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.

Splatterday Mourning Cartoons: Jeffrey Combs – Man of 1,000 Voices

A very Happy Birthday to the Re-Animator himself, Mr. Jeffrey Combs!

There’s no earthly way to express how much I freakin’ ADORE Mr. Jeffrey Combs!!!!!!!! He’s been in phenomenal fright films, has made many Star Trek appearances, played Doctor Strange (Doctor Mordrid counts!), and is always just the screamiest, dreamiest weirdo in anything he graces! *swooooooooooooooon* 🙂

In addition to being beyond seXXXy, Jeffrey Combs is to Lovecraftian sin-ema what Vincent Price is to Poe. He’s been named “the first Lovecraftian actor” for his frequent appearances in Lovecraft adaptations, even playing the cosmic ho-rror author a few times. Of corpse, of all his great HPL roles, his best and most iconic will always be his masterfully insane performance as Dr. Herbert West in the Re-Animator films. With his insane intensity and wicked wit, Dr. West is easily one of the greatest mad doctors to ever mess with the natural order.

One asss-pect of Mr. Combs that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention is his career as a voice actor. Starting with his freaky-deaky turn as The Scarecrow in The New Batman Adventures, Mr. Combs has done his fair share of voice work for cartoons and video games. While he mostly does the spooky stuff in live-action, Mr. Combs tends to lend his voice to superheroes and supervillains. His wonderous work includes Question in Justice League Unlimited, Kite Man in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Leader in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Brainiac in Injustice 2, and Ratchet in Transformers: Prime. Way to speak out, Mr. Combs! 🙂

As a testament to his greatness and in observance of Splatterday Mourning, we’ve eXXXhumed some of the epically epic voice work of Jeffrey Combs! First, a video showcasing his many cartoon appearances…

…and a full episode of Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated featuring Mr. Combs as H.P. Love… er, Hatecraft! What better way to ho-nor Combs than with his portrayal of the man who made him a fright icon? 🙂


Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated S01E12… by cgssthd

Happy Birthday, Jeffrey Combs! Stay SeXXXy! 😉

#TerrorTrailerTuesday: The “All You Need is Lovecraft” Edition

Ho-wdy, Fright Fiends!

Lovecraft is in the air this #terrortrailertuesday! We’ve summoned up some trailers for some of the most eldritch H.P. Lovecraft adapations known to man or Great Old One! These ancient, terrible trailers are of an unutterable and blasphemous ho-rror so great that they can drive mortal minds to pure insanity… so enjoy! And remember, Kinky Kreeps…

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

From the nightmare corpse-city of R’lyeh, here are… THE TRAILERS!!! 

Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft!

An eldritch birthday to that teller of weird tales, Mr. H.P. Lovecraft!
While not a particularly popular writer in his own time, Mr. Lovecraft has certainly become a towering figure in the realm of horror literature, as undying as the great monsters he wrote of. His tales of cosmic abominations beyond the comprehension of mortal minds have inspired great mortal minds like Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, Clive Barker, John Carpenter, Neil Gaiman, and a great many more. At least 38 motion pictures have been based on his works, starting 1963’s The Haunted Palace. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu has become a gargantuan icon in geek culture, spawning plushies and novelty gifts enough to fill a billion Grand Canyons. There can be denying Lovecraft’s influence upon our beloved genre.
In Ho-nor of Lovecraft’s birthday, here’s Jeffrey “Herbert West” Combs reading Herbert West–Reanimator. Enjoy. 🙂






#TerrorTuesday: The “Horror Noir” Edition

(Submitted by Mr. Dr. Anton Phibes…Thanks for reminding us this lil’ slice o’weirdom eXXXists. I plan to re-open this investigation immediately! 🙂 xoxo)

It was another one of those hot L.A. days. I poured myself another shot of cheap whisky and said to myself, ‘You’re a tough guy. You’ve been slapped twice, choked, beaten silly with a gun, shot in the arm until you’re crazy as a couple of waltzing mice. Now let’s see you do something really tough—like watching a made-for-TV monster movie.”

I humored myself and I found it: the, uh, stuff screams are made of…

Cast a Deadly Spell is nifty little number that attempts to fuse Raymond Chandler and H.P. Lovecraft into one bizarre creature. Set in alternative 1940s when magic is in vogue and the creatures of the night mingle with average folks, It has all the trappings of a classic film noir (hard-boiled detectives, sleazy clubs, stylized dialogue, femme fatales, etc.), but paints it all with a coat of Cosmic Horror. If that last part wasn’t clear, they drive the point home with their protagonist: Phillip Lovecraft.

This film does for lovers of the grotesque what Who Framed Roger Rabbit does for toon fans. Almost every scene has a zombie, werewolf, or fiend amidst the detective action. The story is decent, but it’s really about seeing noir and nightmare come together in a beautiful way. The monsters are fiendish and Fred Ward as Lovecraft is the perfect jaded gumshoe, bringing enough down-to-Earth wit to ground this peculiar picture.

For those wanting to crack the case, click on the box below:

Ho-stess’s Semi-Related Side Note: I just started playing Blues and Bullets (I was craving a good noir mystery), and so far so rad. I’m only in the first episode, but the first murder scene I investigated is creepy as all heck!! I’ll update you as I get further along, but since it’s been out for a while, maybe you fiends already have some thoughts on this one? Would love to hear what you think if you’ve playing it, too. 🙂 xoxo

UPDATE: I should’ve researched this game a lil’ more before I started playing it. I finished Episode 2 and immediately went to dive into the neXXXt installment, only to discover that IT DOESN’T ExxxIST!!!! 🙁

Chapter One was released in 2015, and apparently Chapter 2 didn’t come out until almost a year later. Although it hasn’t been officially announced as cancelled, it doesn’t look like we’re getting any more installments. Apparently the development company basically ran out of money, so there are currently no plans to finish his tit-le. Such a shame, too, because the story was super intriguing. Would’ve loved to see ho-w it all ended up. (And that little dog murdering piece of shit Bruno needs to feel my wrath!!! ;))

Oh well…It’s still a fun lil’ cocktease. Feel free to check this half-game out if self-torture is your thing. 😉 xoxo

 

BLOCHCENTENNIAL: Happy Birthday, Robert Bloch

Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk.

― Robert Bloch

Happy 100th Birthday to Master of Weird Fiction and Father of Psychos, Robert Bloch!

Born in Chicago in 1917, Robert Bloch got his first taste of blood when he saw the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera during its original run. He was, in his words, “terrified and fascinated by the face that glowered at me from the screen.” From then on, Mr. Bloch was drawn to the strange and eerie. In his teen years, Mr. Bloch began corresponding with ho-rror master H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s influence loomed large in Mr. Bloch’s early work and informed most of his fiction. In The Shambler from the Stars, Bloch included a Lovecraft-like character… and promptly murdered him in a brutal fashion. Lovecraft returned the favor by offing a Bloch stand-in in The Haunter in the Dark, which he also dedicated to Bloch.

Bloch eventually moved away from Lovecraftian pastiches and began to develop his own unique style. He enjoyed great success with Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper, a sinister tale with the kind of gleefully macabre punchline Bloch would become known for. Jack the Ripper would later become a recurring theme of his fiction, as well as lunatics in general. While others wrote mysteries that focused on heroic detectives, Bloch preferred maniacs and fiends. In 1959, his knack for writing of the disturbed mind resulted in a novel that would secure his place in horror history: Psycho. The novel was famously adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock and further established Bloch as a master of terror.

After the unfathomable success of Psycho, Bloch took a stab at screenwriting. For television, he penned 10 episodes of Boris Karloff’s Thriller (several based on his own stories), 3 episodes of Star Trek (one being a Jack the Ripper story) and 10 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. With site favorite William Castle, he crafted Strait-Jacket and The Night Walker, both among Castle’s best thrillers. Following The Skull (based on Bloch’s The Skull of the Marquis de Sade), Bloch would lend his ghoulish talents to Amicus by writing screenplays for The Psychopath, The Deadly Bees, Torture Garden, The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum.

Strait-Jacket

For a career chocka-Bloch with fright classics, we salute Robert Bloch! Thanks for making us go Psycho! xoxo

News Bleed: The “Hellboy in Shock-o-Scope” Edition

The ABSOLUTELY AMAZING Popcorn finally slashes its way to Blu-ray! 🙂 Dread Central (And Jill Schoelen continues to be gorgeous/awesome. ;)) #WCE!! 🙂

Popcorn

**Piping Hawt Popcorn Trivia: Crispin “Jimmy Mortimer” Glover’s dad is in this, too!! :)**

Check out the first panty-melting image from Cult of Chucky. (I knew he did it! ;)) Bloody Disgusting

CULT-OF-CHUCKY

Warner Bros. plans an Attack on Titan! 🙂 Deadline

Attack on Titan

Mark Hamill, Jeffrey Combs, and my Dorktasticly Delicious bud Mr.Tyler Nicol all lend their voices to an eldritch Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom.  🙂 Bleeding Cool

Howard-229x350

dorkz
Guillermo del Toro needs your votes for Hellboy III!  Hollywood Reporter

HellboyDelToro(#ImWithHim :))

Shin Godzilla is nominated for 11 Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture! Take a bow, Big G! 🙂 Scified

Shin Godzillagiphyg