The main surprises are predictable and the script suffers from an overall vagueness and dearth of logic Why, for example, did Trish Van Deveres aunt die if she signed an immortality pact? Why does the Devils emissary want Van Devere in particular reincarnation? family lineage? What purpose do the attacks by the hearse serve?
Trish Van Devere (better known as Mrs George C. Scott) is adequate, but the scene stealers are all in the supporting cast, including taciturn Joseph Cotten, Donald Hotton of particularly unsettling laugh, and the appealing boyish Perry Lang. As the mysterious stranger, David Gatreaux (whose main claim to fame is that he was once selected as Leonard Nimoys replacement in a planned 1970s tv revival of Star Trek) is laughably wooden. A passable degree of atmosphere is sustained but the shaky contrivation of the premise soon becomes evident.
The Hearse was one of only four films directed by editor George Bowers who also made the non-genre likes of the boxing film Body and Soul (1981) and the teen makeout comedies My Tutor (1983) and Private Resort (1985).
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