Macabre Movies: Recs from Author, Mortician, and YouTube Star Caitlin Doughty

As Angelenos gear up for festivities surrounding Día de los Muertos later this month, what better way to honor the dead than with an eye-opening look at how other cultures around the world care for their dead. On November 1 at ALOUD, Caitlin Doughty, a mortician, New York Times best-selling author, blogger, and director of the nonprofit funeral home, Undertaking LA, will discuss her new book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death with LA Times Book Editor Carolyn Kellogg. Doughty is also a popular YouTube personality where she posts her hit video series, “Ask a Mortician,” which tackles topics from coffin births to confronting your own mortality.

So it’s no surprise that Doughty also loves watching flicks that engage with death in curious ways. Before she takes the ALOUD stage, we asked Doughty to share some of her favorite macabre movies. Here are Doughty’s recs below—all of which can be checked out from the Los Angeles Public Library.

“An Academy Award-winning Japanese film about one man’s experience in the funeral industry and his journey to become comfortable with dead bodies.”


A Certain Kind of Death: “A documentary about what happens to unclaimed and indigent dead in L.A. County. This is an amazing look at the flip side of the glamorous side of LA.”


Harold and Maude: “An older woman and a younger man find the quirky joy in death. A classic!”


Serving Life: “This movie documents an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals inside Angola Prison care for their dying fellow inmates.”


The Loved One: “LA has one of the strangest funeral industries in America. This is a 1965 comedy based on the funeral industry in LA. The film was based on a short satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh which was inspired by his visit to Forest Lawn. Bonus: It features Liberace!”


From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Caitlin Doughty
In conversation with Carolyn Kellogg, LA Times book editor
Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017 | 7:30pm
Click here to learn more about this upcoming ALOUD program.

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