Tuesday, May 13, 2014

'Demon Resurrection' (Movie Review)


One of the best things about the low budget and "no budget" indie horror scene is that when you watch a movie it relies on the merits of its story and execution since it can't hide behind special effects or any number of other gimmicks of big Hollywood releases. I recently received a copy of Demon Resurrection to review, and although it's a bit rough around the edges I was pleasantly surprised!

Demon Resurrection tells the story of a group of friends who stage an intervention for their friend Grace. She was kidnapped by an evil cult, and their best plan was to kidnap her back and hide her in a cabin. I couldn't help but notice the similarities between this and the revised plot for the Evil Dead reboot (although Demon Resurrection came out in 2008) and I have to wonder if the cast and crew were flattered or thought "What the WHAT?!" when they saw a similar idea on big screens in 2013.

The first half of Demon Resurrection is dialogue heavy. This slow burn harkens back to the era of 1970's and early 80's horror. While there is some admittedly cheesy dialogue here and there, I have to give a special nod to Will McDonald who plays the cult leader "Toth". He totally steals the show in every scene he's in with an acting style reminiscent of Ernest Borgnine in The Devil's Rain. It's as if Mr. Rogers wore a white turtleneck and also commanded an unholy army of the night; totally awesome. I also want to give kudos to Chad Kessler (Mike) for playing the entertaining character who doesn't really belong in the situation for any particular reason, but still swears a lot and acts like a jerk to everybody.


After the stage is set via some rituals, gymnastics in a tree, and a sexy flashback we get to the real meat and potatoes; DEMONS! The effects and creature design are really solid considering the film's budget. They used a mix of practical effects makeup along with slow motion and a CGI "fog" technique to create a creepy blurring effect that works well. Especially fun is the resurrection scene where Toth summons the demons and everything looks like an old 1960's psychedelic acid trip music video. At that point everything kicks into high gear, and the demons make their persistent march towards the house to retrieve Grace and kill everyone in their path. I noticed the demons really enjoy pulling people through broken windows and that leads to some great gross out moments. Belly button glass shard impalement is never fun.

I don't want to spoil the plot, so I'll summarize the rest of the movie in a vague haiku.

"Undead magic stick
Antichrist lizard Muppet
Cultist comeuppance"

Demon Resurrection is a fun movie. Does it have faults? Absolutely. There is some goofy writing, intermittent audio volume spikes, and deadpan acting that is expected in this type of movie. However, it's totally obvious that everyone involved in making this movie (especially the second act) was really passionate about making a horror movie and it totally shines through. This leads me back to my opening statement where ultra low budget movies live or die on the merit of their writing and execution. If you look past its issues, there is an honest, entertaining, and worthwhile indie movie waiting to be found. If you're interested, you can find out more at the Demon Resurrection website. Oh, and Joe Zaso the evil limo driver? That dude has been in a TON of movies!

Grade: B-

Reviewed on DVD via official screener copy


5 comments:

  1. It's worth checking out if you get the chance. It's available on Amazon Video. Another nice thing is that the film is pretty concise so it's not a huge time investment.

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  2. I love that poster! Definitely will need to seek this one out, great review.

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  3. Thanks Jonny! Yeah, they went for an aesthetic of the 1970's horror films, and the poster definitely reflects it.

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  4. Awesome, looking forward to checking it out.

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