Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Talisman' is a film to leave in last century

Talisman (1998)
Starring: Billy Parrish, Walter Jones, Ilinca Goia, Jason Adelman, Oana Stefanescu, Constantin Barbulescu and Claudiu Trandafir
Director: David DeCoteau (as "Victoria Sloan")
Producers: Kirk Edward Hansen, Vlad Paunescu and Charles Band
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

A new student (Parrish) arrives at an isolated boarding school for the troubled sons of the rich... just in time for the student body to be turned into dead bodies.

This film is a sort of mirror image of the usual "boarding school of evil"/"trapped girls in peril" horror film, with a small group of cutesy late-teen boys being murdered and running around in their underwear instead of the usual nubile teen girls. It was also Full Moon's attempt to cash in on the growing "end of the world" craze that was gripping pop culture during the final years of the 1990s.

Unfortunately, even at a brief 74-minute running time, the film draaaaaags. The film is populated with mostly unlikeable characters that portrayed by actors who are handsome and flat in an Abercrombie & Fitch print-ad sort of way. The promise of some character development and maybe even a little humanity is quickly dispelled by the sleazy shadow of incest when the story's heavily-telegraphed "secrets" emerge as the plot comes together.

Even worse, the gore effects--which come into play when the film's Uncle Fester-looking demon pulls people's hearts out of their chests--are so cheaply done that even the attempt at camera trickery can't make them look good and the blood that sprays upward like a malfunctioning lawn sprinkler whenever the demon rips a heart out only makes it look even more ridiculous

There are really only ten minutes of the film that are truly scary, where the demonic rituals come to a head and the film's pretty-boy hero comes face-to-face with his long-lost sister. But even this is ultimately ruined by a lame attempt at a "shock twist-ending". (Which is itself an odd touch, since many Full Moon pictures are more in the "classic vein", in the sense that they end the moment they're over, with no denouement of any kind.)

All in all, there's no reason to watch this movie, unless you're doing a research paper on homo-erotic themes in the films of David DeCoteau.

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