There's just too much good stuff on DVD and even television to talk about, so here we are on a Wednesday talking movies -- and yes, this is another journey into Hollywood's Dark Heart, the Horror Movie.
Apologies first for this delayed review of "The Garden," which I've had ready for a week. And much thanks to the folks at Anchor Bay and M-80 for the chance to screen this little apocalyptic gem.
I love the atmosphere and the skillful camera and editing that make "The Garden" work. The psychological background here is dense and layered, as a dream-filled childhood mind intersects with the evil machinations of .... could that be Satan? Or is it just the gravel-voiced performance of actor Lance Henriksen? The churning mind of a troubled child may threaten all the world.
The story follows an alcoholic dad and his son, who are injured in a car crash and find themselves on an eerie farm and their host is an even more eerie farmer named Ben (Henriksen). The fevered and fearful dreams of young Sam seem to be capable of manifesting in reality, which is bad enough. But what if the farm where he seeks refuge is actually The Garden of Eden? Apocalypse is approaching, or is it all just more dreaming?
The cinematography and Henriksen's abilities carry the day. While the story may seem predictable to hard-core fans, the less initiated will like this un-rated foray into dimensional shifts and Twilight Zone-ish twists.
Check out the trailer here at the official website. This DVD offers extras from behind the scenes as well as director's commentary. And as always, the excellent catalog from Anchor Bay presents this movie and a host of others to pick from. Well worth your time to explore, many excellent genre entries are here.
Back tonight for week two on TNT is Stephen King's "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" (Hey, a common theme! Deadly Dreams!!). Last week's debut of this four-week miniseries was just plain fantastic. Two more entries arrive tonight, each a one-hour adaptation of King's creepy tales, and this week again boasting some top-name talents.
First, William H. Macy stars in a dual role as writer and the writer's creation, a hard-boiled detective in an episode titled "Umney's Last Case." The writer seeks the help of his tough-as-nails fictional detective, an act that blends the real and the imagined into one. This episode is co-directed by X-Files alum Rob Bowman.
The second hour features actors Henry Thomas and Ron Livingston as they recount what may be the end of one life or perhaps the end of all life in "The End of the Whole Mess."
The official web-site, loaded with interviews and details is here. And if week two is as good as the first one was, we have a minor classic in the making.
One of the constant questions from email and comments concerns the little horror movie with the legendary status which was filmed just a few miles from where I sit here in Morristown. That movie is "The Evil Dead" and director Sam Raimi's 1980s classic and the undefeatable hero named Ash is now headed to the world of musical theatre.
Yes, I said musical.
"The show is to debut in New York in October, having already been worked on in Toronto and Montreal.
The men responsible for this unlikely transfer from screen to stage are George Reinblatt, Frank Cipolla and Christopher Bond. The show won't be directed by Sam Raimi, perhaps obviously; instead, Hinton Battle - known to fans of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer television show as the all-singing devil Sweet - will co-direct.
The musical will follow the fortunes of a group of friends (rather than focusing on Ash only) after they unleash the You Know What in a secluded woodland cabin. The first few rows will be called the 'Splatter Zone'. I'm sure we needn't elaborate on that, at all. All performances will begin at the adults-only hour of 11pm, Friday and Saturday nights."