Funeral Home (1980) - Review - 80's Slasher

Funeral Home (1980) - Review - 80's Slasher

Title: Funeral Home (AKA Cries in the night)

Release Date: October 3rd, 1980

Tagline: "Some Things Never Rest In Peace."

Funeral Home (also known as Cries in the Night) is a 1980 Canadian horror/thriller directed by William Fruet starring Lesleh Donaldson, Kay Hawtrey, Jack Van Evera, Alf Humphreys, and Harvey Atkin. Both Donaldson and Humphreys would later become cult favorites of the horror genre for the film,[citation needed] and also Donaldson's roles in Happy Birthday to Me (1981) and Curtains (1983), and Humphreys in Death Weekend (1976) and My Bloody Valentine (1981).[vague] Fruet would later direct the 1986 slasher film Killer Party.


A young woman named Heather (Lesleh Donaldson) arrives at her grandparents' (Kay Hawtrey, Jack Van Evera) house, which used to be a funeral home, to help her turn the place into a bed-and-breakfast inn. Soon after they open, however, guests begin to disappear.


  • The budget for the film was roughly $1,431,780.00 American Dollars, and was filmed from July 23, 1979, to September 12, 1979.
  • According to actress Lesleh Donaldson, actress Kay Hawtrey and director William Fruet did not get along well, stating that "She couldn’t stand him. She hated him. Just hated him." and that she recalled Hawtrey "...being a nervous wreck nearly every morning. And then she claimed Bill was making her do stuff at the end that was too much for her. In the scene where she's down in the cellar. There were a lot of crew guys doubling for her, with the axe and swinging stuff around. It wasn’t her doing that."
  • On director William Fruet, Donaldson stated she "knew that he would do things off-the-cuff at the last minute, like changing a scene. [She] might not have been called in that day and suddenly I’d get a call telling me, 'Get to the set now!' and I’d have to do a scene I hadn’t memorized yet. It was tense that way."
  • The film was released in Canada in 1980 by Frontier Amusements and in America in 1982 by MPM.

It was released on VHS by Vouge Video in Canada in 1982 and Paragon Video in 1983 and again in 1986 as a big box reissue.


Kay Hawtrey as Maude Chalmers

Gandmother of Heather and owner of the former funeral home.



Directed by William Fruet
Produced by Barry Allen
William Fruet
Written by Ida Nelson
Starring Lesleh Donalson

Kay Hawtrey Alf Humphreys Harvey Atkin Jack Van Evera
Barry Morse Dean Garbett
Stepehn E. Miller

Music by Jerry Fielding
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Edited by Ralph Brunjes
Distributed by Frontier Amusements
Vouge Video
Paragon Video
Mill Creek Entertainment
Release date(s) October 3rd, 1980 (Canada)
August 12th, 1982 (USA)
Running time 93 min
Country Canada
Language English
  • Kay Hawtrey as Maude Chalmers
  • Lesleh Donaldson as Heather
  • Barry Morse as Mr. Davis
  • Dean Garbett as Rick Yates
  • Stephen E. Miller as Billy Hibbs
  • Alf Humphreys as Joe Yates
  • Peggy Mahon as Florie
  • Harvey Atkin as Harry Browning
  • Robert Warner as Sheriff
  • Jack Van Evera as James Chalmers
  • Les Rubie as Sam
  • Doris Petrie as Ruby
  • Bill Lake as Frank
  • Brett Matthew Davidson as Young Rick
  • Christopher Crabb as Teddy
  • Robert Craig as Barry Oaks
  • Linda Dalby as Linda
  • Gerard Jordan as Pete
  • Eleanor Beecroft as Shirley