The Sitcom From Hell...
Movie Poster for The Mortals
The Mortals

This ten and a half minute parody of bad sitcoms is about a family who die, one by one, as the plot unfolds. Based on 80's/early 90's family sitcoms (such as Alf and Full House), the idea behind this hideous film is pretty much made clear in the pre-title opening scene:

[Enter MR MORTAL.]
MR MORTAL: Honey, I'm home! [Cue canned laughter] Darryn, did you kill Grandma with Daddy's hacksaw?
DARRYN [Quickly concealing a hacksaw behind his back, while standing next to the corpse of GRANDMA]: Who, me? [Cue canned laughter. DARRYN Looks sheepishly at the camera. MR MORTAL also looks at the camera, smiling and pointing his thumb at DARRYN in a "that's-my-boy, chip-off-the-old-block" kind of way. Cue applause. Fade out.]

So you get the idea: the humour is that the jokes (if any) are really awful, but you find yourself laughing at the ridiculousness of the canned laughter that happens practially everytime somebody says something.

Then there's a cheesy intro, with a cheesy sitcom song:

Death is the Punchline
Written by Andrew Kepple and sung by Corey Matthews.

Every day of your life, death's just around the corner
So which one are you - the deceased or are you the mourner?
You might get hit by a truck, you might get CJD
Have heart attack, or meet a killer bee
'Cause if there's one sure thing in this crazy world it's we all gotta go sometime

So if you don't get shot by someone who's insane
Then you might get hit by a falling plane
Or your car might stop out in front of a railway train...
'Cause life's a joke
And death is the punchline.


Mr Mortal

First Name: Unknown, but his wife calls him "Dear"...
Occupation: Coffin salesman.
Worst Line: "Get ready for Mister Biggie!" (This was not in the actual script. It was improvised, and happened in the scene where he leaps into bed with Mrs Mortal.)
Best Line: "Well, I guess nobody will be walking away from that one!" (Spoken after a TV news reporter announces: "Tragedy at the Paralympics, as a seven wheelchair pile-up creates disaster in the men's 400 metres.")
Likely Inspiration: Bob Saget and Al Bundy.
Cause of Death: Lighting a cigarette next to a leaky LPG cannister.

Mrs Mortal
Karen (no surname)
First Name: Unknown, but her husband calls her "Honey"...
Occupation: Housewife.
Worst Line: "Look at that dear, this dinner really IS to die for!" [Cue canned laughter](Spoken after Mr Mortal observes that dinner "smells like it's to die for!" after which Darryn falls out of an open window and dies.)
Best Line: "Don't worry about that now dear, at least you can come home to your loving family..." [Enter DARRYN and SHARON, screaming and yelling.]
Likely Inspiration: Housewife stereotype.
Cause of Death: Loss of blood after having her wrist slit by her own daughter!

Sharon Mortal
Role in Family: Big sister.
Worst Line: "This is the worst day of my life!" [Cue dramatic music] (This line is her catchphrase, like Mr Mortal's "Honey, I'm home!")
Best Line: "I'll ring your neck!" (Spoken just after she narked on Darryn for trying to hang himself.)
Likely Inspiration: The Full House girls.
Cause of Death: Putting a key into an electrical power socket instead of the lock.

Darryn Mortal
Role in Family: Little brother.
Worst Line: "Who, ME?"
Best Line: "Thanks, Dad; you always know how to stop me from killing myself!" (Just after Mr Mortal has explained to the kids that they "don't deserve to die, because death is too good for putrid pieces of pig faeces such as yourselves.", with soppy piano music in the background, and the audience saying "Awwwww...")
Likely Inspiration: Dennis the Menace.
Cause of Death: Stepping on a dangerously-placed skateboard and falling out an open window.

The Cat
Role in Family: The Pet.
Likely Inspiration: Alf.
Only Line: "Meow!" Cause of Death: Scene one begins with The Cat sitting in front of the door. Enter Mr Mortal, flinging door open and squashing The Cat against the wall!

Mrs Mortal #2
Role in Family: Mrs Mortal's replacement for the "Tune in next week" preview.
Only Line: "Guess what I got today, kids! Prostate cancer!" [Fade to credits.]

Grandma Mortal #2
Hidden beneath a blanket on the couch, she never actually gets seen. Ooo, spooky!

Mr Mortal #2

Role in Family: Mr Mortal's replacement for the "Tune in next week" preview.
Only Line: "Honey, I'm home!"

Some Shots
Of bits that deserve a mention

That's my boy! Re! Re! Re! (Psycho shower-scene music!) An Oscar for Mr Mortal's eyebrows!!! I'll ring your neck! This dinner really IS to die for! Tee hee! Smash! Crash! Ow my eye! But you've cut yourself! Product placement Do I make you horny, baby? Where's her pulse gone?

"Sure, there's all new actors, but it's still the same time, same channel, and the same cheesy jokes, only on... The Mortals!" (echo... echo...)

Corey "Corpse" Matthews. Cause of death: Acting as Mr Mortal, singing Death is the Punchline.

Karen "The Lucky Stiff" (No surname). Cause of death: Acting as Mrs Mortal and having bad hair.

Hilaire "Coffin Fodder" Carmody. Cause of death: Acting as Sharon Mortal and having the worst day of her life.

"Morbid" Matt Powell. Cause of death: Acting as Darryn Mortal and having to wear that mullet wig (yes it was only a wig).

Pussy Galore (Obviously doesn't want her real name associated with this film). Cause of death: Acting as Grandma Mortal and Mrs Mortal #2.

Andrew "Decomposer" Kepple. Cause of death: Acting as Mr Mortal#2 (no, that was not a mullet wig, that was my REAL hair!), writing, directing & filming this thing, and having to wrangle with 5 different sound inputs (original/music/soundFX/laughter/tape#2) while editing.

The University of Canterbury Comedy Club. Cause of death: Producing canned laughter while Andrew conducted the laughter with his hands.