop psychologist will tell you, you have to have some trauma that affects your mental abnormalities, and this stuck to that cliché with enthusiasm. Pausing to note Gone in 60 Seconds creator H.B. Halicki in the credits (twice), Love Me Deadly was difficult to recommend, the sole aspect preventing crushing boredom being the necrophilia, and that's not exactly top entertainment. Music, complete with slushy theme song, by Phil Moody.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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