Charles Dexter Ward becomes obsessed with Joseph Curwen’s experiments; he starts to go off the deep end. His wife worries about him and hires a private investigator to figure out what he is up to. The results are a lot of gory fun and crazy twists and turns.
Director: Dan O’Bannon
Actors: Chris Sarandon, Jane Sibbett, John Terry
Year of Release: 1991
It’s surprising that Dan O’Bannon only directed three films in his life: a short film titled Blood Bath, the fantastic zombie flick Return of the Living Dead, and finally the one that will be reviewed today, The Resurrected. Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Resurrected is a 1991 film that went straight to video but deserved way more recognition than it got. However, the film is starting to be appreciated on the Blu-ray format, with a German release that came out in 2015, and now finally a Region 1 release from Scream Factory.
The Resurrected is a gothic horror film with loads of Lovecraft style and flair. The film follows Private Detective John March investigating the strange issues arising with the curious Charles Dexter Ward. Ward has been doing some weird experiments with dead bodies, and his wife is anxious about him. It all starts when Ward receives a chest filled with family heirlooms. One such heirloom is the diary of Joseph Curwen, a mad scientist from long ago.
Curwen’s research involved trying to live forever, and it looks like, after several failed attempts, Curwen perfected the serum, and now Ward is starting up the research again.
The Resurrected has a few big saving graces such as the fact that it’s a Lovecraft story, and it has incredible use of practical effects from Todd Masters. Masters provides some truly standout gore effects and monsters that will please plenty of horror fans. Also, Dan O’Bannon is a great director and his collaboration with DP Irv Goodnoff gives us some phenomenal scenes to drive the tension up. The cellar scene with the very minimal use of light is one standout moment among some others that I won’t spoil.
The Resurrected does have a few dull moments where the story meanders on, and not much happens. You might find yourself drifting off for a bit, but thankfully, the horror picks back up quickly and the ending gives the viewers a showcase of practical effects to keep them grinning once the credits roll.
There are some violent moments in The Resurrected, which are made even better with Masters’ efficient use of practical effects. I won’t spoil any here, but know there will be some interesting Lovecraftian monsters brought to life and they are grotesque.
The Resurrected skips out on the sex and nudity. Honestly, I didn’t miss it.
- A flashback in a flashback.
- Things that dwell in the dark.
- Fishing in the river next to Curwen’s mansion would probably not be wise.
- NEW 2K transfer from the film’s vaulted interpositive film element
- NEW Claire’s Conundrum – an interview with actress Jane Sibbett
- 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
- 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
- Abominations & Adaptations – an interview with screenwriter Brent Friedman
- Grotesque Melodies – an interview with composer Richard Band
- Lovecraftian Landscapes – an interview with production designer Brent Thomas
- Human Experiments – an interview with special effects artist Todd Masters
- Deleted and Extended Scenes from the workprint
- Home Video Trailer & Japanese Trailer
- Photo Gallery
The video provided to the viewers is from a 2K transfer of the film’s vaulted interpositive film element. It can be grain-heavy at times, and some moments appear soft which is common in early ’90s horror films. Overall, though, the film looks fantastic. When compared to the DE release, the Scream Blu-Ray is superior.
Audio comes in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and I had no issues with the presentation. I did not notice any distortion or hissing.
Special features are plentiful, with a couple of new interviews with actress Jane Sibbett and author S.T. Joshi, who provides some insight into the Lovecraft story and the adaptation. Everything else presented on the Blu-ray is from previous releases but is no less welcome.