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“The word is... necrophilia,” explains Fred the undertaker to seemingly frigid Lindsay Finch. And while necrophilia is certainly the kind of subject matter that raises eyebrows, it’s nevertheless something that doesn’t surprise us in the context of, say, a Euro gothic like The Horrible Dr. Hichcock or Joe D’Amato horror schlock like Buried Alive or underground German goreflicks like Nekromantik. But it seems sooooo out of place and therefore so much more disturbing in the bright sunshine of L.A., especially when it’s practiced by lovely Lindsay (MARY WILCOX) who looks like the average American housewife. Yet, when we first meet her, she’s lurking in the back of a funeral home, dressed in black and pretending to be a mourner. But when everyone files out, she stays behind, approaches the coffin... and kisses the corpse.
Oh, she tries to lead a normal life – she has a brief fling with a swinger named Wade (CHRISTOPHER STONE of The Howling) and even gets married to LYLE WAGGONER – it’s just that sex with someone alive is so... well... icky. It all has something to do with her daddy. Her dead daddy. For reasons not explained until the end, Lindsay is so obsessed with memories of her father that she occasionally even acts like a little girl, talks baby talk, and dances on his grave. She also peruses the death notices in the newspaper, puts on her working clothes – black dress, pearl necklace, hat and veil – and goes around making out with dead people. Which is, ironically, how she meets her future husband. Freaked after she breaks the nose off a corpse whose face she was caressing, Lindsay runs smack dab into the deceased’s brother, Alex (Mr. Waggoner). She’s immediately attracted to Alex because (a) he looks like her daddy, (b) they met in a funeral home, and (c) she’s a fan of The Carol Burnett Show<.
But Lindsay also starts hanging around with some real weirdos... The above mentioned Fred the undertaker invites Lindsay to meet with his cult of corpse lovers who get naked and have sex with stiffs. Worse, if there isn’t a good-looking body available, Fred goes out and procures one. In fact, in a film filled with corpse loving, the single most upsetting scene is when Fred picks up a male hustler (in front of a wildly garish gay porno theater), straps him to a metal table, and embalms the screaming kid alive: “Don’t stick me, c’mon, please.... You’re not kidding! He’s not kidding! You’re a maniac! Oh my blood, my blood....”
Unfortunately, it all puts a strain on Lindsay’s marriage until... well, let’s just say things end rather fittingly. Actually, in the twisted world of the necrophile, one might even say it has a happy ending....
Yeah, this is an odd one alright. Shot like a TV movie – though you sure won’t see this on the Lifetime channel anytime soon -- Love Me Deadly comes complete with a hilariously inappropriate title tune: “Love me deadly / Kiss me deadly / This very special love can never be.... / Touch me deadly / Hold me deadly / Look in my eyes and tell me what you see....”
From a 35mm corpse-cuddlin’ print. -- (the late) Watson Pritchard
Lyle WaggoneerOther cast:
Christopher Stone, Timothy ScottDirected by: