The movie Love Me Deadly (1972) is a horror film that tells the disturbing story of a young woman named Lindsay Finch (Mary Charlotte Wilcox) who is obsessed with death and has an unhealthy fascination with embalming. Lindsay becomes enamored with a mysterious mortician named Mr. Sims (Lyle Waggoner), who shares her fixation with the dead.
The movie begins with Lindsay attending the funeral of a stranger, where she kisses the corpse of the deceased man. She is caught by Mr. Sims, who invites her to join his secret cult of necrophiles, who worship Satan and perform sexual rituals with dead bodies. Lindsay is reluctant at first, but soon succumbs to Mr. Sims’ seduction and becomes his lover.
Lindsay also meets a handsome young man named Alex Martin (Christopher Stone), who is interested in her and tries to pursue a relationship with her. Lindsay is torn between her attraction to Alex and her loyalty to Mr. Sims, who becomes increasingly possessive and jealous of her. Lindsay tries to hide her dark secret from Alex, but he becomes suspicious of her strange behavior and follows her to the funeral home, where he discovers the truth about her and Mr. Sims.
Alex confronts Lindsay and tries to convince her to leave Mr. Sims and his cult, but she refuses. Mr. Sims then kidnaps Alex and plans to kill him and use his body for their next ritual. Lindsay is horrified by this and realizes that she loves Alex more than Mr. Sims. She decides to betray Mr. Sims and rescue Alex, but she is too late. Mr. Sims has already stabbed Alex to death and prepared his body for the ceremony.
Lindsay arrives at the funeral home and finds Alex’s corpse on a table, surrounded by the cult members. She is overcome with grief and rage and attacks Mr. Sims, stabbing him repeatedly with a scalpel. She then embraces Alex’s body and kisses him, while the cult members watch in shock. The movie ends with Lindsay lying next to Alex’s body, whispering “I love you” to him, as the screen fades to black.
- Mary Charlotte Wilcox as Lindsay Finch
- Lyle Waggoner as Mr. Sims
- Christopher Stone as Alex Martin
- Timothy Scott as Wade Farrow
- Diane Lee Hart as Bonnie
- William Kerwin as Fred McSweeney
- Big John Hamilton as George
- Michael Ross Verona as Young Lindsay
- David Ankrum as Young Alex
- Millie Dill as Mrs. Finch
The movie Love Me Deadly (1972) was directed by Jacques Lacerte and written by Buck Edwards. It was produced by Buck Edwards and Robert O. Ragland. It was released on January 21, 1973 in the United States. It has a runtime of 95 minutes and a budget of $42,000. It was rated R for violence, nudity, and sexual content. It was also known as Secrets of the Death Room and The Beloved.
The movie was inspired by the real-life case of Karen Greenlee, a female necrophile who worked as an apprentice embalmer and was arrested in 1979 for stealing a corpse and having sex with it. Greenlee later wrote a letter confessing her necrophilia and explaining her motives and feelings. The letter was published in the book Apocalypse Culture by Adam Parfrey in 1987.
The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, California. The funeral home scenes were shot at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is also the final resting place of many celebrities, such as Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, and Johnny Ramone. The cemetery also hosts movie screenings, concerts, and cultural events.
The movie features a cameo appearance by William Kerwin, who was a regular actor in the films of Herschell Gordon Lewis, the “Godfather of Gore”. Kerwin plays a detective who investigates the cult’s activities. Kerwin also appeared in Lewis’ films such as Blood Feast (1963), Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), and The Wizard of Gore (1970).
The movie was released on DVD by Code Red in 2006 and by Shout! Factory in 2011. The DVD includes an audio commentary by Mary Charlotte Wilcox and Christopher Stone, a featurette with Lyle Waggoner, a photo gallery, and trailers. The movie was also released on Blu-ray by Code Red in 2016.
The movie received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. Some praised it for its originality, atmosphere, and performances, while others criticized it for its low budget, poor editing, and exploitative nature. Here are some excerpts from different reviews:
“Love Me Deadly is a surprisingly effective and disturbing horror film that deals with the taboo subject of necrophilia. The film is well-acted, especially by Mary Charlotte Wilcox, who gives a convincing and sympathetic portrayal of a troubled woman with a dark obsession. The film also has a creepy and eerie mood, thanks to the use of funeral home settings and organ music. The film does not shy away from showing the graphic and gruesome aspects of necrophilia, but it also explores the psychological and emotional aspects of it, making it more than just a cheap shocker.” 
“Love Me Deadly is a sleazy and trashy horror film that exploits the sick and twisted topic of necrophilia. The film is poorly made, with bad acting, editing, and directing. The film is also very boring, with a slow and dull plot that drags on for too long. The film tries to shock the audience with scenes of nudity, violence, and necrophilia, but it only succeeds in repulsing and offending them. The film has no redeeming qualities and is a waste of time and money.” 
“Love Me Deadly is a bizarre and unique horror film that tackles the rare and controversial theme of necrophilia. The film is not for everyone, as it is very graphic and disturbing, but it is also very fascinating and intriguing, as it delves into the mind and motives of a female necrophile. The film is well-acted, especially by Mary Charlotte Wilcox, who gives a brave and nuanced performance as the tormented heroine. The film also has a haunting and atmospheric tone, thanks to the use of funeral home locations and organ music. The film is a cult classic and a must-see for fans of extreme and unconventional horror.”