Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Dagon" DVD Movie Review

"Dagon" DVD Movie Review (2001 Issue)


This is the seventh installment of a series of DVD reviews of motion pictures adapted from stories written by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).

"Dagon" DVD Movie Review (2001 Issue)

The short story "Dagon" written in 1919 and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" written in 1931. The movie itself owes more to "Shadow" than to "Dagon" actually. 


Ah, the Maestros return! Directed by Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond) from an adapted screenplay by Dennis Paoli, this Lovecraft movie is very good! If anyone knows how to adapt Lovecraft into a movie narrative, it's these two guys! 

Dennis Paoli actually scripted "Dagon" back in the 1980's to be the second Lovecraft feature following "Re-Animator", but the script was rejected & replaced by "From Beyond". The film was made in a small village in Spain named Combarro. In the movie, the place is called "Inboca", a loose translation to "Innsmouth".

Again, Fantastic Factory's founder Brian Yuzna (Beyond Re-Animator) helped get the production underway through his division of Filmax

This is also Stuart Gordon's first work with actor Ezra Godden on a Lovecraft adaptation, but not the last!


Paul Marsh, a Miskatonic University graduate and successful dot com entrepreneur is on a boating holiday with girlfriend Barbara and two other friends, Howard & Vicki near the coast of Spain. Their boat runs aground a reef near a small fishing village & Paul & Barbara leave the boat to go get help.

Paul Marsh (Ezra Godden) on the dock in Inboca.

Once aground, Paul leaves Barbara behind to go back to the wreck to check on Howard & Vicki. They've vanished without trace. Once back in Inboca, Paul begins to see that things are not what they seem, especially once he gets to "Hotel del Mar". After a harrowing and intense chase sequence at the hotel, Paul finds Ezekiel - the last "man" in Inboca.

In perhaps the most interesting parts of the film, old Ezekiel tells Paul "the secret of Inboca". When Ezekiel was a boy, the fishing dried up and the town prayed to God. Then evil Captain Combarro vows to brings the "Great God Dagon" to Inboca to bring fish & riches to the town. The town turns against God and becomes a cult society..complete with human sacrifices to "Dagon".

Captain Combarro turned "Esoteric Orde De Dagon" Priest.

Uxia, daughter of Orpheus Cambarro & Paul Marsh's sister!

Uxia, a woman in the dreams of Paul Marsh, is discovered living in the Combrarro's mansion. She's a product of a union with the creature Dagon and a human female...and Pauls sister! The evil Inbocanos finally catch Paul and he is not alone...and a secret regarding his past will forever change his view of the world.

Ezekiel's death at the hands of the butchers of Dagon.

That's all I'll say regarding this film other than you need to see it! As usual, Stuart Gordon crafts a story as only he can and the results are Lovecraftian cinema at it's best. Although, again, not on par with Re-Animator- this film is probably Gordon & Paoli's best effort up to 2001. 

They have more up their sleeve, as we'll see in the next few reviews!


DVD Cover Artwork (Lions Gate 2001 Issue)

This is the only U.S. Edition ever released, that I am aware of. I hope someone will give this film a "Special Edition" treatment soon as it certainly deserves it. I like this film, not just as a Lovecraft fan, but as a general horror fan as well. 

Special Features:

16x9 Widescreen (1.78:1 Aspect Ratio)

5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
Production Commentary with Stuart Gordon & Ezra Godden
Production Artwork
Interactive Menus
Scene Access
English & Spanish Subtitles

(Here's a bonus for those who have bothered to read this far: during the movie some of the dialogue is in Galacian which is NOT subtitled for the viewer. If you want to know what they're saying, switch to Spanish subtitles and'll get a neat surprise in several scenes!)

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