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Dagon
Dagon - La Secta del Mar / Dagon: Sect of the Sea / The Lost Island

Spain 2001
produced by
Bian Yuzna, Julio Fernández for Fantastic Factory, Filmax, Castelao Producciones, Televisió de Catalunya
directed by Stuart Gordon
starring Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono, Macarena Gómez, Brendan Price, Birgit Bofarull, Uxía Blanco, Ferran Lahoz, Joan Minguell, Alfredo Villa, José Lifante, Javier Sandoval, Victor Barreira, Fernando Gil, Jorge Luis Pérez, Ignacio Carreno, Diego Herberg, Óscar García, José Manuel Torres, Lydia González, Lydia Bosse, Joan Manel Vadell
screenplay by Dennis Paoli, based on the short stories Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft, music by Carles Cases, special effects by DDT Efectos Especiales, visual effects by Filmtel

Stuart Gordon's H.P. Lovecraft adaptations

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Life couldn't be better for Paul (Ezra Godden): He's in Spain, on a yacht, with his wife Barbara (Raquel Merono) and his friends Howard (Brendan Price) and Vicki (Birgit Bofarull) - and he hasn't got a care in the world ... until out of nowhere a storm breaks out, and before you know it the boat hits a rock and Vicki's foot gets caught ... so Paul and Barbara see themselves forced to go ashore and get help.

Ultimately, Paul returns with help but finds both Howard and Vicki no longer on the boat. And when he returns to shore, he realizes that Barbara has vanished into thin air as well. Instead, he suddenly finds himself on the run from a mob of deformed villagers, and the only one who is on his side is the town drunk Ezequiel (Francisco Rabal), who tells him that the townsfolks have sold their souls to the sea god Dagon and in return are slowly transformed to sea creatures ... which Paul understandably finds a bit hard to swallow - until he meets a nice girl, Uxia (Macarena Gómez), who actually tries to seduce him ... but who turns out to be a mermaid.

Eventually, Paul bumps into Barbara and Vicki again, but Vicki tells him she has been impregnated by one of the villagers/creatures, and she kills herself before long. Paul, Vicki and Ezequiel on the other hand are taken captive by the villagers, who want to sacrifice Barbara and skin Ezequiel and let him bleed to death. Before they can do the same thing to Paul though, Uxia stops them as she wants Paul as her consort.

Somehow, Paul manages to escape and appear at Barbara's sacrificial ceremony with a can of petrol and a lighter, burning down most of the villagers while being unable though to save Barbara. Eventually the creatures get the upper hand and they want to kill Paul when Uxia once more stops them and proves to Paul that he is not even human but one of them, actually her half-brother and thus the anointed one. Once Paul is convinced, he sets himself on fire, but just in time Uxia pushes him into the sea, wher he immediately develops the instincts of a sea creature ...

 

The stories by H.P.Lovecraft this film is based on relie heavily on atmosphere, on subtle hints and on Lovecraft's ongoing subplot about the older gods. The film unfortunately transforms Lovecraft's stories in a series of chases combined with some (quite well done) special effects, hardly ever relies on atmosphere, and downplays the whole older gods-bit - which makes Dagon rather disappointing as a Lovecraft-adaptation. As a horror film as such, Dagon doesn't fare too bad though, actually it's a fairly routine monster movie that is nicely crafted and looks really accomplished. It jsut fails to bring its story across, and very mediocre actors (exception: Francisco Arabal) don't help one bit in that respect either ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD