Action / Fantasy / Horror / Sci-Fi


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August 17, 2015 at 03:08 AM



Chris Sarandon as Charles Dexter Ward / Joseph Curwen
Deep Roy as Main Monster
Jane Sibbett as Claire Ward
Robert Romanus as Lonnie Peck
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
P/S 1 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Matthew Janovic ([email protected]) 8 / 10

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward comes alive...again!

This is probably one of the best commercial-adaptations of an H.P Lovecraft story I have seen yet, although Stuart Gordon's "Dagon" is probably equal in capturing the atmospherics of Lovecraft's stories. What I found most-amazing about this adaptation is that it comes-off as "clinical" as the original--kind-of like reading a Police-report or an affidavit from a cold-case. In-fact, it's to Dan O'Bannon's credit that he insisted on making this a contemporary detective-story on its surface. A Private Detective is more-familiar to audiences than a long-winded psychaitrist, and honestly, anchors the story more-firmly in a reality we're familiar-with. This ho-hum world is so familiar, the director really creates a greater sense-of-shock when that reality shatters. This is in-keeping with Lovecraft, who would often keep the reader waiting until the very-end of his tales for the horrible-revelations. It should also be said that it rains throughout the entire film, which goes a long-way in creating an East Coast atmosphere that is spot-on in the Lovecratian-sense. Add to this the extraordinary score by Richard Band (who scored "Reanimator" and "From Beyond"), the incredible makeup by Tom Masters, and some really great cinematography, and you get one of the finer-moments in horror. Recounting much of the plot line will only ruin the experience, so I will refrain from doing-so.

But there is even more: Chris Sarandon's performance as Charles Dexter Ward and Joseph Curwen is easily on-par with those of Lon Chaney or Boris Karloff--even Vincent Price at his best, a performance for the ages. You honestly believe that Sarandon is an individual who has somehow found a way to reach-across-time from the 18th Century to exist in our own. It is an enigmatic and chilling performance, and one of the greatest realizations of 18th Archaic English-dialect I have ever heard from any actor. Even Sarandon's countenance and movements strike one as a being from a foreign-land: the distant, colonial-past. Yes, the DVD is now available from Lion's Gate, and it is definitely passable. But, it really should have been released in O'Bannon's director's cut, and Widescreen and in 5.1 stereo. The cut still exists, but it appears that the studio is more-interested in milking this property with no investment in restoration or even a minimal-treatment for we-the-fans, who have been short-changed. All-said, the film is strong enough to overcome all of this, and I still recommend you find a copy for yourself. Not a film without imperfections, "The Resurrected" is still effective in its goal of conveying Lovecraft's "cosmic horror," and the depravity at-heart of the desire for immortality. This is how horror looks, sounds...and smells. Welcome to an alchemical-horror, with mankind at the center.

PS: When I saw this on cable 10+ years-ago, there was a scene (described in the book, the "Lurker in the Lobby") of the Detective overlaying a photo of Charles Dexter Ward with an image of Curwen's skull, and matching-exactly. Was this the director's cut?

Reviewed by James Parsons ([email protected]) 2 / 10

What's everyone talking about?

I'm really confused by other users comments. After reading them I ordered a copy from the states as fast as my fingers could click to Amazon. I'm a huge fan of Lovecraft and to be told that this is the best film adaption of his work and that I'd never even heard of it made me think I was about to get my slime covered tentacles on a forgotten gem. Then it arrived and I must ask the other users, are you all completely bonkers? This is a terrible, terrible film. It's badly lit, shot, edited, acted and scripted. When the femme non fetale first arrives at the PI's office it's this dreadful side shot which just sits there for about five minutes while the two of them fail to act in each others general direction from the opposite sides of the screen. The rest of the film seems to consist of either seen it all before POV's or more of these overly lit side shots, I thought Dan O'Bannon could shoot films? Thank god the flashbacks break up the boredom. In a voice over Ward's wife says something like "He just left the party and said he had to do some work that couldn't wait", at which point Ward in the flashback says "I have to leave the party to do some work that cannot wait." Brilliant! It goes on like that for an hour and forty tedious minutes with a couple of goofy and gooey effects don't liven up the proceedings one bit, until it ends with Chris Sarandon hamming it up for all he's worth while I considered hanging myself from the tedium of it all. Come on guys, us Lovecraft fans have to be forgiving occasionally by the general low quality and/or budgets of his related movies, but we shouldn't let this film off the hook just because it sticks fairly close to the original story. I mean, Dagon is rubbish but at least it's FUN rubbish, this is just plain dull.

Reviewed by The_Void 8 / 10

An excellent adaptation of a classic Lovecraft tale!

The nineties were a disappointing decade for the horror genre whichever way you look at it, so it's lucky that filmmakers like Stuart Gordon and Dan O'Bannon were on hand to adapt classic HP Lovecraft stories. Horror fans have got used to seeing a director's credit for the aforementioned Stuart Gordon and a starring role for the great Jeffrey Combs in Lovecraft films; but even though this one has neither, director Dan O'Bannon has succeeded in brining the classic "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" to screen. Of course, this isn't the first screen adaptation of the classic story; as Roger Corman made a rather good one in 1963 with the classic 'The Haunted Palace'. The plot has shades of Re-Animator, and follows an investigation into a man who may have found a way to cheat death. The story starts when Charles Dexter Ward's wife visits a private detective, asking him to investigate her husband who has become a recluse; living in a house on their estate grounds. A strange smell of death permeates the air surrounding the retreat, and the neighbours are suspicious after seeing the amount of raw meat being delivered...

The film doesn't contain a great deal of suspense, but the director masks this nicely with a great aura of mystery and intrigue. The film builds up to finally discovering the mystery behind what Charles Dexter Ward has been doing, and although it takes a while to get there - the film never gets boring because O'Bannon keeps the mystery bubbling. The special effects are a little silly, but they actually work quite well in the context of the film, and O'Bannon gets to show his twisted imagination with abominations such as a still-living mauled torso and many other otherworldly creatures. There's a lot of blood and guts too, and even though the film appears to be trying to imitate A-class horror, O'Bannon doesn't completely veer away from B-movie cinema. The acting is decent enough, but one of the few weak links for me. John Terry is more than a little unenthusiastic, while Chris Sarandon never completely convinces in the Vincent Price role of the villain. That really isn't important, however, as it's the atmosphere and the story that are the stars of the show here - and The Resurrected is strong in both those areas. This film is indeed a lost gem and one that deserves to be more seen!

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