11/25/14

Demon Resurrection (2008) Review

The devil himself wants her for his bride... and he's sending his legions of hell to get her!

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Anyone who reads this blog (I'm pretty sure there's still one guy.  He's from Brazil) will know my contempt for new movies that are marketed as "grindhouse throwbacks" in an attempt to make shitty movies seem intentionally shitty.  Usually these films are campy, poorly acted, unoriginal '80s slasher "homages," and they are horrendous.  It seems like big chested bimbos are herded over from the local strip club, fed a diet of Subway and Boone's and told to deliver dialogue.  I have no problem with them in their natural environment but they have no business being in horror movies.  Let the strippers be!

Demon Resurrection is different.  First of all, it's not an '80s slasher clone.  It's more like an Italian zombie flick from the 1970s with Satanic cults, supernatural forces and creeping undead.  It doesn't try to be campy and as far as I can tell, there are no strippers pretending to be actresses.  All positive things.

The plot is basic but effective.  A group of stereotypes visit a friend's house to conduct an intervention because they assume she's been acting strangely because she's on drugs.  Unbeknownst to them, the only "pipe" Grace has had in her mouth is the infernal pipe (and by pipe I mean penis) of some hell-beast because she's been indoctrinated into a cult, raped by a demon and is now carrying the demon's love child in her womb.  Fortunately, she has been rescued by her boyfriend who happens to be an expert in the Occult.  But, things only get worse for Grace and John because the creepy leader of the cult wants the baby back.  He unleashes a horde of undead and the poor friends from the intervention die one by one as these shambling, desiccated corpses attempt to infiltrate the house to take back Grace and the demon spawn growing in her belly.

The Crimson Executioner cries out for blood!
As was mentioned before, Demon Resurrection is reminiscent of '70s Italian horror.  It has a slower pace (in a good way) interlaced with frantic, chaotic moments of gratuitous gore.  In some ways it reminds me of Lucio Fulci's films.  It's like if Fulci was told to rewrite and direct Rosemary's Baby and he was like, "Screw this exploration of the psychological torment and transformation of the demon-child's mother crap.  This shit needs zombies and titties and blood."  ...and I would agree.

I do have some criticisms, but generally they are minor.  As can be expected from a film with such a limited budget, the acting isn't always stellar.  It ranges from cringe-inducing to solid.  Of note is the performance of Will McDonald who played cult leader Toth as a genuinely unbalanced and creepy guy, and I wish the character had been explored more.  However, some of the other performances are not so good.

Like the acting, the effects were hit or miss.  I felt as though the computer generated imagery, or CGI as the kids call it, detracted from the film but thankfully was only used to convey spooky, psychedelic mist during cult rituals, for the most part.  The zombies, however, were excellent and prove that a little burlap and ingenuity go a long way.  The fight scenes were a little lackluster but the stunts involved were impressive.  And those are the only negatives that come to mind.  Oh, and although Alexis Golightly was kind enough to show us the full monty... while tied to a tree... and assaulted from behind by a demon, the other actresses prudishly kept their clothes on for the entire film.  That was kind of a bummer.

Overall, Demon Resurrection is a surprisingly solid supernatural horror.  Director William Hopkins is to be commended for creating a true homage to the horror movies of the past instead of some shitty, campy retro-slasher.  What he has managed to resurrect (see what I did there?) is a good old-fashioned horror movie full of gore and boobies, which are two things that I like very much.  It's an impressive piece of amateur film making.   This is only Hopkin's second film, and I sincerely hope we see more from him in the future.

Violence Rating/Index: 3.5 out of 5
Booby Rating/Index: 3 out of 5




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