onsdag 20 oktober 2021

H.P. Lovecraft´s The Deep Ones

I still remember back in early 1990, when i was in Gran Canaria with my grandparents on vacation. I was 12 years old and we were on my first holiday vacation in a country far away. I have vistited our neighbor country Denmark a lot in the 80´s, but Gran Canaria was my first sun vacation, and i still remember seeing the palm trees, the banana plants, orange trees, it was magical indeed. We stayed in Las Palmas, and we used to go in to town to look at historical buildings, try different restaurants, and shop clothes. But it was in one store i really felt at home, and it was a store that sold a lot of different products. It was here i stumbled upon a lot of Spanish VHS releases. Since i did not know any Spanish, i just looked at the VHS covers, and especially one title caught my attention. It was a VHS cover of a film called Re-Animator. I did not buy the VHS tape at that time, but i will never forget the cover. A couple of years later, specifically in 1994, i came across a UK VHS release of Re-Animator in a video store, and i was beyond pleased. Finally i was going to check out the film i discovered in the store 4 years earlier in Las Palmas. Re-Animator is loosely based on 1922 H.P. Lovecraft serial novellette "Herbert West-Reanimator", and was released in 1985 from director Stuart Gordon. This is a really fun horror comedy that tells the story of medical studet Herbert West ( Jeffrey Combs ), who studies at the University of Zurich Institute of Medicine in Switzerland. He brings Dr. Hans Gruber ( Al Berry ) back to life through a serum. To finish his studies, Herbert begin at the Miskatonic University in Arkansas, Massachussets, where his experimentations go terribly wrong. If you love 80´s horror film, Re-Animator is a must have on DVD or Blu Ray. Speaking of H.P. Lovercraft, i also enjoy the 2001 film called Dagon, based on H.P. Lovercraft´s novella The Shadow Of Innsmouth. Dagon takes place in a small coast town in Spain, where a couple on vacation will soon discover that this is not an ordinary coast town. Dagon is a fun horror film from director Stuart Gordon, who proved once again that he knows how to tell stories from H.P. Lovecraft, and bring them back to life in cinema. If you enjoy the style of H.P. Lovecraft, you should pick up Dagon on DVD. It´s definetely a different film than Re-Animator, but still worth checking out. Since this summer i have been hearing about a film called The Deep Ones, a film that is based on the novel The Shadow Of Innsmouth ( just like Dagon, cool right? ). I just had to pick up this film on DVD to see if this would be in my taste. Is this a surprisingly good H.P. Lovecraft inspried film, or is The Deep Ones just as forgettable as Sisqó´s ( very boring ) album Return Of Dragon from 2001?

Married couple Alex ( Gina La Piana ) and Petri ( Johann Urb ) rent a house in a beachside community. They meet Russel Marsh ( Robert Miano ) at the beachouse, who welcomes them with his better half Ingrid Krauer ( Silvia Spross ). They start spending time together while Alex and Petri enjoy their holiday, but Alex gets a sense that everything is not what it seems to be in this beachside community.

I rewatched Dagon just before i took a look at The Deep Ones, just to remind myself of the atmposhere of H.P. Lovecraft. Even if that film is now 20 years old, it still works well today. When it comes to The Deep Ones, it´s a film that´s definetely different than Dagon. Sure, both films takes place close to the ocean ( while Dagon use this atmosphere much more than The Deep Ones ), but the stories are quite different. Let us begin what i enjoyed with this film, and i have to say that legendary actor Robert Miano ( who played the character Sonny Red in the Al Pacino classic Donnie Brasco ) is definetely the one who gives the best acting performance in this film. He just feel so natural as the character Russel Marsh, and deliver some charming dialogue. I find it a bit amusing that actor Johann Urb plays the character Petri, who is from Finland. He actually reference Finland in a few scenes, wich makes it fun, since i am a Scandinavian myself. Thimoty Muskatell as Dr. Gene Rayborn is the British doctor we would all want to check our health, and i enjoy this odd character. You get a sense that Dr. Gene should not be running her own clinic, so that´s probably tells you that she might do things quite differently. Since this is a film inspired by H.P. Lovercraft, there are a few scenes where you can sense that they tried captured the feeling of his stories. I especially enjoy the beast scenes, even though we only get to see the beast in a very limited time. Now, to my biggest issue with this film. As a horror film it´s not very scary, wich is unfortunate. There is a fun religious cult scene towards the end, but up until then they don´t really do a lot, and this was a missed oppurtunity. If they could have made the religious cult more brutal and brainwashed, i have a feeling it would have given the horror elements something more solid to build on. Overall, i do enjoy The Deep Ones somehow, and maybe it´s the bizarre tone of this film that makes it fun to watch. Especially with some of the odd characters, that somehow match well with the plot. Director Chad Ferrin ( director of everyone´s favourite film Exorcism At 60.000 Feet, ask any Norwegian citizen and they will confirm this ) have actually managed to bring out a H.P. Lovecraft inspired film that is surprisingly charming, something i never thought i would say. If you don´t take this film too seriously, you might actually have some fun with this film. The 2001 film Dagon will always be a personal favourite of mine, and The Deep Ones can´t reach to that level. I still enjoyed this film for what it is, a low budget horror film with the right entertainment tone. If you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, give this film a chance, you might actually see something that you appreciate.

Rating: DDD

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