Rest in Peace (1982)


aka Entity Force; Night In the Crypt; One Dark Night

USA. 1982.


Director – Tom McLoughlin, Screenplay – Tom McLoughlin & Michael Hawes, Producer – Michael Schroeder, Photography – Hal Trussel, Music – Bob Summers, Visual Effects/Makeup – Ellis Burman, Tom Burman & Bob Williams, Production Design – Craig Stearns. Production Company – The Picture Co


Meg Tilley (Julie Rose), Robin Young (Carol Wells), David Mason Daniels (Steve), Ronald Holton (Samuel Doxtadder), Leslie Speights (Kitty), Melissa Newman (Olivia Raymar), Elizabeth Daily (Leslie), Adam West (Allan)


Three sorority sisters issue innocent Julie Rose with an initiation challenge – that of spending the night inside a mausoleum. They give her a pill that they tell her is a suppressant to take should if she starts hearing things but this is actually a powerful hallucinogenic. They sneak in wearing Halloween masks and start pelting her with slime. Taking the pill sends Julie into hysterical nightmares. Unknown to any of them, the body of famed medium Karl Raymar, a psychic vampire, is interred in the mausoleum and returns to life.

Rest in Peace was a B-budget horror release of the 1980s that never attracted much attention, quite possibly because it was released under several different titles. The film certainly starts out with a promisingly spooky opening – an eerie Steadicam dream sequence moving through the sinister marble halls of the mausoleum, before cutting to the police entering Raymar’s apartment and finding crockery embedded in the walls, a closet full of dead bodies and a corpse flickering with residual traces of psychic energy. However, the promise of this opening soon peters out and Rest in Peace proves to be no more than a predictable show of familiar jolts and one-dimensional dialogue. About two-thirds of the whole film consists of running around the mausoleum. After building up the powerful nemesis of Raymar, the film does little with him. The dreary plot involving the turning of tables on cruel pranksters looks and sounds like a quick-fill tv movie ripoff of Carrie (1976). The floating corpse effects cannot help but seem laughable, even though these came from the normally respectable names of Tom Burman and reputedly an uncredited Tom Savini.

Director Tom McLoughlin later went onto make several other genre entries including Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986), the angel romance Date with an Angel (1987), the Stephen King adaptation Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Haunting of Helen Walker (1996) – an tv movie adaptation of Henry James’s oft-filmed The Turn of the Screw (1898) and the psycho-thriller The Unsaid (2001), as well as writing the screenplay for FairyTale: A True Story (1997) concerning the true life Cottingley Fairies Hoax.

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