trashfilmguru (Ryan C.):

I take a look at “George Romero’s Empire Of The Dead Act Two” #1 for Through The Shattered Lens website.

Originally posted on Through the Shattered Lens:

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I’ll admit that it brands as being in a tiny minority, but George A. Romero’s Empire Of The Dead  is my favorite ongoing zombie story right now. I’ve long since given up hope for The Walking Dead as both a TV series — blasphemy to some around these parts, I know — and a monthly comic,  with Kirkman and his cohorts long having since lost the plot, in my view, in both of that franchise’s iterations, but good ol’ George, after stumbling out of the gate a bit in Act One of this, his latest (and first printed-page) undead epic, really seems to be in the midst of getting a damn solid little tale going here, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Well, actually, I suppose I could 

For one thing, the second five-issue arc of what’s slated to be a 25-parter (bearing the official copyright title…

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Our occasional tour of cinematic semi-oddities from around the globe takes us today to the UK, by way of Spain, since the film under our metaphorical microscope, 2010 “demonic possession drama” Exorcismus,  is a Spanish production with Spanish financing shot in “Ol’ Blighty” with a British cast and spoken entirely in English. Which leads me to believe that it had to have been subtitled when released in its country of origin (well, okay, one of its countries of origin) under the title of La Posesion De Emma Evans (translated as, I’m sure you can probably guess, “The Possession Of Emma Evans”), but it doesn’t really matter all that much because whatever language you’re hearing and/or reading this thing in, and whatever title you’re seeing it under, Exorcismus is a thoroughly middling affair that succeeds in really one respect only — establishing itself as a “bog standard” exorcism flick to measure the better and worse films in this increasingly-crowded genre up against.

To wit : if we’ve got William Friedkin’s classic The Exorcist perched at the top of the demon-possession hierarchy (as well it should be), and utter dreck like The Devil Inside at the bottom, director Manuel Carballo’s decidedly PG-13 opus falls pretty much dead in the middle. He can take pride in knowing that others have done far worse with material of this nature, but it’s also been done far better — and if knowing all that leads you to ask “okay, so what’s the point of this one, then?,” you’re pretty much on the right track.

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So here’s the deal : fifteen-year-old Emma (Sophie Vavasseur) was always a generally well-behaved and unassuming young lady until quite recently, when she started chafing at the over-protectiveness of her parents (played by Richard Felix and Jo-Anne Stockham) and getting resentful about things like constantly having to keep an eye on her kid brother. Typical teenage stuff, I’m sure you’d agree, but when her folks decide to send her to a shrink, said shrink ends up dead ,  and an audio recording of Emma’s therapy session surfaces that features her ranting in unknown tongues and hissing and spitting — well, maybe she’s taking things a bit far with this “youthful rebellion” phase, ya know?

Fortunately for all of them, there just so happens to be someone in the family who specializes in this sort of thing. Her uncle (by way of her mother’s side) is a Catholic priest (portrayed by Stephen Billington) who’s currently on an extended — what shall we call it? — administrative leave for the part he played in carrying out an exorcism that led to another teenage girl’s death. Still, despite some qualms, and with their daughter only getting worse, the Evanses (is that how you say that?) decide that maybe some dousing with holy water and being barked at in Latin is, hopefully,  exactly what their one-time pride and joy needs, they just have one condition — the whole thing needs to be filmed.

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Rest assured, however, that this isn’t a “found footage” flick (well, not primarily, at any rate), and take heart in the fact that some good performances from all involved, particularly Vavasseur,  elevate the rather lackluster script, but don’t expect anything terrifically new or exciting here. The plot takes a rather nifty twist right around the midway point (I’ll put it this way, if you thought it sounded pretty goddamn convenient that a priest’s niece happened to get caught up as the host for an evil spirit, you’re right), and once we get to the nitty-gritty of the exorcism itself it’s all reasonably well done, but — and it’s a big “but” — there’s just nothing going on here to really set it apart from the pack. If you’re a fan of tales of demonic possession just as a general principle, then you’ll probably appreciate this one more than others may, but you still won’t be able to escape the “been there, done that” feeling that positively oozes from every celluloid pore here.

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Maybe that’s not terribly fair to either Carballo or his film, but it’s not exactly unfair, either. If there had never been a movie of this nature made before, Exorcismus (which is now streaming on Netflix — it’s also available on DVD and Blu-Ray from IFC Midnight, but hey, since I just watched it online, we’re only covering the basics here and not examining the technical specs of its physically-stored versions) would probably stand out as a triumphant spectacle of modern horror, but hey — nothing exists in a vacuum, and if other, and better, flicks than this hadn’t been made first, this one probably never would have, either. So take it all for what it’s worth — if you’re in the mood for something not too taxing that doesn’t break any new ground but at least goes about its business with a reasonable amount of professionalism, give this thing a go. But if you feel like watching yet another riff on more or less the exact same story  for the hundredth time sounds kinda dull, then give it a pass.

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Do you like Brian De Palma films? I like Brian De Palma films — in fact, I like ‘em a lot. And while he’s arguably best known as a master of either the crime (ScarfaceThe UntouchablesCarlito’s Way) or horror (Carrie) genres, my personal favorite works in his oeuvre remain his stylish, overtly-sexualized, modern (well, for their time, at any rate) updates on the classic Hitchcock “psychological thriller” formula like SistersDressed To KillBody Double, and the woefully-underappreciated Raising Cain. Oh, sure, I  have a real soft spot for flicks like Phantom Of The Paradise and Blow Out as well, but I think he was at his best when channeling his inner “Master Of Suspense.”

Indie director Zack Parker evidently thinks so, too, because his 2013 effort Proxy (which he co-wrote with Kevin Donner and is now available on Netflix instant streaming, as well as on DVD and Blu-Ray from IFC Midnight — I watched it online, so no technical specs for the physical storage versions will be included with this review) is such a blatant riff on those movies that it’s almost criminal.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you — De Palma himself doesn’t seem to be making these sorts of things anymore, so I’m glad that someone is, and frankly,  Parker goes about the task really well. But let’s not kid ourselves.  everything he does here — from the taut classical  music cues to the operatic violence to the sexual psychosis to the “is it a dream or not?” mind-fuck sequences to the plot twist that sees who we thought to be our main protagonist killed off in favor of following somebody else’s story — well, it’s pure, unadulterated, classic BDP all the way.

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Shit, truth be told, I’m hesitant to even provide much of a story synopsis here because the various twists and turns are what make Proxy  so damn much creepy fun, and just about anything I tell you could be considered a “spoiler” to one degree or another — heck, I’m guilty of dropping a rather large one already — but here’s the general gist of things : nine-months pregnant Esther (Alexia Rasmussen, in a performance stunningly reminiscent of Angela Bettis’  justifiably star-making turn in May) is violently attacked by an unknown assailant on her way back from an OB-GYN appointment and loses her baby and, very nearly, her own life. Her butch-in-the-extreme girlfriend , Anika (Kristina Klebe) isn’t exactly a whole lot of help in the “emotional support” department, but luckily she makes a new friend at her traumatic-event-survivors support group, Melanie (Alexa Havins), who’s apparently been through a heck of a lot herself, and whose husband, Patrick (Joe Swanberg) can best be described as a self-involved douchebag himself. So it’s natural enough that the two women would strike up a friendship, right?

Not that they know all that about each other right off the bat — and not that what little they do know is necessarily the truth. And that’s all I’m gonna say, because from here on out, things get pretty complicated. Suffice to say that you’re in for a wickedly intriguing little ride and that if you know a little bit about a psychological condition known as “Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome” going in, you’ll be somewhat better off.

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Like just about any effort that can best be described as pure homage, originality is in short supply here, but that’s not really the point. The point is for Parker to show off how well he “gets it” in terms of aping his chosen style, and boy, does he ever. There’s an endless series of expertly-delivered and masterfully-presented “pick your jaw up off the floor” moments to sink your teeth into here,  and if the you enjoy getting your hands — and mind — dirty in the dark backwater cesspools of the human condition, Proxy is guaranteed to be right up your alley. We’ve seen most of this done before, sure, but we haven’t seen it done this well in far too long.

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I see a fair amount of debate swirling around this film online, most of it focused on “what genre should we pigeonhole this into?,” but my response to that is pretty much “who cares?” Some want to brand it horror, others a thriller, still others psychodrama. For my money, it’s got elements of all of them in there somewhere, but pinning it down to one particular category is of no interest to me whatsoever. It’s just plain good, and that’s all I really care about.

Is it as good as vintage De Palma, back when he was really firing on all cylinders? Well, no, it isn’t. But it’s a stylish enough approximation of it to earn  “must-see” status from yours truly.

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So, yeah, it’s “found footage” horror time again, but with a twist — director Zachary Dohnohue (who co-wrote the script with Lauren Thompson) inserts a bit of a spanner into the works with his 2013 offering The Den (distributed by — quelle surprise! — IFC Midnight) by confining all the grim proceedings of his tale to footage purportedly captured either on computer webcam or cell phone cams. Hardly earth-shaking, I suppose, and probably bound to happen sooner rather than later, but it’s enough to set his flick apart from the (over)crowded pack and at least make for a somewhat surreal experience if you’re watching it, as I was, on your computer (via Netflix, of course, so while it’s also available on DVD and Blu-ray, don’t hold your breath for any technical specs with this review since I just streamed the damn thing).

Admittedly, even at 81 minutes Donohue stretches his premise pretty thin and there are a fair number of scenes that make you go “huh? People leave their cameras on for that?,” but at least the plot facilitates this reasonably enough, since the story set-up involves graduate student Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papalia) scoring a grant from her university to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on an internet chat site called — wait for it — The Den, where users randomly interact with anybody out there with nothing to do who happens to be in front of their webcam. I have no clue whether or not sites like this actually exist online, but if you think of a “chat roulette” version of Skype,  you’re getting somewhere close to the idea.

Anyway, apparently this site is so popular that it’s deemed worthy to be of serious academic study of the most immersive sort, but things take a turn for the worse when Elizabeth witnesses a brutal murder online that the cops, rather too conveniently, nearly immediately decide is real. Her long-suffering boyfriend, Damien (David Schlalchtenhaufen) wants her to pull up stakes and abandon her project, of course, but she gets more “into it” than ever — until he turns up missing, along with her best friend, and then she starts to piece together that whoever is getting their kicks by offing folks online might have set their sights set on her next.

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It’s a nifty and pacy little script, and Papilia does a nice job in the title role as she progresses from disinterested observer to more interested observer to willing participant to unwilling (and quickly falling apart at the seams) future victim, but there’s one major flaw that threatens the entire enterprise — throughout The Den we’re introduced to various personages in our protagonist’s life who might just have a motive, however twisted, for doing what they’re doing, and the story very definitely plays out in a technologically-augmented “whodunit?” manner, but — spoiler alert! — Donohue dumps all that in the finale when it turns out that the killer and/or killers have no connection to Elizabeth whatsoever. The “big reveal” is, in fact, completely unrealistic, but also, in its own way, strangely effective, so at least something of a satisfying conclusion is salvaged from what could be a real mess, but if you go into this without looking for suspects, no matter how much you may find yourself tempted to do so, you’ll come out of it feeling a lot better.  And that’s probably as much as I should say on the matter.

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Apart from that quibble, though — which I’ve just done the courtesy of saving you from buying into  if you haven’t seen it — there’s actually a fair amount for horror fans to like here, even if you’re sick to death of “found footage.” Our masked assassin is suitably creepy, there’s a healthy dose of intrigue involved throughout, the violence is genuinely shocking and brutal, and the characters are all reasonably likable, to the point where you sorta hate to see anything bad happen to them. Sure, you get the feeling that everyone’s doomed from the outset, but at least their various and sundry demises carry some impact with them when they arrive.  Crucially, too, Donohue knows how to escalate tension and times his various cinematic “body blows” well, ratcheting up the gravitas with each successive scene. Even the film’s “slow parts” feel reasonably crucial,  and since he doesn’t have a whole lot of time to waste, it’s good to see that, ya know, he doesn’t waste any.

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All in all, for a flick that very nearly falls completely off the rails, I walked away from The Den more impressed by it than perhaps it deserves. Which just goes to show that, in fact, it probably deserves it all the more. If that makes any kind of sense.

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Okay, sue me — I’ve been on something of a “found footage” horror kick again lately, for reasons even I can’t explain, and if you don’t like it —a position many right-thinking folks would have at least some sympathy for (including, if I’m being totally honest, myself) — well, maybe this blog just isn’t the place for you to be for awhile, because I’ve got a few more I’ve checked out recently that I’ll probably have something to say about in the days ahead. Let’s not kid ourselves — much as we might sometimes wish this fad would just be over and done with already, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised to find a small number of gems hidden away in the far-flung corners of this admittedly over-used subgenre lately.

Unfortunately, the movie under our metaphorical microscope today, 2012’s Crowsnest (yes, all one word) isn’t one of them. Released — as most of these things seem to be — under the IFC Midnight label, I gave this flick a spin on Netflix last night (no DVD or Blu-ray technical specs included with this review, although it’s available in both formats if you’re so inclined) and almost immediately regretted it, but kept watching regardless just , well, because. You know how it goes.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not that director Brenton Spencer’s little opus doesn’t have a few things going for it. There are a couple of genuinely make-you-jump-outta-your seat moments, and the premise of a group of twenty-somethings lost in the back woods and being pursued by a pack of nomadic cannibals in an RV is a fairly nifty one. The big problem lies in the fact that screenwriter John Sheppard forgot to write at least one reasonably sympathetic character that the average audience member would want to survive.

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The trouble starts in pretty much immediately, as we’re introduced to Justin (Victor Zinck Jr.), an uber-annoying hipster (as, I’m willing to wager, most Justins tend to be) who’s toying around with the new HD camera his whiny girlfriend, Brooke (Mittita Barber) has given him as a birthday present. Right off the bat you can’t wait for these two self-absorbed idiots to die, and the same is true of their friends, entitled wuss Kirk (Aslam Husain), his stereotypical nagging old lady Amanda (Chelsey Reis), and her obviously-emotionally-disturbed, holy roller sister, Danielle (Christie Burke). Seriously, I’ve seen some unlikable-in-the-extreme ensembles cobbled together in low-budget horror flicks, but trust me when I say this bunch takes the cake. They’re literally all  a bunch of fuck-ups.

Anyway, the gang is headed off to Kirk’s parents’ cottage in, by the looks of things, northern California, and while you’d think he’d know the way there since he’s been there plenty of times before, he still manages to get them lost looking for some remote place he knows with, get this, half-price beer. They do eventually find said cut-rate liquor establishment (the titular Crowsnest dilapidated vacation rental spot), but then they get lost again, the RV full of “long pig” connoisseurs finds them, and then they get mercilessly fucked with until they’re all dead.

Unfortunately, that happens about 80 minutes too late into the film’s 85-minute runtime. Not that some of the violent harassment they endure isn’t well-deserved (okay, it all is), but when you’re rooting against a movie’s protagonists from the jump, you’re generally not in the mood to have the agony that is their continued breathing stretched out for too long.

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Honestly, when you think about it, a certain type of creative genius is required to screw up a premise as cool as cannibals in a camper, but Crowsnest manages that feat with ease. There’s a believable enough reason offered for why Justin won’t ever turn his goddamn camera off, but the over-use of the device’s night vision begins to grate fairly quickly, as do the numerous way-too-extended takes and purposely awkward angles (quite dropping the thing on the ground already, please!) . All in all, though, those complaints are small potatoes up against the big one, which is that any horror story worth its salt needs at least one — just one — character that the audience wouldn’t happily kill themselves, and Spencer and Sheppard flat-out don’t give us one.

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Truth be told, when these spoiled little shits start dying off, it almost comes more as a relief than anything else, because the stresses of being hunted end up bringing out an even worse side of people who don’t have a good one (like when Justin suggests leaving one of his supposed “friends” who’s bleeding out on the side of the road). I’m as naturally inclined toward misanthropy as anyone — and I realize full well that many so-called “millenials” have earned the rather lousy reputation their generation has — but come on, enough is enough. Not even Woody Allen in his prime could populate a film with this many conceited, gutless, egocentric assholes and make it work.

 

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Like a lot of armchair film critics out there, I get offered “screener” copy DVDs for various independent, low-budget horror flicks fairly regularly, and while I always appreciate (and accept) the offers, I don’t always review the films. Does that make me a bastard? Well, yes and no  — yes because it means I’m being kinda lazy, but no, because if I don’t like a flick that somebody has sent me, I figure it’s a bit of slap in the face to the person who made it — and hooked me up with a free copy — if I then go on to trash the thing. Unlike some of my fellow internet movie scribes, my conscience isn’t for sale for the price of a DVD, so if I don’t like a film I was “comped,” I’m not going to say that I did. I’ll just leave it alone, since I’m thankful for the freebie but not so thankful that I’m gonna lie and say it was good.

Tell ya what, though — if I do like it, the least I can do is try to help out a struggling young independent filmmaker with some free publicity, and I did like the shot-on-HD effort I’m here to talk about today, writer/director William Hopkins’ Demon Resurrection. Hopkins made this thing back in 2008, but his efforts to promote it continue to this day — you can find out more, order a DVD, or download it for $3.99 at http://www.demonresurrection.com — and that sort of persistence is always admirable in my book. It tells me that he really put his all into this project (financially and otherwise) if he’s still beating the drum for it some six years after it was completed, and for those who think that might just be a sign of a guy who doesn’t know when to give up on a lost cause, might I remind you that Tommy Wiseau kept on hyping The Room for a good number of years before anyone else paid any attention.

Not that Demon Resurrection is as overtly “bad” a production as The Room by any stretch, or that it’s been roundly ignored by the horror fan community to this point — all in all, most reviews for it have been fairly positive. I’m just saying, hey, all you indie horror auteurs out there — don’t give up. When a film “wraps” is often when the real work gets started in earnest.

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In fairness, there’s not a whole lot that you could call “remarkably original” going on here — the plot, revolving as it does around a young woman named Grace (Alexis Golightly) who is rescued from an obscure devil-cult by her apparent-good-guy new boyfriend, John (Damian Ladd) and finally subjected to an “intervention” by a group of friends who are concerned that her recent sickly appearance might be a sign that she’s (yawn) on drugs or something — borrows pretty heavily from Rosemary’s Bay and everything that followed in its stead , particularly when we get into “Satan wants her for his bride” territory, but so what? If originality was the barometer we measure “good” horror by, then you couldn’t say there’s been a good horror flick for decades now. All that really matters, at the end of the day, is if it’s done well.

By and large, that’s where Demon Resurrection succeeds. Oh, sure, the acting can get a bit dodgy at times, the production values are a bit suspect here and there, and the dialogue can veer off into “unintentionally camp” territory, but for the most part, everybody here seems to be giving it their best effort. The practical FX work is solid for a modestly-budgeted affair, the sets are cool, the storyline remains reasonably involving throughout, and there’s plenty of blood, guts, and sleaze, which are three things that never go out of style.

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All in all, if I were in Hopkins’ shoes, I’d still be trying to promote this film, too, because there’s plenty here to be proud of. I’m not sure it’s corny or cheesy enough to ever achieve “cult sensation” status — frankly, the whole thing would need to be a good deal worse than it is for that — but what’s wrong with a solid effort made by people who know what they’re doing and understand how to construct a competently-executed film with limited resources? Nothing, I say, and the average fan of indie horror is probably going to find plenty here to be reasonably impressed by.

On the technical specs front, the picture and sound on the DVD (and, I’m assuming, the download) are more or less flawless, there’s a reasonably fun little half-hour “making-of” documentary featurette included, there are on-camera interviews with Hopkins and producer Frank Cilla, and Hopkins chimes in with a fairly involving and interesting full-length commentary track. Plenty of bang for your buck to be had here.

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No, Demon Resurrection doesn’t re-invent the horror wheel or anything of the sort, but it’s a fairly fun, gory, gripping little ride that will leave you thinking “hey, these guys get it.” That’s more than you can say for a lot of things coming down the indie pipeline these days, and more than enough for me to advise any interested parties out there to give it a go.

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There’s no doubt that  Aussie documentarian Mark Hartley has established himself as the “go-to guy” when it comes to chronicling the history of exploitation cinema — his films tracing the rise and fall of the “B-Movie” industry in his both his own country  (Not Quite Hollywood) and the Philippines (Machete Maidens Unleashed) are thorough, exhaustive, and above all, highly entertaining accounts of the trials and travails of making low-budget flicks in settings far removed from the Tinseltown blockbuster machine. His forthcoming retrospective on Cannon Films, Electric Boogaloo, is something many of us have been waiting on with baited breath for some time now, and the mere thought that it’s finally about to see the light of day fills me with a kind of irrational giddiness that, frankly, I’m just not used to.

Still, it’s surprising that there’s been such a long wait between his second and third exploitation-related documentaries when you consider that his first and second were barely a year removed from each other. Of course, there’s an explanation for this — and that  is his 2013 remake of director Richard Franklin’s 1978 Ozploitation classic Patrick (which was followed, believe it or not, by an Italian sequel entitled Patrick Still Loves — only in the ’70s, my friends, only in the ’70s), a project that Hartley undertook some time after Electric Boogaloo was already well underway, but one that resulted in an inevitable hiatus for the Cannon-centric doc since it’s kinda hard to work on two feature film projects at the same time.

So — was it worth having to hold out a bit longer for a flick we’ve all been eagerly anticipating to allow Hartley a bit of leeway to complete this obvious labor of love? Reviews of his version of Patrick have been lukewarm at best,  to be sure, but I would have to say the answer to my (probably rhetorical, but what the hell) question is a fairly resounding “yes,” because I don’t know what anyone else has been smoking, but I think this little chiller has everything you could possibly ask for and then some.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the original (or, for that matter, this remake), the premise works as follows : young nurse Kathy Jacquard (Sharni Vinson) is so desperate for a full-time gig that gets her away from a deteriorating relationship back home in, I’m guessing, Sydney or Melbourne, that she signs on at the remote, foreboding Roget Clinic, a decidedly experimental “treatment” facility for comatose patients overseen by the ethically compromised (to put it kindly) Dr. Roget (Charles Dance, in terrifically eerie performance) and his daughter, Matron Cassidy (Rachel Griffiths, apparently “slumming it” back in her home country now that her two absolutely risible American soap operas — Six Feet Under and Brothers And Sisters — are, mercifully, off our television screens). The only other staff member on site appears to be local “good time girl” Nurse Williams (Peta Sergeant), and the whole place feels a lot more like a fucking tomb than a medical center.

Roget has promised his increasingly-nervous financial backers that he’s on the verge of a “breakthrough” of some sort in terms of bringing the brain-dead back from their — sorry to be blunt — vegetative states, and his prize guinea pig appears to be a patient in room number 15, one-time psychopath Patrick (played by Jackson Gallagher, who gets the most an actor possibly can from a part with, essentially, no lines), but the “breakthrough” Patrick has in mind is far different from the one his not-so-good Doctor thinks he’s coming close to achieving with his ever-escalating, violent shock “treatments” (incidentally, it never ceases to amaze me how when someone has electrodes attached to their genitals we all recognize it as being torture, but when they’re attached to someone’s head it can be called “therapy”) —  you see, our guy Pat’s been fusing his consciousness in with the electrical grid, and when he’s finally amped up sufficiently, he’s gonna wreak bloody havoc on everyone who did him wrong, starting with Roget himself.

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Hartley’s obviously absorbed a few lessons from the many exploitation stalwarts he’s had the chance to get to know over the years, because his take on Patrick positively drips with atmosphere and tension right from the outset, and as Nurse Jacquard’s feelings for her patient progress from pity to concern to, finally, terror, the undercurrent of genuine menace that runs throughout is successfully ramped up in accordance with the raising of the story’s stakes. Sure, some of the CGI exterior effects (lightning, fog, etc.) are a bit on the cut-rate side, but even there one gets the sense that Hartley’s going for a purposeful “old Hollywood” look rather than cutting corners. His budget here isn’t high by any stretch of the imagination, but by and large he seems to have picked up a good deal of knowledge from the likes of Brian Trenchard-Smith and Cirio H. Santiago on how to make a little go a long way. in short,  he’s seen how the pros do it and is more than ready to apply the skills he’s heard so much about.

Obviously, a fair amount of suspension of disbelief is required in order to even buy into the premise here, and fans of the original are probably a bit disappointed by Hartley’s decision to steer the story away from the realm of ESP (although that certainly becomes a factor, especially towards the end) and into a more technologically-oriented milieu, but it makes sense in this day and age when everything’s connected, and doesn’t, at least from my own point of view, detract from the impact of what’s happening in any way. All in all, this is a very worthy “modern grindhouse” feature and I sincerely hope that Hartley will pursue more projects of this ilk in the future, since I can’t think of anyone better, this side of Tarantino and Rodriguez, to continue the ethos of the exploitation film into the current century.

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Patrick — which, in true drive-in style is also known by the alternate title of Patrick : Evil Awakens — is available on DVD and Blu-ray, sure, but it’s also part of the instant streaming queue on Netflix at the moment (which is how I caught it, hence the lack of technical specs for its physical-storage versions in this review), and is well worth any horror or “B-Movie” junkie’s time to check out. I almost never like remakes, but this feels more like a rebirth —which, given its subject matter, is highly appropriate indeed.