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— W.C.U.N — Pittsburgh!!

THE RESURRECTED (1991) Dir. Dan O'Bannon. Written Brent V. Friedman based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft. Starring: Chris Sarandon, John Terry, Jane Sibbett, and Robert Romanus.

I'm one of those weirdos that has championed The Resurrected since catching it on cable in the 90's back to back with that other forgotten Chris Sarandon horror film, Whispers, and while I have never met anyone outside of a festival who has seen either, fans apparently exist. Enough so that Scream Factory recently released The Resurrected on Blu. Now, I haven't seen that version or any of its bonus content so my impressions and opinions may very well bear absolutely zero weight with those of you that have, but my gut reaction to a recent rewatch is that Dan O'Bannon pulled this one from the brink of half-in-the-can oblivion. What I mean to say is that while it was obviously a threadbare production from the jump there is a certain brevity to the scenes and while nothing seems to be missing in regards to story, you can feel the need for speed in every scene. Now, that's just my impression and I reiterate that because one of the first things to go in a production short on money and shooting days is atmosphere, and yet for some reason this movie, haphazardly paced as it is, has plenty. I don't mean fog or torrential rain but a sense of a world that is lived in, almost tactile. Perhaps it's the TV soap opera lighting, and equally soap level acting from the two leads in collusion with the flat sets that does it. Aspects of a production that under normal conditions always invoke the opposite of atmosphere, or perhaps its these very limitations juxtaposed with Sarandon's game dual portrayal of Charles Dexter Ward and Joseph Curwen, solid practical effects work, and O'Bannon's direction that creates the feeling. Regardless, its the same effect I get from the Unnameable films from the same period, also based on Lovecraft stories and I am left a little beside myself in formal analysis of these films' effects on me. All I can ultimately say is that the Resurrected, like the Unnamable films, are greater than the sum of their parts. Who knows, perhaps its all nostalgia for a particular period in my young life and you really just had to be there? What else is there to say about The Resurrected? Jane Sibbett reminds me of Denise Crosby and I'm not sure which one is worse. Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High is in this one and it leaves me wishing he had been in more stuff and was remembered for more than just devirginizing and impregnating Jennifer Jason Leigh. Chris Sarandon should play more cannibals because those scenes are pretty fuckin creepy and the Lovecraft story which the film sticks to pretty faithfully is one of Lovecraft's best possessing an actual villain/slash monster that can be described and a ghoulishly twisted premise that makes sense as one of the scribe's works most fitting of a movie adaptation. Finally, with Return of the Living Dead, O'Bannon made one of my all-time favorite films genre or not and I like this one a fair amount and even more than Damone I wish the man had been given the chance to show us a little more of his obvious gifts.

 

 

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