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DAGON another film by stuart Gordon finally given a new blu-ray reissue by U.S. Lionsgate and is ABC coded Lionsgate's 1:78:1 HD transfer is pretty good but not excellent still has little grain and dirt in the transfer but is still more superior picture quality than the old dvd version that's for sure, about 7-8/10 for picture quality the sound quality has been boosted up to new 5.1 master mix which does sound very good about 7/10 for sound EXTRAS all the old extras from the old dvd version have been carried over the 2 old dvd commentaries with stuart Gordon, plus vintage EPK featurette which has been upgraded to 1080p quality -27mins more archival interviews with the cast & crew again upgraded to 1080p quality- 21mins plus storyboard Gallery & Stills Photo Gallery both have new 1080p quality plus the original trailer in new HD quality plus a new interview with Stuart Gordon, interviewed by Mick Garris- 22mins and new interview with Producer Brian Yuzna - 20mins and new featurette FISH STORIES which is new Doco about the author H.P LOVECRAFT which the film is based on so lots of old & new extras but the HD transfer is not amazing quality but is close to it this blu-ray is ABC coded to my surprise this is the first blu-ray in the Vestron collectors series to be ABC coded cause i own other Lionsgate vestron blu-ray's and they're region A locked Umbrella ent' have also reissued DAGON on blu-ray aswell but the extras are different from the U.S. blu-ray the only extras on the Umbrella ent' reissue are the very old vintage EPK making of featurette plus the extra 20mins of more archive interviews with only some of the cast & crew plus the original trailer & TV spots but that's it, the U.S. blu-ray has more extras but is more expensive at $42 plus shipping cost, about 4 stars for the U.S. blu-ray, 3 stars for the Umbrella ent' blu-ray
DAGON wasn't going to be a hard sell for me. Being a BIG fan of both director Stuart Gordon and producer Brian Yuznas' previous work, the prospect of another H.P.Lovecraft adaptation made by the guys who gave us the gonzo horror hit RE ANIMATOR and the equally spaced-out FROM BEYOND was too good to pass up.
Thankfully, the film is a triumph. The right amount of atmosphere, tension, sexual undercurrent and (of course) bloodletting combine to produce a truly unique horror experience. The timing of this movie seemed to be just right, as the horror genre seemed to be flagging under its own weight. What with teen led slasher flicks dominating the movie theatres, this small, weird little movie about people turning into fish is just what the genre needed. The story is simple. When a boating accident forces Paul Marsh (an excellent Ezra Godden) and his girlfriend to seek help on the small Spanish isle of Imboca, they uncover a dark and other wordly secret about this quaint fishing village. As the story progresses, we learn that the towns folk have struck a deal with the monstrous god of the sea Dagon, who has helped the village prosper in bad times and in return, must have his hunger satisfied.
The film has many high points. One in particular gory sequence is reminiscent of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with a cast member being peeled apart by the clearly insane villagers. Lead actor Ezra Godden is well cast (however, he bears a striking resemblance to regular Gordon/Yuzna star Jeffrey Combs - a coincidence?), and he is clearly having fun in the role, coming off like a bewildered Bruce Campbell in many of his scenes. Fanboys take note of the sweater that he's wearing. Nice touch. The rest of the cast a good too, with the beautiful Macarena Gomez dominating every scene she is in. As with this kind of movie, the make-up effects work is top notch. Just the right amount of rubber monsters in this CGI age. Thats not to say DAGON doesn't have its fair share of computer-trickery, it just thankfully keeps it to a minimum. That said, I didn't find the CG work that bad (considering the obvious budgetary constraints), but the excellent prosthetic work stands head and shoulders above it. The cinematography is lush, with cool aqua blues complimenting the story and Gordons' direction is imaginative and commanding as ever. He really is the best guy at adapting Lovecraft (his 2007 Masters of Horror/HPL entry cements that), and fulfilling the strange visions and mannerisms of the text. Dennis Paolis' screenplay is funny, sick and inventive in equal measure, and one wishes these three guys made movies more often.
The DVD disc of this movie (Lions Gate) is good. Offering an excellent transfer of the film with two informative commentaries (one by writer/director, the other by star/director). They both get into the meat of the production and offer an entertaining chat about the movie. All in all, a pretty good package. Recommended.
As a professional Diver, Horror and SciFi fan, but NOT an expert on H.P.Lovecraft above watching the Combs movies and a few audiobooks. I can say this is one of my favourite ' WET ' movies. Not as serious as ' Das Boot ' but very atmospheric . Maybe the hard core HPL fans can pick it to bits but as a stand alone bit of light entertainment , it hits the mark for me !
Great lovecraftian tale with a brilliant atmosphere. Some of the acting early on is a bit rubbish and the lead actor is a bit cheesy but that seems to enhance the movies cult appeal rather than detract.
Howard(Ezra Godden)is on board a boat with his girlfriend Barbera and his friends Howard and Vicky, when they encounter a terrible storm, and the boat hits some rocks.Vicky gets her leg trapped, and is unable to free it. They are close to shore and a small town so Howard sends off a distress flare, but getting no response, he travels to land with Barbera to get help. They find the streets deserted, but when they enter a church, they are greeted by a priest who offers to help. Howard travels back to the stricken boat with two fishermen whilst Barbera stays behind to assist the police with their enquiries. Both notice that there are small deformities amongst the villagers, gill like slits on the neck and webbed fingers. Barbera is told she will find a room in the Hotel, but when she arrives there she is attacked by the priest and the Hotel receptionist. When Howard returns he is told Barbera has gone to the next town for help, but soon he meets the last 'man' in Inboga called Ezekiel, who tells him the terrible truth. Then things really start to get strange. Both Brian Yuzna and Sturart Gordon have explored Lovercraftian themes in many of their previous films, and their collaberation here is one of their very best efforts. It has a tremendous atmosphere, and positively reeks of otherworldliness. There some extremely creepy scenes such as when Howard is pursued through the dark streets by barely human,bleating townspeople or when Howard and Ezekiel are taken to the sacrificial chamber where a horrible fate may await them. Ezra Goddem makes a good hero, but the film belongs to Francisco Rabal as Ezekiel, even though he is difficult to understand at times. The creature effects are excellent, however we only get a fleeting glimpse of Dagon, the rest is left to the viewers imagination So a tremendous effort to bring the pages of Lovecraft to brilliant life, so I'm going to give this film a full 5 out of 5
H. P. Lovecraft is an almost impossible author of horror stories to properly adapt to the big screen, even Stephen King novels have had better luck. But "Dagon" is a truly great and brilliant version of "The Shadow over Innsmouth", once you accept the setting of a small Spanish village instead of Salem. There is also sexuality, which Lovecraft seemed incapable of relating to.