Grave Robbers (1998) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Grave Robbers (1998) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Straw Weisman
Starring: Elizabeth Mannino, David Gregory, Lawrence Bockius
Rated: UR/Region A/2:38/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Vinegar Syndrome

Nora Mae Edwards had always dreamed that a handsome and wealthy man would offer to marry her, but she never expected to find love while working the night shift at a sleazy diner. However, when John Henry Cox proposes to her within moments of their meeting, Nora can’t help but say yes. Whisked off to John’s home town of Newbury to live in his family’s mansion, Nora discovers that her new husband’s profession is that of an undertaker, and that the local death toll is disproportionately high. As the joys of marital bliss soon give way to increasingly violent nightmares, she begins to suspect that her seemingly gentle husband may be harboring a dark secret, especially when she learns that she’s far from the first ‘Mrs. Cox,’ but even more terrifyingly, that while her husband desires her body, he’d prefer it cold and dead…

Grave Robbers is a bit of a methodical flick that uses very morbid visuals and a love for the macabre to make most of its points. It also mixes those things in with what I’d call a borderline Troma-ish sense of humor from time to time that can make things seem a little off the rails here and there. It still manages to hold you in if for nothing else the wait to see just what the heck is happening and how it will play out. It also doesn’t hurt that it has some very nice visual effects as well. Do things here get a bit silly? Yes, they totally do. But at least nothing here ever dares to get dull either and that’s always a plus. I’m also a fan of the films lead for some reason or another. She does make some dumb decisions like any other female leads during this time, but we’ll just look over that part.

So, all of this comes to be because a girl trying to turn her life around is asked to marry a guy who randomly walks into her diner and asks for her hand in marriage. She says yes, of course, and the very soon after things start to get really creepy and weird. This is horror and this was the year of 1988, so needless to say logic isn’t here (at all) and things just keep getting more and more awkward from start to finish here with this one. The movie is guilty of not ending as good as it starts but I think the effects and atmosphere most of the time holds it together enough. But that comes after an ending that almost kills the whole thing. It may all sound a little mixed and it is, but Grave Robbers is still just good enough to recommend.

Extras

– Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo
– Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm camera negative
– Commentary track with writer/director Straw Weisman
– “Digging Up the Past” – interview with Straw Weisman
– Director’s introduction
– Original video trailer
– Reversible cover
– English SDH subtitles

Quality of Transfer: 91%