Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

11 May 2008

The Resurrected, dir. Dan O'Bannon (1992)

STEVE says:
Thus begins our week of HP Lovecraft adaptations. I haven't seen The Resurrected in over 10 years, but I remember liking it. Turns out, as it often does, that it's not as great in reality as in memory, but it wasn't a bad one to start off with.

Based on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, it probably sticks closer to the original story than any of the other, more famous adaptations of Lovecraft's work (Re-animator leaps to mind, as does From Beyond, nothing against Stuart Gordon), but I don't know whether that's good or bad. Lovecraft is so hard to film because he was maddeningly vague with description, and somewhat circular in his writing (at one point in the movie there's a flashback within a flashback within a flashback - no mean feat - and that's pretty much the way Lovecraft would have written the story).

The acting - while earnest - was more wooden that I remember, the effects - though nice and gory - were reminiscent of low-rent Rob Bottin, and the script - always interesting - could have used another pass. But O'Bannon and his crew still did a fairly good job. I was never bored during the film, and the pseudo-noir framework certainly helped in that regard.

Maybe not one of the best Lovecraft movies out there, but definitely not the worst.*


*Tune in later this week for The Curse, based on The Colour out of Space.

NIKKI says:
I think I enjoyed this a little bit more than Steve. Could be because what I got was exactly what I expected and nothing more -- dodgy, early '90s horror. An added bonus for me was the inclusion in the cast of Robert Romanus, who I had a mad crush on back in the day. I don't exactly know why my crush was as great as it was as he's not exactly a Jeff Fahey-type hunk-o-rama. So great was my crush, though, that I watched some of the worst movies ever simply because he was in them -- Dangerous Curves and Bad Medicine to name just two. He was probably one of the better features of this movie. Still, dodgy though it was, it was an okay start to Lovecraft Week.

Romanus's character works for a private detective who has been hired by a woman to find out just what her husband is up to in their garage at all hours of the night. He receives deliveries in body-shaped boxes, and there's a smell emanating from the building that keeps the birds well clear of the skies above. As the detective and his crew dig deeper, we discover that the guy in question -- Charles Dexter Ward -- is experimenting with the dead. Oooh -- not a hard guess.

The reason to see this film, really, is the special effects. This pretty much is one of the most outrageously gruesome films I've seen. Get this -- the experiments here involve human beings resurrected from the dead, but not quite all the way. When this happens, Ward simply discards the almost-remains. Ugh, are they horrid, but just about perfect when you think of Lovecraft's famous "too horrible to describe!" writing technique.

Not great, but not a total loss either.


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