Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Review by Rumsey Taylor
Posted on 12 December 2004
Source Fleshbot Films DVD
Reviews: Plan 9 from Outer Space
What propensity Necromania retains to entertain as an erotic horror film is affirmed only in retrospect. The film is now known as Edward D. Wood Jr.’s final product as a filmmaker, an effort that bears a diminutive budget and little ambition other than to capitalize on the boom of pornography in the early 70s. It is, of course, as bad as one would expect, perhaps even more so in comparison to Wood’s past—or comparatively successful—work. Like a naked body seen in fluorescent lighting, Necromania’s blemishes are amplified by its cheap, unimaginative resources.
It was released in 1971 with a director’s pseudonym and the disclaimer: “the cast wish to remain anonymous.” The title suggests sex and horror; the two elements are cacophonic, as the film is neither erotic nor frightening. This is not to say Necromania is absent of any merits, as it is enhanced by its tactless craft. For one, the stilted dialogue is cohesive:
You can say that again.
What sparingly amounts to a plot concerns an unsatiated couple who receive an invitation to a mansion, some sort of support group for sexually frustrated couples. The female is shortly abated by another female, the male by another female, and after about forty minutes of this limited sexual variety the polygamous group enter a room with a coffin that encloses the mansion’s proprietor, Madame Heles. She engages the male for a final lesson inside her coffin. In the final minutes, its lid rhythmically thumps open and shut in a detail that results in laughter as one of the film’s many failed attempts at ambient macabre.