A young woman named Dolores (Zoe Daelman Chlanda) arrives in a small town looking for work. Nothing odd about that. Well, there is something a bit odd about Dolores. She seems a little dazed and out-of-it, except when someone touches the large, heavy steamer trunk she's carrying. Then she gets a little upset. And the job she's after is not your average one…she wants to be the local mortician's assistant. And did I mention that Dolores is very good at that sort of work?
Come to think of it, the town Dolores moves to is a trifle odd as well. The mortuary's staff includes Mr. Beech (Bill Corry), your average older nerdy guy; his wife Nettie (Katherine O'Sullivan), an overly religious type still mourning her daughter who died ten years ago; their jack-of-all-trades Jake (Jerry Murdock), a slimy sort who snorts coke constantly; and Corey (played by Alan Rowe Kelly, the director) who in addition to being the mortuary's makeup artist is also a transgender, or a transvestite, or maybe just a very mannish-looking woman (I was never clear on which he/she was supposed to be).
Throw in Dolores' horrifying past of sexual abuse and her current fetish for dead people, Jake's sideline job supplying body parts to a mysterious person for a purpose that's never explained, and Dolores being a near lookalike for Nettie's dead daughter, and as they say, hijinks ensue.
I'll Bury You Tomorrow is a mixed bag. The plot has some interesting twists (including some genuine surprises - I didn't see Corey's fate coming). Dolores is an interesting character, and a couple of the actors (Chlanda as Dolores, and also Jerry Murdock as both Jake and his nice-guy cop brother Mitch) do a good job. The film also makes no bones about heaping unpleasantness on every character, and there's some old-school gore and guts that should please those weary of computer-generated ooze and PG-13 blandness. The opening is somewhat slow, but atmospheric. And there is a genuinely disturbing flashback scene that goes a long way to explain Dolores and her actions.
On the downside, the camera work is truly terrible. I understand this is a low-budget effort, but good digital video is pretty accessible and affordable these days. Perhaps the film-makers were striving for a 1970s-era low-budget grindhouse feel, but the overall effect is often hard on the eyes (I recommend watching the film on a computer monitor). Aside from Chlanda and Murdock the acting ranges from the bland to the amateurish. Once the film gets going, the gore is plentiful but the film is repulsive instead of frightening. And Dolores makes a shift in character from tormented necrophile to casual murderer a little too easily.
If Kelly and his crew can bring the technical values and acting ability up to par with their storytelling and their willingness to pull no punches, they can have a seriously good horror film next time out.
The extras on the Heretic DVD are 19 (!) deleted scenes, trailers, bloopers, and photos