Blu-ray Review: THE RESURRECTED

THE RESURRECTED is based on the story “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” by H.P. Lovecraft. The movie was directed by Dan O’Bannon from a screenplay by Brent V. Friedman and stars John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Laurie Briscoe and Robert Romanus. The score is by Richard Band.

Death used to be the end. Now it’s just the beginning… Since the beginning of time, man has struggled with death. Now Charles Dexter Ward (Chris Sarandon), a wealthy scientist, may have found a way to beat it. Using an ancient diary and human remains, Ward begins a terrifying and bloody pursuit for immortality. By the time his wife Claire (Jane Sibbett) hires private investigator John March (John Terry) to halt the horrible experiments, it’s too late … the dead have been resurrected!

Charles Dexter Ward is up to something and his wife Claire is worried about him so she brings in private investigator John March to help her find out exactly what’s going on. They pay him several visits and with each one he looks like death warmed over and it’s obvious he’s hiding something. He’s distanced himself from everyone and wants to be left along so he can focus one this highly secretive experiment of his. Claire and John keep digging deeper and end up getting Charles committed to an insane asylum and this gives them enough time to explore the old house that Charles has been staying in. This is where they find hidden ritualistic catacombs underneath that possess the terrifying secrets that’s connected to Charles. They narrowly escape this horrifying discovery and this is when John confronts Charles face-to-face at the asylum where Charles ultimately reveals his deep dark secret that is centuries in the making. He’s found the secret to immortality and beyond!

Okay, this was a pretty darn cool horror movie that I evidentally passed on or missed as a kid. I’d hit the video stores every Saturday back in the day but somehow missed this straight-to-video release. After watching the special features I found out that this was a little bit if a troubled production even though all of the talent interviewed has nothing bad to say about their experience. Troubled or not, this 1991 horror movie was a lot of fun and it has so much going for it. It’s a Lovecraft story that’s directed by the one and only Dan O’Bannon and to top this off there’s a haunting score by Richard Band. The score alone takes this small horror movie to a much grander scale. The movie also features an impressive performance by Chris Sarandon who always delivers some kind of standout character. There’s also the fantastic practical effects that includes some creepy cool creatures and lots of blood and gore. There’s also some killer stop motion that horror fans will appreciate.

The front features the creepy cool new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the original artwork and movie credits so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release.

Bottom line is, The Resurrected was another first time watch for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really got into the story which followed this 18th century wizard who found a way to escape death and make his way to present day courtesy of a supernatural resurrection. Dan O’Bannon was one of the great storytellers of his time and did a really good job bringing this old story to life. He was known more for his writing than directing but every once and a while he’d get behind the camera and crank out a fun movie and this is one of the two feature films that he directed. O’Bannon was having some health issues during the production of The Resurrected but the finished product ended up being an exciting old school horror romp that looks and sounds great in this 2K upgrade. The movie fits in the same universe as other Lovecraft adaptions like Re-Animator and From Beyond and you can easily see the kinship between them. There’s definitely some creepy reanimation and sorcery going on in this movie that’s brought to life by some old school special effects. This 1991 cult classic will be available for the first time on Blu-ray in the U.S. on September 12th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 105 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! This isn’t even a Collector’s Edition release from Scream Factory and it’s loaded with some awesome extras. Scream Factory gave the movie a high-def upgrade that looks and sound pristine. There’s also some audio commentary, interviews with some of the cast and crew, deleted/extended scenes, trailers and images.

  • NEW 2K transfer from the film’s vaulted interpositive film element
  • NEW Claire’s Conundrum – an interview with actress Jane Sibbett (15:29)
  • NEW The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward – an interview with S.T. Joshi, author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft (24:22)
  • Audio Commentary with producers Mark Borde and Kenneth Raich, screenwriter Brent V. Friedman, actor Richard Romanus and make-up effects artist Todd Masters
  • The Resurrected Man – an interview with Chris Sarandon (15:34)
  • Abominations & Adaptations – an interview with screenwriter Brent Friedman (17:48)
  • Grotesque Melodies – an interview with composer Richard Band (10:14)
  • Lovecraftian Landscapes – an interview with production designer Brent Thomas (07:57)
  • Human Experiments – an interview with special effects artist Todd Masters (15:56)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes from the workprint (18:04)
  • Chainsaw Awards Speech (03:00)
  • Home Video Trailer (01:41)
  • Japanese Trailer (01:54)
  • Photo Gallery (08:10)

 

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