The Resurrected

I don't read (I'm too fucking A.D.D. to lose myself in a book), but if I did, I would most certainly have the works of H.P. Lovecraft under my belt. His most vocal partisans cite 1992's The Resurrected as the best cinematic adaptation of one of his unearthly yarns. Ostensibly, this Dan O'Bannon feature is faithful to its source material, a novella entitled "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." But I wouldn't know anything about that. I can only judge the film in question on its own merits. While From Beyond holds a special place in my purulent heart, I don't mind going on record as saying that The Resurrected is the sweetest piece of Lovecraftian ass that I have tapped to date.

Woah, I didn't mean to wander into Arrow territory. Sorry, Ike (it's an in-joke...let's move on). I hesitate to disclose too many plot specifics, but all you need to know is that a nonplussed woman enlists the help of a private investigator to find out what her husband has been up to. You see, he has been acting strange and conducting strange experiments in a makeshift laboratory. Strangely. I wouldn't be comfortable divulging any more information than that. At its core, The Resurrected is a mystery, and half of the fun hinges on the viewer being ignorant to the script's crowning twists. The storyline kept me on my toes. Impressive, seeing as how I can't even stand. Zing!

I wish that Dan O'Bannon had directed more movies during his laureate career. This genre treat (as well as his rookie endeavor, the almighty Return of the Living Dead) proves that he had a keen eye for striking visuals. Here, he plays with darkness in a clever way that would be aped countless times after the turn of the millennium (cue up The Descent, Pitch Black or any other horror flick involving the absence of light). We also get substance with our style. The acting is first-rate, the characters are believable and the acting is first-rate. Yes, I repeated myself. Chris Sarandon owns the fuck out of his role as Charles Dexter Ward.

Seriously. His tortuous, layered performance might be my favorite thing about The Resurrected. I never thought that the guy who portrayed the dapper vampire in Fright Night could pull off a prickly, misanthropic Herbert West type, but guess what? He does! His co-stars are just as talented. Ross's lesbian ex-wife from Friends is sympathetic as the heroine of sorts. I'm sure that she has a name. The pace is methodical, and truth be told, I enjoyed the patient exposition. However, the running time is ever so slightly distended. Lend me a pair of scissors, and I would evict 5-10 minutes worth of excess padding.

I forgot to mention the rad stop-motion effects. Cripes, The Resurrected rocks! If you haven't heard of it, I can't say that I blame you, but you should buy it pronto. End of.


  1. As someone who has read (and re-read) Lovecraft, I can say that this is indeed about the most faithful adaptation of any of his works for the motion picture medium. More importantly, It is as you say pretty damn entertaining regardless of whether you know the source material or not. And I have to say, even someone as ADD as you claim to be should be able to read Lovecraft, since it's mostly short stories (this one being an exception).

  2. I don't know, man. Reading and I don't get along. I'll give Lovecraft a shot soon enough, though.