Picture: C+ Sound: B- Extras: C Feature: C
why Satan and other evil spirits always seem to show up in Southern downs, the
deepest ones that technology has not reached much yet. Is it the past slavery, Confederate curse or
because that is where The Bible Belt is?
Well, the Horror genre never explains this, yet the battles happen
there. Maybe it is because they are
counting on no one going there. The
manmade Katrina/New Orleans disaster has not changed this cliché enough and
Kevin VanHook’s Voodoo Moon (2005)
is the latest in a long series of such productions.
like to cast people semi-familiar in the genre, like Casper Van Dien and does
not fail here with having Resident Evil
star Eric Mabius as the lead protagonist and TV’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel actress Charisma Carpenter as his
sister. 20 years after a supernatural
slaying, they have survived, but the evil spirits have waited a score and
generation later to score revenge. Now
Cole (Mabius) will take it head on literally with a sudden psychic power he has
that brings him to be teamed with still unwell after his own fiasco Frank
(Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator), an
old woman who has some healing powers named Mary-Ann (Dee Wallace of The Howling and E.T.) and a radical biker named Dutch (John Amos of Good Times).
VanHook knows how to have fun with the genre, but unfortunately traps himself
into a genre corner, blowing almost every opportunity to do more than the
obvious. The result is something akin to
a formula paperback with some amusement value.
I had some hope this might pick up and Miss Carpenter is interesting
enough that you can imagine why former employer Joss Whedon would consider her
for the title role in his Wonder Woman feature film. However, the sun rises on this 89
minutes-long piece before it gets started, and that unfortunately is too long a
wait. At best, it is for diehard genre
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is not bad, but slightly darker than
normal (purposely in many shots) and lacking in fine detail throughout. I wonder how cameraman Matt Steinauer would
do under more opportune circumstances?
Some shots are not bad, but he seems be held back by the production in
some odd way. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
is typical genre fare with some sudden upheavals of sound and a soundfield that
is adequate at best. Extras include
DVD-ROM screenplay, deleted scenes, trailer, stills, making of featurette and
second featurette covering make-up, stunts and the mixed visual effects.
- Nicholas Sheffo