New on DVD from Frolic Pictures!
HEARSE LIFE (2017)
Directed by Peter Rodkey
Written by Peter Rodkey
Starring Richard Allen, Joelle Argueros, Dawnne Aubert-Reiche, Corky Baines, Brett Barris, Ted Beckman, Joseph Bell, Rance Bennett, Rebecka Birgersson, T.K. Carter, Catrina Coffin, Dale Cooper, Mike Davis, Mike Donahue, Martyn Donaldson, Andreas Essex-Slink, Pat Fish, Ryan Fitzgerald, Freddy Gillet, Ronnie Grubbs Jr., Mark Gullick, Zachary Byron Helm, Dale Helphinstone, Anna Hopper, Derek Johnson, Tom Kaserta, Tina Katzman, Andrew Keyes, Tiffany Rae Larkin, Miss Lynda, Joe MacDonald, Vladimir Michel, Patrick Miller, Bryan Moore, Paul Nix, Andrew Ostachuk, Jeff Perrin, Michael Petrich, Chuck Pierce, Peter Rodkey, Steve Sterel, Kurt Taylor, Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor, Larry Thompson, Valerie Thompson, Guy Thorpe, Robert Van Doren, Ernest Waltz, Earl Wendt, Hewy Wick
Horror is a niche genre as it is. HEARSE LIFE is going to appeal to an obscure niche within a niche—those gearheads who love their hearses. While finding an audience that shares their passion might be tough, this low budget documentary does an entertaining job of shining a light on an obscure realm of geekdom.
Director Peter Rodkey is a hearse owner and hearse lover and wants to share not only his own story of how he fell in love with the vehicle, but others as well. HEARSE LIFE begins with a history lesson which begins in (coincidentally) my own home town of Lima, Ohio, where the first hearse production factory was built. I had no idea about this detail of my hometown, but it was fun discovering it in this documentary, which talks with local workers, tours the factory, and shows some of the first hearse made in America. The film also focuses on some pretty interesting stories about the benefits and unfortunate experiences of those who own a hearse. For obvious reasons, some people think its morbid or downright evil. Various eccentric individuals—from a real life vampire to a guy who simply likes renovating them, are interviewed and share their adventures of owning a hearse. A trip to the Sunset Strip in California during Halloween offers up some of the most exciting moments in HEARSE LIFE. Seeing the way drunk people in costumes react to the pimped out hearses is pretty priceless.
Made pretty cheaply with a handheld camera and some iffy audio, HEARSE LIFE is not a slickly produced documentary, but it does capture the passion these hearse-heads share for their vehicle of choice. While this film is not for everyone, I’m sure there is someone out there who will have to see this. Personally, I know a few people who are just the right type of ghoul that would enjoy this one and I’m sure you do too.