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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Love Me Deadly (Blu-ray)
Love Me Deadly (Blu-ray)
Code Red // R // July 24, 2018 // Region A
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted August 29, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie:

Love Me Deadly is, as the gleefully wonky trailer proclaims, "A film about necrophilia… a sexual attraction for corpses" which you'd think would be a bit of a spoiler except that it isn't. It's made every clear in the opening scene that pretty Lindsay Finch (Mary Wilcox) has got a thing for dead guys. We see this first hand when she attends a funeral and, after everyone leaves, she approaches the open casket and open mouth kisses the corpse inside. Lindsay's fabulously wealthy. She drives a white Rolls Royce and lives in a beautiful home, but she doesn't appear to have a job. It seems that her deceased father (Michael Pardue) left her a substantial amount of money but it's clear that not everything is right upstairs. Lindsay's got issues.

To her credit, she tries to keep on the straight and narrow. Even though her friend Wade (Christopher Stone) gets a little to fresh one night, she decides to date him, which oddly enough leads to her meeting kindly and then dating and then marrying kindly art dealer Alex Martin (Lyle Waggoner). Things would be fine except for the fact that Lindsay was spotted by weird Fred McSweeney (Timothy Scott), the creepy owner of an unusually busy funeral parlor with a taste for rough trade and a kink similar to Lindsay's. When he invites her to join in with the secret necro-sex cult that he leads, she finds his offer impossible to resist…

Melodrama! Full frontal nudity! Corpse screwing! Bad theme songs! Hooker killing! Fancy cars! More Melodrama! Sex cults! Love Me Deadly has all this and more and had it been made by a more capable director it might have proved to be both shocking and disturbing, but as it stands it's just too goofy to take seriously. That doesn't mean it isn't insanely entertaining, because it is both very insane and very entertaining, but it's never frightening or particularly thought provoking even while it plays things incredibly straight for the audience. It's clear that director Jacques Lacerte, in his only feature, was experienced with live theater work as the movie does occasionally feel a bit stagey… but despite the movie's many and obvious flaws it's justifiably become a legitimate cult classic. The picture is surprisingly grisly at times, showing in fairly graphic detail McSweeney's abduction of a male prostitute and the subsequent live embalming that he performs on the poor guy, and it doesn't lack in nudity either.

This contrasts in strange ways with the somewhat wholesome feeling performances that feel like they were lifted out of some sort of bizarre-world TV movie of the week! Mary Wilcox, who would later go on to do plenty of TV work and a few films but who remains instantly identifiable as Idella Muckle Orca from the early nineties Maniac Mansion series, is a lot of fun to watch here, especially once she reverts back to her childhood state and dances around her father's grave only to get caught by her husband and freak out. Lyle Waggoner, before he'd go on to be immortalized in the seventies Wonder Woman series, is also a kick. His character clearly loves his wife but is understandably frustrated by his repeated unsuccessful attempts to consummate their marriage. The scenes of the two of them picnicking and frolicking near a waterfall are goofy, b-movie bliss! Christopher Stone, who appeared in The Howling and Cujo alongside a huge amount of TV shows and TV movies, steals a few scenes as the creepy mortician.

It's all pretty bonkers stuff and it comes complete with a memorable theme song. Production values are surprisingly decent here, the movie is nicely shot, features some great location work and some nifty cult member costumes. The gore effects are well done and the pacing is just fine. The whole thing might be amazingly tone deaf but that just adds to the screwy fun of it all.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

Love Me Deadly arrives on Blu-ray framed at 1.78.1 widescreen on a 25GB disc taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative in a transfer that blows the old DVD release, which looked good for its time, out of the water. There are a couple of vertical scratches noticeable in two spots but otherwise, the image is remarkably clean. Detail is very strong and there's nice depth and texture to the image. Color reproduction looks great and the image is free of any obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement issues. Black levels are strong and there are no compression artifacts to note. One or two shots look softer than others but the DVD was the same way and it's clear that this is the way that the movie was shot, not an issue with the transfer.

Sound:

The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track is solid. Not alternate language options or subtitles are provided. Dialogue is clear throughout, the loungey theme song sounds very strong, and the levels are nicely balanced. Hiss and distortion are never a problem. Not complaints here at all.

Extras:

The main extra on the disc is a commentary track with Buck Edwards, the screenwriter of Love Me Deadly moderated by Greg Goodsell. It's an interesting track when the pair isn't just telling us what we're looking at on the screen (which, unfortunately, happens semi-regularly). When it's on, we learn about where the participants in the ritual/orgy scenes came from, the locations that were used or the shoot and how they were chosen and used, typically without permits, what it was like on set with the two leads and Jacques Lacerte's directing style.

The disc also comes with the option to watch the movie in ‘Maria's B-Movie Mayhem' mode which, when enable, starts with an intro from Maria Kanellis wherein she offers up some thoughts on the film and some trivia before it starts. Aside from that we also get two trailers for the feature, menus and chapter selection. Some great reversible cover sleeve art is also included.

Final Thoughts:

Love Me Deadly is a deliriously sleazy blend of soap opera melodrama and grisly sex and violence that at times feels like a made for TV movie gone horribly, horribly wrong in all the right ways. The Blu-ray release from Code Red is a good one, presenting the film in excellent shape, with solid audio and with all of the extras carried over from their DVD release. Fans of seventies trash films can consider this one highly recommended!

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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