09 October 2005

Yuzna (1993)

1993 - Return of the Living Dead III - Excellent zombie movie that dares to break ground in the genre. Never thought I'd have a crush on a zombie, but then Mindy Clark came around. Yes, this film drops the humor that had distinguished this series, but after the disaster that was Return of the Living Dead Part II, this can only be seen as a wise choice. Instead of bad jokes, we're treated to some of the best horror S&M outside of Cenobites. The only flaw: the goofy-looking zombies that storm the military base at the end look like they belong in Evil Dead 2, rather than in this more serious love story. A special raspberry to the morons at Lions Gate for releasing only the censored cut on DVD.

1993 - Necronomicon - I love horror anthology movies. I don't understand why they never do well at the box office (and, hence, they're rarely made), because bite-sized stories are just plain fun.

"The Library" - Jeffrey Combs (who else?) is H.P. Lovecraft in the wraparound. As a wraparound, it works just fine. Reading all of the film's stories from the Necronomicon, which is buried in a mysterious vault in the middle of an old library run by strange librarians, is great. However, I winced at the very poor miniature work at the end, when the eldritch creature bites the librarian's head off.

"The Drowned" (directed by Christophe Gans) - Probably my favorite of the stories. It's shot in an interesting manner, with great angles and great lighting. The constant glimpses of things falling through the floorboards into the basement builds tension; we know something will wake up down there eventually. The story (and story-in-the-story) builds nicely. But, the creature under the house should've been shot a little more indirectly. Again, unfortunately, the SFX just weren't up to snuff for a full-on view of it.

"The Cold" (directed by Shusuke Kaneko) - Pretty standard stuff with a pretty predictable ending. David Warner is always good. The constant thump of Dr. Madden's piston-driven refrigeration machine in the background was a nice touch.

"Whispers" - Fairly disturbing. Critters that saw off your limbs and drink the bone marrow out of them while you're still alive was an unexpected splatterpunk addition to what had been a relatively tame piece. This was not unwelcome, though it might feel a tad out of place. I liked the surreal touches. The steady descent into the bowels of the building/creature felt like a nightmare. I'm told this is much different from the story "The Whisperer in Darkness", but it's a nice piece of horror filmmaking on its own.

(comment in the main post)