Goon Review: The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks you, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)


Found footage films, when done right, work well. Really well, as a matter of fact. Think of some of the better examples of the genre, like the granddaddy of found footage, Cannibal Holocaust. It’s a hard film to watch (and I mean this in an absolute good way). It’s vividly violent, shocking, perhaps appalling and will make feel uneasy. I think that’s something all good found footage films have in common. Take a look at others, like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity or Lake Mungo, which is more of a mockumentary and shares a common style with the film we’ll be talking about. All are darkly toned and mood, chilling to watch and lead up to one punch of a moment.

The 2007 mockumentary style The Poughkeepsie Tapes has the honor of joining those films. It everything I described. It’s vivid with its violence, but sparing you on the gore, only showing you just enough to quickly turn your stomach before cutting away to the next scene, especially since the quality of the footage warps and degrades, fizzes and blurs at random. During the found footage scenes, you’re only the passenger to what you will see and I have to admit, it made me kinda uncomfortable, but that means the film is doing its job right. Only living about three and a half hours Northwest from Poughkeepsie, I naturally became interested when a friend brought over a bootleg VHS (please note that I do not condone bootlegging) and described it to me and popped it in. Surely I, especially with my grisly interests, would have heard about this infamous serial killer only a mere few hours from me. But now, it had me doubting my own reality, messing with my head before it even began and that is the sign of a damn good movie.

However, The Poughkeepsie Tapes isn’t a straight out, 100% found footage movie, it’s also a hard boiled, tabloid television inspired movie, like Hard Copy or 20/20. It’s actually pretty genius and it fills in those gaps that other found footage films fail to answer the glaring question that every single one of them is plagued with, “why are you filming?” Well, the person doing the filming is a sociopathic serial killer, so that’s why. That’s all the explanation and driving force you need behind it, no need to do any backstory or write yourself into a corner. We’re just seated along with this lunatic for the ride and off we go. We see what he wants us to see and it’s never pretty. The film will use these moments when the tension is riding high to cut to interview segments with various members of law enforcement, like FBI profilers or police officers and regular joes, like the victim’s families.

It all starts with a short walkthrough of the normal, suburban home the killer rented that reveals the closet where hundreds of tapes were discovered, upon which revealing we learn that several are missing and even the FBI agent in charge of watching them all wonders what is on them (I think this would be a cool sequel… The Missing Tapes!). He also remarks how for years those tapes kept him awake and that even his wife, who accidentally saw a tape, wouldn’t let him touch her for a year. Right away, the impression of this killer still remains years after he’s active. Things only get more gritty and chilling when we are introduced to his victim (at least on tape), a little girl, who was bludgeoned to death off camera and the clever use of audio. This sets the tone that anything within this film is possible. Even you haven’t shut it off yet from shock or disgust, things only get more absurd.

Possibly becoming bored, the FBI learns that the killer who calls himself ‘Ed’ in one of the tapes has been mapping routes to kill people, even going as far as toying with them by using sign language captured at a gas station surveillance camera, telling future authorities of where he will be dumping the bodies. But perhaps the most really upsetting part of the film is the abduction of a young woman named Cheryl, who he watches for an unknown period of time until he finally sneaks inside her house and tapes himself hiding in her closet. This scene is sure to make those of you afraid of the dark to check under your bed as well as in your closet. He eventually kidnaps her, ties up and tortures, even forcing her to kill other victims for him until she eventually gets Stockholm Syndrome. This is when we see the really theatrical side of Ed, using 1600’s Italian plague doctor mask and shouting at her that he’s her master and she’s his slave and will do his bidding. I know I’m not doing it great justice by describing it, but these scenes are incredibly hard to watch (again, in a very good way) and are shown in explicit detail to the point where you can see how someone would be driven so mad because of a tormentor. We even can see how Ed used the justice system against those who enforce it and a police officer is executed in his place. The film doesn’t go into great details about the court case or anything (probably a good idea avoiding over explaining anything), but you can see how a truly clever psychopath and gain the system.

I could go on and on with prime examples of scenes from this movie, but I would only be spoiling your enjoyment and I’ve already said far too much. This film is most effective with the less said about it. It’s full of surprises and I didn’t want to spoil a single one of them. Within The Poughkeepsie Tapes, you really get to know Ed and I can’t say that it’s a pleasure. He reminded me of both Henry and Otis from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, using multiple MO’s just as Henry would, but being outlandish and insane like Otis. Hell, this is the type of footage that Henry and Otis would have been watching. The fact that we never know what was driving him reminded me of Michael Myers or Leatherface and that’s the thing that made those guys scary; they just did these things because. It’s those kind of things that make you believe evil is real.

In this day and age where anything is possible, it’s mind blowing that this movie hasn’t seen a wide release until now thanks to Scream Factory, especially consider one of the producers was Patrick Lussier, who directed My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry. Well, considering those films didn’t do so well, maybe that explains why it was never picked up for wide release. I touched on this was popular in the bootleg circuit, but still managed to stay out of the mainstream’s attention. It did do a few rounds at film circuits when it was released and I’ve heard it ran a very, very limited in theaters, although a few years ago in 2014 it was given a VOD release. But hey, it’s here now for mass consumption and viewing and I cannot stress it enough that you need to watch this movie immediately.


The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a rough and raw flick, capable of fooling some filmgoers. It’s hard to sit through and like Henry, it’s nothing something you could watch repeatedly, because it leaves you with a true taste of dark horror in your mouth. Director John Erick Dowdle made one of the greatest found footage movies ever, being genuinely creepy and unnerving and is sure to give you nightmares. I’m sure his next films will be even better! Wait… Quarantine? Uh, no, I’ll stick with Rec, thank you very much. Devil? Oh, God, no! As Above, So Below? More like, As Above, So Blows or As Above, So Below Average, amirite? Okay, so he hasn’t been able to follow it up with anything good. Well, he’s writing and directing the TV mini-series Waco and that looks pretty promising.

#MonsterMovieMonday: Song at Midnight (1937) – China’s Phantom of the Opera

Ho-wdy, Phantom Phans!

Just another #MonsterMonday here at Kinky Ho-rror. This week, we’re bringing you a phantom of a very different opera. From Paris to China, it’s time for a fright at the opera with Song at Midnight!

Perhaps the most underrated film we’ve ever featured on #MonsterMovieMondays, Song at Midnight is one of the best interpretations of Gaston LerouXXX;s Phantom of the Opera. It’s often called the first Chinese horror film and it is the first time an opera phantom was scarred by acid, a plot element that would be recycled for many future adaptations. While virtually unknown in North America, Song At Midnight seems to be a beloved classic in China. With four films and a TV series based on this movie, it’s clear that this particular Phantom won’t stay dead, even if he still dwells in the shadows.


Don’t eXXXpect any crashing chandeliers or Red Death appearances; this is an entirely different Phantom. An acting troupe arrives at a abandoned theater that is said to be haunted by the spectre of Song Danping, a famous opera singer. Sun Xiao-au, a young male singer hears the ghostly voice Song Danping, who takes Sun on as his protege. Donning an ominous black robe, Song appears before Sun and reveals the shocking truth of his past to the young performer.


Song at Midnight
combines romance, Universal-style ho-rror, and political themes to form a truly unique ’30s monster movie experience. Hauntingly beautiful and EXXXpressionistically eerie, Song at Midnight is perfect ho-rror fairy tale for those who love the Universal Gothics and are inclined to root for the monster. Filled with cl-ass-ic monster movie imagery, tragic monsters, ghostly happenings, and spookshow theatrics, this old-fashioned Gothic tale is perfect for the creepiest time of the year.

Plus, check out that Phantom! Ho-ly crap, that’s awesome!

Click on the boXXX below to experience the Song at Midnight:

Splatterday Mourning Cartoon: The Addams Family – N.J. Addams

Ho-wdy, Kinky Kreeps!

It’s a bootiful #SplatterdayMourning, so Spring out of bed, ’cause it’s toon time! 🙂

Today is October Eve, so who better to spend this creepy-crawly day with than the family that lives Halloween 24/7, The Addams Family!
The Addams clan are certainly no strangers to cartoons, having been  (re)animated many, many times throughout the fears years. Their first cartoon series was in 1972, and they appeared on The New Scooby Doo Movies around that same slime time. They’ve been in cartoon commercials and were rumored to be starring in a full-length stop-motion film by Tim Burton, so The Addamses have a lot of animated awesomeness to their name. As great as all of those Addams Family terror-vision toons are, my personal favorite is the 1992 series, the spine-tingling subject of this #Splatterday!

Oh, howl I LOOOOOOVVE this series! First airing in 1992 and ending in 1993, this incarnation of The Addams Family was made in the swingin’ wake of the 1991 film. What was spooky-cool about this series is that they got the OG Gomez, Mr. John Astin, to once again play the freaky father! How GHOUL is that? Plus, the humor is surprisingly witty and very Addams. For a tie-in, it was pretty groovy!

It used to air on Cartoon Network and later became a staple of Boomerang’s Halloween line-up. If you saw this ‘toon on in the last few years, you knew that the Headless Horseman would be making his yearly ride very soon. To me, this cartoon is the perfect way to usher in the Halloween season and skull-ebrate the triumphant return of October. 🙂
Happy Almost October, Ho-rror Ho-mies!! Enjoy the #Splatterday spoopiness! 🙂 xoxo

News Bleed: The “Hocus Pocus and Scully” Edition

This trailer for It Came from the Desert mixes retro PSAs with awesome giant ant action and I am all about it! 🙂 Bloody Disgusting

Saturday Night Live’s David S. Pumpkins gets animated for Halloween! 🙂 Deadline

Stephen King teases new adaptations of The Stand and Salem’s Lot. 🙂 CBR

Scream, the spooky-cool new Michael Jackson album, is out today with a new augmented reality experience. 🙂 Variety

Get your first look at the new season of X-Files! 🙂 Entertainment Weekly

Hocus Pocus is being remade for the Disney Channel. 🙂 Los Angeles Times

Goon Review: Missing in Action (1984)

(Submitted by Mr. Andrew Peters…Thanks, ya Goon-ie!! 😉 xoxo)

Chuck Norris, perhaps the genesis of what we now know as the meme, was the epitome of “man” in the rah-rah-America, chest thumping, gun shooting, shit ‘sploding, kick-a-man bad ass. He was the kind of man that if you shot him, he would clench up his butt cheeks and fart that bullet right out. Cannon Films recognized this popularity and exclusively signed Chuck to a multi-picture deal, thus bringing us some of the action movie staples that we grew up on in the ‘80s, war movies to be specific. The early ‘80s was a prime time to make Vietnam movies, seeing as how the war was still fresh in our minds, you could shoot them cheap and audiences would flock to them.

If there is one thing Golan and Globus knew how to do better than anyone, it was how to market their film to anyone. The men get plenty of explosions and the women get a number of scenes of Chuck Norris removing his shirt to reveal his ripped, hairy chest for no reason and wearing jeans so tight that any hipster would be envious. There was also a little something for the ladies; to see the sweat glisten off his chest on the hot Vietnam moonlit night, right before he roundhouse kicked a man out a window was worth the price of admission alone. These films from Cannon tended to be (as I heard them best called) B-movies on A-budgets.

Before we get started, Missing in Action and Missing in Action 2 were filmed back to back and Missing in Action is actually the second film in the franchise, believe it or not. However, Cannon felt that Missing in Action 2 was the stronger of the two movies and was released to theaters before the first film, so Missing in Action became a prequel, Missing in Action 2: The Beginning and Missing in Action 2 became Missing in Action. I probably over complicated that explanation, but this is the earliest example of something like this happening that I can think of. Oddly enough, the film very much mirrors the plot of Rambo: First Blood Part II, but Missing in Action was released one year prior. Is this where the idea for the plot of Rambo came from or is it just a coincidence?

Perhaps one of if not his most memorable role, Chuck Norris is Col. James Braddock; a Vietnam veteran who is being disgraced on national television because of his conspiracy theories about Vietnamese POW camps that still contain American prisoners. Braddock stares out of his window deep in thought, chugging an ice cold Bud while totally shirtless, watching the news as they argue whether or not there are American POWs still in Vietnam. Occasionally, he flips the channels to catch Spider-Man cartoons and I seriously thought the film was suddenly becoming a bad bootleg of it, because the shot just meanders for minutes on an episode. There may not seem like there was a purpose for this, but at the time Cannon Films was trying to get their Spider-Man flick off the ground that director Joseph Zito was attached to direct at one point and seeing as how he directed Missing in Action, it seemed like a fun connection.

Braddock comes out of hiding and heads to Vietnam to get some face time with the press and although the Vietnamese government has “witnesses” that claim there are no POWs, he knows otherwise. With the aid of a female reporter whose name escapes me because she matters so little, he uses her as a cover (under the covers) to sneak about a general’s compound to squeeze out some information from General Tran, who you might recognize as Cassandra’s father from Wayne’s World 2. After scaring the shit out of the guy, General Tran coughs up some info on the whereabouts of the prisoners, Chuck escapes a bunch of guards and says goodbye to his female reporter friend and so do we, because she’s not seen or heard from again. I’m certain her only purpose as basically the only female in the movie with a speaking role was to provide some really good side-boob. There are other women in the film, but they are pretty much just topless set pieces. Like I said, Golan and Globus knew how to exploit anything.

His journey continues further into Vietnam, thwarting scumbags that are out to stop him, usually by roundhouse kicking them into or out of things, like windows, walls, you name it. Braddock teams up with an old army buddy, Jack Tucker (M. Emmet Walsh) to help him get what he needs… firepower. And poon, if he wanted, but Braddock ain’t got no time for the pussy. Tuck, on the other hand, practically buries himself in it. Can’t say I blame the man, seeing as he’s afraid to go back into the warzone, but if I him I would be far more concerned with amount of STDs he’s probably contracted. You could wring out his underwear into a beaker and create a new virus.

The two buddies head down river in a sweet, kevlar coated pontoon boat mounted with an M-60 machine gun to continue their search. Needless to say, it’s not going to be easy, especially when there are too many bad guys for Chuck to karate chop or roundhouse kick. Good thing he brought and arsenal with him. After all, you want to see shit get blown up real good, don’t you. The film is odd when it comes to this. The action is either kind of lacking a punch, for lack of a pun, or it is way over the top. For example, when Braddock props a grenade on his jeep, so when the enemy jeep rams it, it explodes. It looks like someone threw a handful of dirt at the thing as people jumped away in all directions. But then you have moments where a camp explodes and Joseph Zito captures it from like four different angles and you watch it from every single one as this things erupts into a giant fireball. Most of the gunfire is reduced to Chuck just spraying a machine gun in all directions as guys fall over, so nothing to comment on that, other than it’s usually to get the body count up. It’s as if they sunk all of their money into a few action scenes and forgot that there were more. Chuck can’t karate kick his way out of all of them!

Saying that Missing in Action is a product of its era is an understatement. It very much spoke to an early ‘80s, post Vietnam when there was a strong sense of American pride, bitter from losing a controversial war. Much like Rambo: First Blood Part II, audiences were given a disgraced war hero given a chance at redemption, so he plunges into the depths of his formal Hell to rescue some POWs. Needless to say, Rambo is much better looking and better made film, but it also had about $42 million dollars more to spend. Given for what it is, Missing in Action is a pretty decent action flick that gives you exactly what you want; a brooding hero with a vendetta and a mission and nothing is going to stop him. The film isn’t necessarily non-stop action, taking breathers occasionally to develop plot, but when it does that the scene usually ends with a group of bad guys bursting into the room to either get drop kicked or blown away. Both are done well and you totally buy Chuck as war hero Braddock, but the film isn’t the best display of what a leading man Chuck Norris can be, as he doesn’t have a massive amount of dialogue and his fight scenes are usually over quick and he’s often paired with people that know how to fight back or take a licking.

Not taking anything away from the film, because it’s an absolute blast and with or without nostalgia, it’s a prime example of ‘80s action exploitation films, but I don’t believe it holds up as well as most of us remember. Sure, Chuck Norris is bad ass as Braddock, there’s plenty of shootouts and explosions, American pride for sale and what not, but it feels a bit like Rambo-lite. Again, not taking anything away from the film and certainly not the performances, because these characters are fun as hell, but it’s not as grand as I recall. That’s a side effect with most Cannon movies, seeing as they were made cheap and on the fly. Of course being younger when we first viewed these, they are going to seem much larger than life, but thirty years later, you can definitely see the weaknesses of them. However, that doesn’t affect the long lasting staying power of these movies and that’s what Cannon (unintentionally?) did; made fun as hell flicks that get some mileage and Missing in Action is a ton of fun.

#TBT: The “Freddy Phones It In” Edition

Grab your crucifix, kiddies… it’s #ThrowbackThursday!

This week, we’re hanging on telephone and dreaming a dream of Freddy Krueger!
Back in the day, Ol’ Pizzaface had his own telephone hotline (1-900-860-4-Fred; 1-900-909-Fred) where the Dream Weaver himself would tell nightmarish stories to keep you up at night!

But it did cost 2 dollars the first minute and 45 cents for each additional minute…
Howl-ever, thanks to the magic of the internet, we’ve got 44 minutes of free, unfiltered Freddy goodness that’ll have screaming like this…
Think of it like a bunch of one minute audio Tales from the Crypt or, more appropriately, Freddy’s Nightmares. This macabre morsels of frightening Freddy fables are the perfect thing to get you pumped for the upcoming Halloween season… so, get ready for Freddy and click on the boXXX below:

Happy Thursday, Kreeps! 🙂

#TerrorTrailerTuesday: The “Godzilla Steals The Showa” Edition

Ho-wdy, Goji Ho-mies!

Spawned in the ocean’s depths… it stalks the earth! Belching fire that blasts mighty cities into oblivion! A gory Goliath that lives to kill …kills to live! Diabolical Demon of Destruction… Mightiest Monster of them all… it’s Godzilla, the King of #TerrorTrailerTuesday!

This week, we’ve awoken the awesomely atomic power of the Showa Godzilla! Every single citywide rampage and monster beatdown from 1954 to 1975 is represented in this menacing menagerie of monstrous monstrosities! Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, and the rest of your city-chomping buddies lurk in the trailers below! Get ready for some monster madness, ’cause Godzilla is on the attack!

Check out the trailers below, Kreeps:

Happy #TerrorTrailerTuesday, Ho-rror Ho-mies! xoxo

#MonsterMovieMonday: Nightmare Castle (1965)

Ho-wdy, Kinky Kreeps!

Just another #MonsterMonday here at Kinky Ho-rror! This week, we’re worshiping at the Crimson Altar of the High Priestess of Gothic Ho-rror, Barbara Steele!

Ms. Steele is, without a doubt, THE Queen of cl-Ass-Sick Ho-rror Cinema. Her piercing eyes, her haunting presence, her ghost-like grace…Barbara always looked like she was about to Steele your soul! No coffin could hold her and no force on Earth could stop her! She held her own against the likes of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, and Barnabas Collins! Both ho-rror heroine and ho-rrific monster, Steele is a true fright icon.

Today’s terror tale is Nightmare Castle and it features Goddess Steele at her most frightful. The Gothic Queen does double duty as both the doe-eyed Jenny and the ghostly Muriel… and kills it as both!

It’s an old-fashioned sort of story: castles, romance, and… ghosts! A cozy little tale that’s just perfect for this most ghoulish of seasons. With mad science, fiendish torture, surreal nightmares, and an Ennio Morricone score that sounds like it was composed by The Phantom of the Opera, this is film is pure Gothic bliss. And if Steele’s creeptacular performance doesn’t frighten you, you’re already dead!
Do you dare spend the night at… Nightmare Castle?!

Happy #MonsterMovieMonday, Kreeps!! 🙂

#FrankensteinFriday: Tales of Frankenstein (1958)

“From the beginning of time, many men have sought the unknown, delving into dark regions, where lie those truths, which are destined to destroy him.

Of all these eerie adventurers into darkness, none was more driven by insatiable curiosity, nor went further into the unknown than the unforgettable Baron Frankenstein.

“So infamous were his exploits that his name stands forever as a symbol of all that is shocking, unspeakable, forbidden. Thus, in our day, many a story, which chills the soul and freezes the blood, is truly a tale of Frankenstein.

“Now, join us in the mystery, the excitement, and the stimulation that comes when we tell a story so weird, so dark, so harrowing, that it deserves to be called one of the many TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN.

Ho-wdy, Franken-Homies!

Stop.

It’s Hammer Time here at Kinky Ho-rror! 😉 We’re resurrecting another patchwork corpse-creature from the Hammer House of Ho-rror! From 1958, it’s…

Ho-ping to scare up some recognition in the States, Hammer teamed up Columbia Pictures with the intent of creating 26 electrifying episodes of Franken-stories, with each studio handling 13. Howl-ever, the two studios couldn’t agree on what parts to stitch on and the whole thing fell apart.

Hammer wanted the series to be made in the same style as their Curse of Frankenstein, Columbia owned the TV rights to the Universal films and wanted to use that version. The resulting pilot has elements of both, with Anton “The Man Who Could Cheat Death” Diffring as a Cushing-like Baron Frankenstein and Don “The Creature Walks Among Us” Megowan as a flat-headed monster. Legendary Universal screenwriter Curt Siodmak directed the film in the style of a ’40s monster chiller.

This one’s a must-see for Franken-fans! It’s got chills and thrills for both fans of Hammer and cl-Ass-Sick Universal fright fare! Anton Diffring is a wonderful stand-in for Peter Cushing and the Monster’s real groovy! It really is a shame that this series didn’t get picked up, but what we have is shockingly good!

Do you dare face the challenge of Tales of Frankenstein?!

Happy #FrankenFriday, Kinky Ho-mies!! 🙂 xoxo

Goon Review: The Resurrected (1991)

(Submitted by his Goon-y Greatness, Mr. Andrew Peters…Thank you, Ho-rror Ho-mie! 🙂 xoxo)

The works of H.P. Lovecraft have been adapted (or at the very least, influenced) many, many times over the years across numerous mediums, most notably video games and movies. I’m sure the Stuart Gordon/Brian Yuzna Re-Animator films or From Beyond come to mind and arguably the most stylish and better adaptations, even if they aren’t fairly accurate. They are modern re-tellings of the source material, but there was a time in the early ‘90s when it felt like there were a handful of H.P. Lovecraft films that came out direct video and kinda fell into the void of forgotten films.

It’s not the fault of the films by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe the blame can be (at least mostly) blamed at the feet of the distributors who seemed to get cold feet when it comes to releasing these films. They don’t seem to want to put the money into making these films, yet except big returns and they can’t quite seem to decide if they want it to be PG-13 or R. Although an example like Necronomicon: Book of the Dead is pretty hard R, The Resurrected comes to mind when I think of a missed opportunity and can’t quite seem to decide what it wants to be. On one end, you have the late and talented Dan O’Bannon directing, but you can’t help to feel he was held back. They hire the guy who wrote a draft of Alien and has other phenomenal writing credits, such as Return of the Living Dead, and essentially shackle him down from doing what he wants. The gore is – or was at the time this film was released – not necessarily tame, but definitely dialed down, the same could be said about the language. The Resurrected has a bit of a case of mistaken identity that it’s too tame for something that would be a theatrical release, but perhaps too much for a TV movie, so it should be no surprise that this was a direct to video release.

Still, for being strapped down to an operating table, The Resurrected still manages to be fun and has that early DTV charm that works in its favor. The thing is shot like a made for TV movie, but has higher ambitions even if the budget won’t allow it. This also plays into the cast and their performances, most notably Chris Sarandon who chew so much goddamn scenery that I’m surprised he didn’t turn into a rat and eat all of the dry wall. His performance as the antagonist is cheeky fun and the same could be said for Jane Sibbett who seems to be putting a PS1 era Resident Evil performance (and I mean that in a good way), but unfortunately not for the lead John Terry, who took me til the end of the film for me to recognize that he was Lt. Lockhart in Full Metal Jacket. Now, I think the man is a terrific actor, I just feel like he was wrong for the part. He’s not quite sleepwalking through his role, but feels subdued and that could be because of the confused narrative of the film. And that ‘90s mullet he’s rocking. Get out of here with that nonsense.

The Resurrected sees John Terry as John March, a private detective that’s been hired by Claire Ward (Jane Sibbett) to investigate her husband, Charles (Chris Sarandon), who has been conducting experiments out of his home and eventually out to an old farmhouse where you can assume only the kookiest of mad scientist shenanigans happen. Charles has been becoming increasingly obsessed with his ancestor Joseph Curwen and eventually Charles quits coming home altogether. This is where John March comes in, who upon his investigation, find that Joseph Curwen had been trying to raise the dead and wouldn’t you know it, Charles is acting rather change. Like, he’s talking like he’s from a previous century and his teeth look like burnt pieces of corn. Yes, what is happening is that obvious, so this mystery isn’t so much of a mystery as it is a race to what you already know and for a movie that clocks in at about an hour and forty-five minutes, it can seem at times like it’s going to take a while.

Upon discovering this, John March just kind of accepts it. He seems rather indifferent, but I think that’s the laid back acting style of John Terry seeping through. His crack assistant Lonnie, who I think is supposed to offer the comic relief, but it often falls flat, and even Claire don’t believe him. That is, until they discover a hatch in the old farmhouse that leads to Joseph Curwen’s secret catacombs, sorta like his own personal Batcave. There’s all kinds of weird beakers and tubes with science-y liquids and human remains… some of which seem to be up and walking around. Suddenly, the film breaks into a really weak zombie flick seeing as how there’s only a handful of creatures. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a slow burn, but the majority of this movie is them beating around the bush and trying to solve something you figured out in the first fifteen minutes. This leads John March to confront Joseph Curwen, where you get to see him tear off an orderly’s head with ease as it shoots out blood and that’s not a bad thing.

Right away, the big problem I had with the film was the old fashioned noir setting and storytelling in this contemporary film. When done right it can work (think of something like Sin City), but maybe it’s the writing or as I mentioned the way this movie is shot, it doesn’t work. John March narrates the events occasionally and the film is told in a flashback form that doesn’t mesh a ‘40s mystery style with a low budget ‘90s gore flick. Throw in some over the top performances and it feels more like a spoof that it does an homage. I was genuinely surprised to learn that this was originally slated for a theatrical release, but the releasing company’s bankruptcy halted that and The Resurrected was then sent DTV, which I feel is a better fit and most likely found more of an audience.

Another negative the film has going against was the number of cliches and The Resurrected is a repeat offender. It tries the same cliches again and again, like it truly believes at some point they just might work. Apparently, the film was taken away from director Dan O’Bannon during editing and he completely disowned this movie and honestly speaking, you can kinda tell. It doesn’t quite live up to the type of quality that’s usually associated with his name. As someone who puts his work out there for others to see, I can respect where he’s coming from, but I don’t think the movie was that bad. Sure, it had it’s share of problems and never lived up to its full potential, but I think it has a charm and is kind of fun.

Speaking of fun, there are a few clever creature designs that do look pretty decent… at first, but the more the camera lingers on them, the more it starts to look like a rubber puppet. Most of the gore happens off screen and you just take a look at the aftermath, as if they had the budget to show it, but not show it happening or perhaps they thought it built mood and suspense (spoiler, it doesn’t). There is the aforementioned head ripping scene that I thought was pretty cool and impressive for the budget, but outside of that the film doesn’t offer much to look at. Even the cinematography is pretty dull and is shot like a TV movie and I even assumed it was at times, but occasionally swearing proved otherwise. It’s not a prime example of either a well adapted H.P. Lovecraft story or the excellent work of Dan O’Bannon, but that doesn’t stop it from trying and that shows, making this film pretty decent and giving it a sense that care was put into making this. I would say check it out for some low budget, ‘90s DTV fun.