Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dagon (2001)

Stuart Gordon's 2001 film Dagon is sort of a culmination for the man';s career.  As far back as 1985, he wanted to do an adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, a spooky little tale about a man who finds himself stranded in a town full of horrible fish mutations.

In the film, the young man is Paul Marsh (Ezra Godden), a young internet millionaire who is on a boat trip with his girlfriend Barbara and two other friends.  Paul is a bit of a wet blanket and he has been plagued by dreams of a strange underwater structure and an beautiful mermaid, no bonus points for guessing that both play a part in later events.

Paul and Barbara end up in a small Spanish village called Imboca where the weather is bad, the hotel makes New York in the seventies look like paradise and the locals are less than friendly.  Sprinkle of lemon and some tartar sauce though...

Ahem, sorry.

Dagon is a nicely creepy, though not really scary little horror flick that has pretty much everything a good horror movie needs.  Atmosphere out the wazoo, likable heroes (though Paul is a bit much to take at first), some nice gore effects, icky creatures and smattering of nudity.

For the most part, the film is fairly loyal to the text in that the hero is basically chased for most of the thing by horrid fish monsters, there is a dark secret revealed at the end and of course, like all Lovecraft stories, a happy ending is just as fanciful as some of his ideas.

Overall, it is a very strong movie.  Ezra Godden makes for a sympathetic lead (he also sort of looks like Jeffrey Combs which probably is not an accident) and the f/x work is good for the most part, save for a few obvious bits of CGI.  It's not the best Lovecraft adaptation (I sort of like From Beyond a little more and Re-Animator is just a classic) but it is still a damn fine piece of cinematic horror.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.