Tonight I start a topic about a 2001 movie which you might have missed if you are not awake to the international horror and fantastic cinema and believe me, you would really miss something not seeing Dagon.
Dagon is, for now at least, the best film of the Fantastic Factory, the famous spanish production company with non the less than the director of such horror successes like Society, Bride of Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead III: the great Brian Yuzna, at its head.
For Dagon, Brian Yuzna, wearing is producer cap, is joined by the perfect director: non the less than Stuart Gordon, the father of other great horror successes like the first Re-Animator and From Beyond.
Again the two of them get back to an author who inspires both a lot: Howard Phillips Lovecraft, probably one of the most important and known writer of weird tales and fantastic/horror adventures of the last century, the creator of Cthullu and the Ancient Ones' myths.
The major force of Howard Phillips Lovecraft is indeed to have created such a complex and opened modern mythology that it is still today getting richer and richer with some talents trained by the master like Robert Bloch (who I even prefer to Lovecraft) and new ones like Brian Lumley.
Like the novelists, many movie directors have tried to get that "Lovecraft inside" label with references to the famous Necronomicon (a Lovecraft's invention whatever else you can hear about ) or to the Ancient Ones' Mythos.
Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna have them tried to do more than just using these artifacts in their former movies and prooved to their audience their sincerity regarding their profound respect for the author and his words/worlds. Even if the result has not always been at the level of the expectations.
But there have been some successes like, for example Re-Animator which I won't associated to the HP Lovecraftuniverse for its story but for the way this story evolves with a a tangible daily world becoming weirder and weirder as the protagonists are visibly loosing their mind
On the other hand, Dagon is a very faithfull adaptation as its story is directly inspired by HP Lovecraft's novels: The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and in a lower measure, Dagon.
I had read The Shadow Over Innsmouth a long time before I saw Dagon and then suddenly the novel was back in my mind. I was back in the village of Innsmouth at once, enjoying each moment of the movie with anticipation has I reminded the novel, without ever being disapointed by what I was seeing but even enjoying it more and more.
Spanish production obliges, Dagon does not take place in Innsmouth but in the small fishing village of Imboca (which can be easily translated to ... ) on the coast of Galicia in Spain.
There, Paul (Ezra Godden) and his girlfriend Barbara (Raquel MeroÃ±o) are celebrating the success of their new dotCom company on the yacht of their investor, Howard (Brendan Price), and his wife, Vicki (Birgit Bofarull).
A sudden storm sends the yacht on the reefs and Vicki has her leg trapped in the ship's body. While Howard stays with his wife, Paul and Barbara go to the village hopping to find some help there.
The less we can say is that they find a weird local populations. The very few people which have not deserted the street and don't close their windows as they approch do have something strange in their behaviour.
Finally a priest appears, voluntary to help them. He negociates with a fishboat crew that they go with Paul rescuing Howard and his wife while Barbara stays in town seems. But even the priest does not seem very "normal" and trustable. why everyone is so pale in this village ? Why do they hide themselves in their houses or below as much clothes as possible ? Why many seem to have so many difficulties to walk ?
Last but not least: how come Paul meets in Imboca a woman looking so much like the mermaid who haunts his dreams ? dreams by the way generaly ending in nightmares...
So many replies you won't get in my introduction post
Indeed I've also made a selection among my pics here to not show you to much as one of the most enjoyable thing in Dagon is the perfectly controlled descent to the nightmare and the madness, totally like in HP Lovecraft's novel.
I won't spoil this.
Oki this movie is a B movie, but it's a very very good B movie, one which deserves a place among the classics of Horror. Especially as, in my opinion, it is yet none the less than the very best adaptation of HP Lovecraft's universe and atmosphere I've seen on screen.
A pure pleasure which I just cannot mark with a fewer than 5/6.
The storytelling is really nicely driven by HP Lovecraft and as well directed by Stuart Gordon seconded by a great team regarding the light, the color, the SFX with some gore scenes you'll remember and a very very good music from Carles Cases (I'll have to find other works from that guy !).
Once again, a must see !
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