In our researching of crematoriums and mortuaries, writer-director Dan O’Bannon and I were given surprisingly generous access to their behind-closed-doors operations. At one mortuary the owner said, “You’ve never seen a corpse? Let me show ya.”
He reached over to a coffin-sized box in his office and lifted the lid. There was the body of someone’s granny.
Another owner took us down to see the retort (cremation oven).
“You’ve never seen a body when it’s burning?” He opened the door to the retort. “Take a look…”
Inside the oven I saw what looked like parts of several human beings burning.
“Uh…how many corpses are you burning in there?”
“Three. It saves time and money to do three at once. I just divvy up the ashes into three piles after they’re all burnt. The families of the deceased never know.”
As we left the different mortuaries and crematoriums, the same thing happened every single time. As we were walking to Dan’s car, an employee would come running out of the building. Making sure they weren’t seen, the employee would glance furtively around before breathlessly telling us, “I just have to tell somebody — they’re having sex with the corpses in there!”
Like I said, this wasn’t just once. This happened at every single place we visited.