Monday, November 23, 2009

The Shadowzone is home to horror

Shadowzone (1989)
Starring: David Beecroft, Louise Fletcher, Miguel Nunez, Frederick Flynn, Shawn Weatherly and James Hong
Director: J.S. Cardone
Producers: Charles Band and Carol Kottenbrook
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Cutting-edge sleep research opens a rift to another dimension... and a creature from that dimension crosses over to our. And he's not happy, nor particularly sociable. Soon, the bodies are piling up.

The art of the low-budget, B sci-fi movie hasn't changed much in the 20 years since "Shadowzone" was released. Thanks to advances in computer graphics, the way effects are done has changed, but the basic stories and how their told remain the same: Scientists explore Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and Monsters Start Rampaging. In fact, this is almost exactly the sort of film that embodies the phrase "A Sci-Fi Channel Original Picture" (or, now with more stupidity, "A SyFy Channel Original Picture"), only with better acting and better pacing than we've come to expect.

"Shadowzone" was the second feature produced under Charles Band's famous Full Moon label. Despite it's obscurity, it's one of the better ones. For wanna-be filmmakers, it's worth a look because it's a good example of how to make an effective sci-fi/horror flick on a small budget, and for the rest of us it's a nice bit of fluff that'll keep us entertained for 80 minutes.

There are aspects of the film that make little sense--the most blatant being that there is no way the in-use areas of a government facility would be allowed to be in the state of decay that the one featured in this movie is in, no matter how top secret it is--but the strong acting on the part of the cast and the well-written script will take all but the most critical viewers past that point and into the tale.

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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I love seeing what fellow fans have to say!