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Terry Gets His Dag On

"Dagon," by director Stuart Gordon (yes, the director of "Re-Animator") is a smart, funny and disturbing adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story about a seaside village where the ocean life doesn't just reside in the ocean. "Dagon" is a great example of how a frightening and fantastic story can be produced without millions of dollars.
The imagery in Dagon is gothic and disturbing, and there are plenty of moments where you will jump and grab your pillow to cover your eyes. Being partial to stories set in or around the ocean, I found this movie very compelling. The story covers Paul, a Bill Gates-type of a guy and his girlfriend, who are shipwrecked off the coast of a creepy little Spanish village (but certainly not by accident.) They soon find themselves in a slippery set of situations, sandwiched between the town's inhabitants and a religious curse. By the time Paul figures out where he fits into the town's deadly curse, and what they have planned for him and his girlfriend, people are skinned, monsters abound, a beautiful mermaid tries to seduce Paul, and all hell breaks loose.
"Dagon" won't win any Academy Awards but it wins my respect for creating a movie full of horror, fantasy, and innovation we rarely get from Hollywood these days. "Dagon" is beautifully photographed and full of atmosphere. It is also what many would deem as a "B-movie," but a damn good one. Check it out if you haven't been fully jaded by the last decade of empty-headed blockbusters.
The DVD has two interesting commentary tracks and a few minor extras, but is worth its price for fans of the surreal and frightening. Not for the kids as it contains lots of nudity, gore and scares, the way movies used to be made.

Terry Osterhout
October 2002


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