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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10%
Worth A Look: 30%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 3.33%
Total Crap56.67%

1 review, 24 user ratings

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by Rob Gonsalves

"Stuart Gordon + Lovecraft = Usually can't miss."
4 stars

Spanish fish people worship a big fish god. Ah, that wacky Lovecraft (by way of that wacky Stuart Gordon).

Fangoria calls this "Gordon's best film since Re-Animator." True?

Not to these eyes. Of the four Lovecraft-influenced films to emerge from the team of Gordon, Dennis Paoli, and/or Brian Yuzna — the instant classic Re-Animator, the fun but flawed From Beyond, the mainly unpleasant and dull Castle Freak, and this one — I'd place Dagon third, behind From Beyond (which is simply more fun to watch). Going outside Lovecraft, I'd judge Gordon's 1991 The Pit and the Pendulum a better film than anything he's done since his debut.

So you're saying this is a disappointment?

Not really; just that it lacks the party atmosphere of Gordon's first two Lovecraftian entries. When Gordon gets around to making horror films these days, he plays for keeps. The freewheeling Gordon of Re-Animator is gone, replaced by a director adept at suspense but not as interested in comedy any more (though Dagon has its bits of humor, chiefly verbal).

Is this faithful to Lovecraft's story?

Ha. Are Gordon's adaptations ever? (For comparison, check out Howard Phillip's original, very short tale.) As usual, Gordon and Paoli take a basic Lovecraft idea or premise and run with it. This never fails to piss off Lovecraft die-hards, by the way. To which I say: awww, poor widdle babies; deal with it; it's a movie.

So what's the Dennis Paoli story (as opposed to the Lovecraft story)?

Rich stock analyst Ezra Godden and his Spanish girlfriend Raquel Meroño (along with two other vacationers, who aren't around long) are stranded in the village of Imboca (a Lovecraft nod -- Innsmouth, get it?), where the locals have their own unique ideas concerning religion and procreation.


Yeah, Dagon -- the eponymous monster worshipped as a god -- is partial to having human females sacrificed to it so that it can reproduce.

Oh, ick.

Indeed. The movie, I must say, is also plenty gruesome — much more so than I thought would've been condoned in an R-rated movie. Arms are torn from a body; a still-living (though not for long) victim has his face peeled off with the help of fish-boning knives. Perhaps the MPAA figured this was going straight to video anyway, so who cares how gross it is?

So did you like it?

Yeah. I prefer the anything-goes Gordon of Re-Animator, but there's nothing wrong with a well-done, atmospheric, spooky chiller, especially coming from a director far less frequently heard from than he deserves to be. Besides, this is probably about as close to Gordon's legendary unmade Lovecraft project Shadow Over Innsmouth as we're likely to get.

It's a horror movie that doesn't involve knife-wielding Michael Myers ripoffs stalking ironic, pop-culturally-aware teenagers, and it spirals down to a surprisingly dark denouement (surprising these days, when plots with any hint of sending the audience out bummed have all the originality test-surveyed out of them) — I say we horror fans should get behind it.

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originally posted: 05/20/06 12:54:23
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User Comments

9/18/07 William H Jones JR this film doesnt deserve severe negative comments it wasnt that bad!!!!!!!!!! I enjoyed it 4 stars
2/02/07 Shobert No good at all. Main actor was annoying, cheap FX, poor direction. 1 stars
3/25/06 Mr. Tigre A cup of noodles and some sugar... 5 stars
11/20/05 Bestit I couldn't stop laughing at how stupid and bad it was...what a mess! 1 stars
10/24/05 Suk-R-Punch Lovecraft = brilliant. Stuart Gordon = uber-hack. 1 stars
10/15/05 OodlesofOs It's always the directors who know NOTHING about the author who adapt their work. 1 stars
10/13/05 Bryant Gumby That old guy, could anyone else not understand a WORD he was saying?!?!?!?! 1 stars
10/10/05 Biz-e What a load of crappy crap CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gordon is CLUELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
9/23/05 Jakub Yeah, that lead guy was a total twerp...who could root for him?!?!?! 1 stars
9/16/05 drippy The third in Gordon's "Lovecraft-as-Shit-Cinema" Trilogy! Don't miss it!!! 1 stars
9/07/05 Bitchum "This is one shit ass film." I second that. 1 stars
9/05/05 JubJub A laughable mess of a movie. Almost entertaining if it wasn't so annoying. 1 stars
9/03/05 Craven Why does Gordon keep doing Lovecraft when he obviously has no clue what makes him great?!?! 1 stars
9/02/05 Mailk What a silly, silly, stupid mess of a film. 1 stars
9/02/05 Edward God, that guy in the lead role...WHAT A DORK!!!!! Ugh, that BRIGHT ORANGE SHIRT!!!!! Bah!! 1 stars
9/01/05 unlimited A big, giant film-dump. Total crap. 1 stars
8/31/05 Vasquez Gordon continues to shit upon the genius of Lovecraft... 1 stars
8/17/05 ES An example of 'slow down' and 'do it again' there's potential here, just a bad script 2 stars
7/14/05 Brandy Harrington This is one shit ass film. 1 stars
5/17/05 Seven Samurai and Citizen Kane SUCK, Dagon was AT LEAST entertaining Seven Samurai and Citizen Kane SUCK, Dagon was AT LEAST entertaining 1 stars
12/11/04 the Grinch Video Store Guy, I'm stunned! This movie was great! Paltry budget, but very Lovecraft 5 stars
12/11/04 Al Guy Good movie with a great atmosphere. Very entertaining. 5 stars
5/13/04 tatum Gordon finally returns to form 4 stars
3/30/04 American Slasher Goddess Good stuff,one of Gordon's best in recent times. 4 stars
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  23-Jul-2002 (R)



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