Digging Up the Marrow is a passion piece created by indie horror director Adam Green (Hatchet, Holliston) and Alex Pardee, an artist known mostly for designing album covers for bands such as The Used and In Flames. The story centers around Adam Green (playing a version of himself) preparing a documentary on a collection of artwork featuring colorful yet grotesque creatures. When he is contacted by a mysterious man played by Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, Dead End) who claims he can prove the monsters are real, Adam sets out to ascertain if the man is legit or fibbin’.
Right off the bat, Green comes off as thinking he is way funnier than he actually is, maligning any sympathy I had prepared to dole out for a low-budget found footage horror-comedy. He also apparently believes he has become some sort of icon to the genre. It seems pretty unearned because if you take a gander at his IMDB, you will find nothing of much value other than Frozen (no, not THAT one), which was an original idea executed underwhelmingly. I have yet to see any of the many flicks in the Hatchet catalogue, but I bet I can guess what they are like: a Friday the 13th ripoff. And don’t even get me started on another of Green’s many other projects-in-vain, Holliston. That hot garbage got cut off of my TV mid-premiere.
Enough slandering the director, directly at least. The movie’s selling point, the outlandish monsters, only show up very briefly at the tail end. What is supposed to be a shocking finale undoubtedly inspired by The Blair Witch Project, transparently reads as “this is all we could afford”. It was almost a total waste of the costume design/practical effects crews to even create the creatively adapted creatures at all because their time to shine was so rushed. The core idea behind Digging Up the Marrow should not have been explored further than an experimental short at most. Perhaps Pardee’s prints should have remained pictures on paper.
1 half-baked collab out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2018)
After the original Halloween thrust young actress Jamie Lee Curtis into the spotlight, she was suddenly the go-to lead for the emerging genre. Prom Night is only one of three horror films she starred in in the year 1980. It borrows tendencies from successful films Halloween and Carrie, but is ultimately a slasher mystery with an unsatisfying conclusion. With kill scenes marred by cut-aways and a reveal that doesn’t make much sense, Prom Night can be left with the chaperones.
2 pukes in the punchbowl out of 5
BONUS REVIEW (MM 2019)
Invoking an Irish brand of Shaun of the Dead, Grabbers appeals to everyone’s inner-drunkard: It’s a brash, unfulfilling, no-frills horror comedy. A small town’s pub comes under siege by tentacle monsters and it’s up to a sloshing policeman and his eager new partner to stop the chaos. They band together with the pub employees to save the day and learn a few life lessons along the way. Not really as gripping (grabbing?) as one would like, but cute nonetheless.
3 beers are good for ya out of 5