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DVD Review: The Hearse (1980)

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The Hearse (1980)

Directed by George Bowers

DVD Review: The Hearse (1980)The Hearse is an 80s horror movie about a woman who is haunted by a creepy-looking hearse and its sinister driver.

Trish Van Devere stars as Jane Hardy, a recently divorced woman who is also struggling to comes to terms with death of her mother. Times have been hard for the school teacher, so there is little wonder that she has had a few mental problems. It is also probably not surprising that she feels like getting away from things for a while and decides to take a vacation at her aunt's house. 

Jane's aunt died over thirty years ago and since then the house has stood empty. The house is situated in the small back-water town of Blackford and, even after driving all day, it is dark before she arrives. As she is approaching the town though, Jane has an encounter with a creepy, old hearse that nearly runs her off the road.

The house remains pretty much just as Jane's aunt left it and her portrait still hangs on the wall. She looks an awful lot like Jane, and also seems to be haunting her old home. At one point, while Jane is cleaning an upstairs window, she looks into the room and sees her aunt starring back at her. Poor Jane gets such a shock that she very nearly falls off her ladder.

The Hearse (1980)The local townsfolk are less than friendly towards the new arrival and the fact that she looks so much like her aunt probably doesn't help matters. Jane does not know the full story about her aunt though, and it is only when she finds an old diary and starts to read it that she begins to get a picture of her aunt's life and discovers that she was involved in Satanism.

The Hearse (1980), starring Trish Van DevereJane has other things to worry about though. She has had several encounters with the hearse, it even pays late-night visits to her home and the hearse's driver is one creepy-looking dude. At one point the hearse succeeds in running Jane off the road and her car gets stuck in the soft soil. Fortunately for her, another car comes around the corner and the driver, a man named Tom, stops and gives her a lift home. He even drops by the next day to return her car to her. Jane is very attracted to her knight in shining armour and a romance develops between them, which seems to mirror her aunt's romance (as described in the diary). 

DVD Review: The Hearse (1980)

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I enjoyed watching The Hearse and jumped in my seat more than once. There is no blood or gore, nor is there a lot in the way of special effects, but it still manages to be quite a scary movie, if a little predictable in places. My main problem with the movie is the way it ends and I felt really let down (Oh! is that it?).  It almost looks as if the producers ran out of ideas or just had no idea where they were meant to be going with the story in the first place. Even though the ending is so poor, The Hearse is still a movie I would happily watch again because the good outweighs the bad and it is so creepy it is hard not to love it.

Runtime 95 mins
Certificate: 15 (UK), PG (USA)


Trish Van Devere  ...  Jane Hardy
 Joseph Cotten ...  Walter Pritchard

 David Gautreaux ...  Tom Sullivan
 Donald Hotton ...  Reverend Winston
 Med Flory ...  Sheriff Denton
 Donald Petrie ...  Luke

 Christopher McDonald ...  Pete
 Perry Lang ...  Paul Gordon
 Fred Franklyn ...  Mr. Gordon
 Olive Dunbar ...  Mrs. Gordon

 Al Hansen ...  Bo Rehnquist
 Dominic Barto ...  The Driver
 Nicholas Shields ...  Dr. Greenwalt
 Chuck Mitchell ...  Counterman

 Allison Balson ...  Alice
 Jim Gatherum ...  Boy #1
 Victoria Eubank ...  Lois
 Tanya Bowers ...  Schoolgirl


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