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Just seen: From Beyond, Re-Animator, Dagon

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by James45, Oct 6, 2002.

  1. James45

    James45
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    Saw this Stuart Gordon/HP Lovecraft triple bill at the Lounge in Headingley as part of the Leeds International Film Festival and firstly what a fantastic cinema!! An original Victorian picture house with a modern refurb to the foyer and bar upstairs and the original look inside the cinema.

    From Beyond (1986) could really only be described as a below average schlock-horror, Jeffrey Combs stars as the mad-scientist looking to destroy a machine that opens up a six-sense in the human brain and exposes the human race to brain eating monsters!

    Re-Animator (1985) well everyone must have seen this and it hasn't really aged that well, apart from Combs' OTT portrayal of... you've guessed it a mad scientist! The whole thing is really just an excuse for plenty of gore and nudity.

    Dagon (2001) is another kettle of fish (excuse the pun) entirely. Made with half US-half Spanish money the film sees two couples on a boat off the coast of Spain but a storm leaves the boat and one couple stranded on rocks leaving the other couple to go ashore for help.
    They arrive in a creepy as hell fishing village which appears almost completely deserted but when they return to the boat their friends are gone. Pretty soon the pair are running for their lives when the 'villagers' start to appear.
    Dagon is head and shoulders above other Stuart Gordon films and is genuinely creepy, un-nerving and gory to the extreme (and also benefits from the gorgeous Raquel Merono).
    I have a pretty strong stomach but one scene where a man is skinned-alive was pretty hard-to-watch!:eek:
    It's not a horror classic but Dagon is entertaining and works even better with its European sensibilities. Oh and its out on US DVD already.
     
  2. Azrikam

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    Not only is it out, but it's cheap!
    £8.99 from http://www.futureent.com/.

    I got it a while back, and it's very good. Audio commentary is very informative as well. (like pointing out stuff like the "villagers" not blinking)

    Gotta stand up for Re-Animator. I still love watching this movie, though it's admittedly mostly for Combs performance.
     
  3. James45

    James45
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    that's a great buy it that price, think I'll get me some of that. You're right Combs is fantastic in Re-Animator.
     
  4. Mr.D

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    Shame about Space Truckers eh?
    Whhoohee all sorts of dodgy goings on...
     
  5. juboy

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    Finally got round to watching this tonight and have to say that the sequence James45 mentions above is probably the only reason to watch it.

    Maybe it's something to do with Brian Yuzna but do ALL his leading men have to be nerdy, spec wearing geeks? And what was that accent Ezra Godden was putting on?

    I actually thought it was a bit of a cheek calling it 'H P Lovecraft's 'Dagon' as anyone who's read 'Dagon' and 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth' will know that it's a loose re-working of both at best.

    On the plus side, the sets and overall look and feel of the film are exceptional for an obviously low budget flick. As per usual with cheaper horror films, the make-up and prosthetic effects actually look great whilst the CGI looks like someone's hand drawn it onto the film itself.

    There's the usual slow paced, slightly lacklustre direction you'd expect from the genre but I guess its worth a rental.

    BTW, I saw the R2 version (unfortunately) and I'm hoping this was the same as other versions, ie, uncut?
     
  6. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    HI,

    I loved "Dagon", including the graphic facial-removal sequence. I also like the in-joke on the geek's T-shirt, that states he was a student of "Miskatonic University". Miskatonic was where "Re-Animator" is set.

    And the set design in "Dagon" was also very good. I'm 99.9% certain that the BBFC have let "Dagon" through unscathed, though their website states that both a 4:3 and a widescreen release were classified. My local video store, only got the 4:3 version, though.

    Might have to look into buying the film on DVD.

    Pooch
     
  7. James45

    James45
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    Although the skinning sequence is extremely well done, it could have been far less powerful had the tone of the scene not been so dark and sadistic. The idea that this guy wants to inflict as much pain on them as possible because they won't play ball is almost as disturbing as seeing the old fella's face being pulled off while he's still conscious.
    The ending is a load of old crud and the CGI terrible like you say Juboy, what did you think of Raquel Merono by the way? She had lovely arms... pity really!:D
     
  8. juboy

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    Hmm, not overly keen. Looked a bit past it and like a million other
    faded porn queens if you ask me.

    Judging by the way the 'offering to Dagon' scene was shot, she also demanded a no bush clause :D
     
  9. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    I found Dagon to be very underwhelming.

    Stuart Gordon's living off a rep he built up with ReAnimator that, since then, he's failed to deliver on. Shame. I mean.....Fortress....Stuart, what were you thinking???
    I have very little faith in the new ReAnimator movie being any good aswell. Everything Brian Yuzna touches these days turns to crapola.

    I admit to having a soft spot for Castle Freak, a terrible film, but anyone bold enough to show someone literally eating clam has to get a degree of respect in my books.
     
  10. juboy

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    Aalthough I have the exact same reservations as you, I'm really hoping we're proved wrong here Rambo.

    From the trailer, it looks like we might be in for the same 'great sets, great cinematography, some great gore... but a very average film' scenario as Dagon was to my mind.

    I know it's not likely to happen, but I'd LOVE to see a cinema release for Beyond Re-Animator.
     
  11. James45

    James45
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    She looked good at 1.30am after two other Gordon movies!

    i take this doesn't mean someone eating shellfish?!:D:D

    Has anyone seen Necronomicon, is was supposed to be on the same bill but the print went missing... sounded very good.
     
  12. Azrikam

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    If I recall (saw it a while back) Necronomicon was very mediocre. The fact that I can't rememeber much about it says it all.
     
  13. juboy

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    Again, you'd need to be a Jeffrey Combs fan to really stick with it and not laugh at it (BTW, it's not meant to be funny).

    I can only imagine Lovecraft's works are now out of copyright and are therefore cheap to make as films because although the source material is undoubtedly high class (if a little dated), the films usually turn out pretty poorly. Maybe it's because the films try to extend what are often three or four pages worth of short story? Maybe, as in the case of the 'Whispers' - the final part of 3 stories* - in Necronomicon, the stories are amended so much that they're barely recognisable?

    Rent Necro by all means, but buying it is unlikely to make much sense unless it's purely for collection completion purposes.

    (*There are actually four elements to the film but the first 'The Library' simply sets up Combs, as Lovecraft, to introduce and lead you through the rest of the film).

    Come to think of it, has anyone actually bothered to release this on DVD? I've only ever seen the timecoded VHS version (not that there seemed to have been any need to cut anything).
     
  14. James45

    James45
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    can't find it on DVD but it's bound to be cheap if it is. Christophe Gans was one of the directors so it's bound to at least look good.

    as for HP Lovecraft material... I don't know if it was actually an adaptation or simply a themed piece but i liked In the Mouth of Madness.
     
  15. juboy

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    Yep, not a bad film at all, one of Carpenter's better latter efforts.

    As I recall, it's not based on specific Lovecraft story but draws heavily from his Mythos ideas.
     
  16. raigraphixs

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    Hi,

    I read through some of the above threads, not all, but did you guys know, that theres gonna be a new reanimator film 'Beyond ReAnimator (3)'!, can wait, saw some pics in a mag in whsmiths (horror film mag). Cant wait.

    Did I miss ReAnimator 2?.


    http://zombi.gamegossip.com/movies/reanimator3/reanimator3.html


    ta

    rai
     
  17. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    Beyond ReAnimator's been floating around for a while. It should be getting its straight-to-vid release in the states soon.

    Lovecraft deserves to have a film made of one of his stories that sticks to the right timeframe rather than being modernised. ReAnimator could have been something else if it was based around the early 20th Century, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward has great potential if someone could handle it right.
    Doubtful it'll happen in my lifetime though.:rolleyes:
     
  18. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Closest I've seen are : Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness from Mr. Carpenter.

    I recall one elderly Vincent Price film which I think was based on the shadow over innsbrucke (apologies for title error).

    The Thing always reminds me a little of the mountains of madness but I can never remember if its written by Lovecraft or is a continuation by some take off artist.

    Sad note: used to have lots of fun as a preteen playing Call of Cuthulu the role playing game... we invariably ended up being killed by a ravening hoarde of cannibalistic half breeds but our surviving friends only twigged when they more closely examined the mysterious pub sign at the start to find ourselves depicted and forever trapped in time in the sinister etchings thankfully after that I discovered alcohol women and drugs er ... I think.
     
  19. juboy

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    That's the best thing about the Lovecraftian ethos, there's never a happy ending. Which may be the reason why Hollywood seems unable to make a decent film version of his works.
     
  20. Azrikam

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    There's a decent (in a cheesy way) version of Pit and the Pendulum kicking around from Full Moon Video from the 80s or early 90s. Plenty of gore and nudity. (saw it as a kid :D)

    I'm pretty sure if you do a search, there's a post in this forum that gives links to the Beyond Re-Animator trailers. Not bad, and definitely enough to whet your whistle whilst waiting. (say that 5 times fast)
     
  21. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Ah that 'll be the one with lance henriksen and the exploding witch. Nasty tongue scissors scene too.

    Pretty sure Pit and the Pendulum is Poe though.
     
  22. captaineyecatch

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    Heres the thread i posted a while back on Beyond reanimator it has links to the trailers
    beyond reanimator thread
    Anyone seen The Resurrected by Dan'o bannon (of Alien fame)
    its based on a lovecraft story ? been trying to get hold of it for ages dont think it got a uk release and theres no sign of a dvd anywhere.
     
  23. captaineyecatch

    captaineyecatch
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    From beyond is coming out from Dragon entertainment later this month - They are calling it a Directors Cut but Sadly it isnt the full
    unrated version (rumours say this is 20mins longer with a lot more gore and S+M footage) - Its just the R rated version (which is longer than the UK release as that had a few seconds cut by BBFC).
     
  24. Azrikam

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    Oops, brain freeze.
     
  25. juboy

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  26. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    Pretty darn cool.
    I had no idea there were so many flicks based around his work
     
  27. juboy

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    Took me by surprise as well. I always think it's such a shame that his life was so hard yet he gained so much respect after death... although, somehow, it also seems fittingly appropriate.

    Did you know that both his parents were insane when they died :eek:
     
  28. James45

    James45
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    they probably read some of his work!:D
     
  29. Setenza

    Setenza
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    The following cut and paste is a summary of the plotline:

    Charles Dexter Ward's wife enlists the help of a private detective to find out what her husband is up to in a remote cabin owned by his family for centuries. The husband is a chemical engineer, and the smells from his experiments (and the delivery of what appear to be human remains at all hours) are beginning to arouse the attention of neighbors and local law enforcement officials. When the detective and wife find a diary of the husband's ancestor from 1771, and reports of gruesome murders in the area begin to surface, they begin to suspect that some very unnatural experiments are being conducted in the old house. Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story

    This has a contemporary setting like the other Lovecraft adaptations, but seems to get quite healthy reviews. I'm somewhat tempted to purchase it. Here's a review I found.

    One of the great mysteries of the 1990s must be “What ever happened to Dan O’Bannon ?” As scriptwriter, O’Bannon made two grandslams in the 1970s with the scripts for Dark Star (1974) and Alien (1979). O’Bannon then went on to deliver some fine hard-edged scripts, including the likes of Dead & Buried (1981), Heavy Metal (1981), Blue Thunder (1983), Lifeforce (1985) and Invaders from Mars (1986), before making an excellent directorial debut with Return of the Living Dead (1985) which inverted George Romero’s Dead trilogy with a cheerful punk cynicism. But in the 1990s O’Bannon has almost entirely dropped from the cinematic radar. There have been a number of scripts with his name attached - Total Recall (1990), Screamers (1995) and Hemoglobin/Bleeders (1996) - but all were old scripts that had been reworked by other writers. The Resurrected was O’Bannon’s second directorial outing, the only work in the 1990s in which O’Bannon has had hands-on experience. All of which is a shame as O’Bannon is one writer that one really wishes would return to the genre.

    The Resurrected is adapted from an H.P. Lovecraft story, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1941). [The same story had previously been adapted as Roger Corman’s The Haunted Palace (1963)]. Here O’Bannon is directing another writer’s script - in this case Brent V. Friedman, a genre writer who has written screenplays for the likes of Syngenor (1990), Ticks (1993), American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993), the Prehysteria! sequels and produced genre tv series such as Dark Skies (1996) and Secret Agent Man (1999-2000), as well as delivering the script for the Lovecraft portmanteau film Necronomicon (1994). Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is a relatively straightforward piece about a man’s possession by the spirit of his ancestor that emerges from a portrait. The Resurrected came about as part of a vogue for Lovecraft that had been created by the success of Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator (1985). However Re-Animator had identified Lovecraft with a campy splatter-heavy approach, one that has been taken as lead by the various Lovecraft adaptations ever since. Charles Dexter Ward is not on the face of it a Lovecraft story that geared toward such a splattery approach. However Friedman quite ingeniously solves the problem with a series of twists about Curwen not being a disembodied spirit so much as a an evil ancestor raised from the dead through black sorcery, thus allowing the insertion of various Hellraiser (1987)-styled bodily reconstitution scenes. In an interesting trivia note this is the only Lovecraft adaptation to use Lovecraft’s home turf (and the story’s setting) - Providence, Long Island - as a location (even if the Providence scenes are really shot in Vancouver).

    The Resurrected lacks the energy and vigour that O’Bannon displayed with Return of the Living Dead. Nearly half the film is on the story-heavy exposition side wherein nothing much happens, although O’Bannon and Friedman do create a good mystery and effective images such as the overacting Chris Sarandon suddenly talking in 18th Century tongue. However in the latter half O’Bannon does eventually deliver the goods in a sequence where Terry, Sibbett and Romanus venture by torchlight down into the catacombs beneath the Curwen home finding arcane diaries, partially raising something from the dead with a serum, encountering half-seen monstrosities in the dark and then the torch going out at the crucial moment and they having to make their way back in the dark and by matchlight as the mutations close in. The twist ending and revelations about who is impersonating whom and Terry’s means of dealing with this are also well done. It is during these sequences that O’Bannon conjures something of the mood of Lovecraft and his sense of abominable experiments, unspeakable monstrosities and forbidden knowledge. Indeed this makes Resurrected one of the few post-Re-Animator films that does successfully capture the mood of Lovecraft.
     
  30. Rambo John J

    Rambo John J
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    So where might you buy a copy of resurrected. Doesn't appear to be available on disc or vid
     

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