The Resurrected (1992)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Release Date - Jun 1, 1991 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Patrick Legare

Though this low-budget effort directed by Alien screenwriter Dan O'Bannon was released direct-to-video, it is actually an underrated horror gem that is arguably one of the best adaptations of an H.P. Lovecraft story. The Resurrected succeeds in large part because of its strong source material, but the grisly makeup effects from Todd Masters cannot be shortchanged. In fact, this film is a perfect example of one that might have failed had CGI effects been used. Based on Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (filmed in 1963 by Roger Corman as The Haunted Palace), the film follows the book in a modern setting, but O'Bannon smartly leaves some of the author's macabre mayhem unseen. This was obviously due to budgetary restraints, but it works in favor of the picture since too many cheap monsters would have lessened the effects of the ones that are shown. If only there were special effects that could have been used to improve the performances. Chris Sarandon (Fright Night, The Sentinel) is the best of a bad batch giving Charles Dexter Ward (aka Joseph Curwen) the requisite madness his character requires. But Jane Sibbett and John Terry are both weak in underwhelming roles while Robert Romanus (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) doesn't have enough screen time to give his character any impact -- at least not until he gets devoured offscreen. Acting aside, The Resurrected is notable for its strong technical work with particular praise deserved for the ominous sets and lighting. One sequence in which the characters discover a catacomb-like underground lair in Ward's house is outstanding.