It's Easter Monday, so here's a Resurrection more fitting to my tastes.
A friend of mine is moving to L.A. and recently let her friends pick over the stuff that wasn't accompanying her on her trip. In addition to me – with her being an avid fan of silver screen horror – acquiring some great titles from the fifties, I also managed to snag Dan O' Bannon's 1991 H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, The Resurrected.
The distraught wife (Jane Sibbett, Carol from Friends!) of a wealthy scientist named Charles Dexter Ward (Chris Surandon) enlists the help of a private detective named John March (John Terry) to find out why he has isolated himself in a remote cabin. Things only get weirder from there.
I'd been looking for this ever since I saw Steve Kostanski talk about it extensively in his Black Museum lecture back in 2012. It's totally the kind of movie I would've expected to show up in my video store in the early nineties, but, for some reason, it did not. Better late than never I suppose.
This movie has a ton of stuff going for it and really hits that sweet spot of stuff I loved when I was devouring horror flicks at the most feverish pace of my life. Back then the question was not how many movies had I watched that week, but how many I'd watched that day.
|John Terry (left) & Chris Surandon in The Resurrected.
First you have the score by Richard Band, which immediately entrenches it in straight-to-video heyday of the early nineties, as well as the unmistakable creature creations of Todd Masters. Then, you have a familiar genre face to sell the movie, in this case, Chris Surandon. By 1991, I wager that Surandon was as recognizable as popular horror vets as Jeffrey Combs & Brad Dourif.
There is also the fact that this is one of the better Lovecraft adaptations out there. Based on the short novel The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, O'Bannon revels in the mystery by concentrating on March's investigation and waits to reveal what's going with Ward until the climax. And what a wonderful climax it is, featuring several glorious creatures provided by the aforementioned Masters. While it is true I almost nodded off during the previous fifteen minutes of March and company fumbling through a maze of underground tunnels, I was well rewarded for my patience. And I haven't even mentioned the great stop-motion skeleton sequence of the last scene. That's also choice stuff.
|Now we're talking!
I'm glad I finally got to see Dan O'Bannon's other stint in the director's chair. It's a damn shame that someone so gifted at helming effects-heavy pictures only twice got a kick at the can. At least we know he contributed to the horror canon in many other ways over the years. Frustratingly, this is yet another VHS title that has yet to be ported to DVD (Ed; apart from Lionsgate's stingy long out-of print release). Perhaps with recently renewed interest in Lovecraftian lore via pictures like The Banshee Chapter and The Void, maybe someone will take the initiative and re-release – or resurrect you might say – some of the lesser known titles like this one. Here's hoping!