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Plot: Based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, the undisputed master of the macabre, Dagon tells the story of Paul Marsh, a young man who discovers that the truth will not set him free instead it condemns him to a waking nightmare of unrelenting horror. A boating accident off the coast of Spain sends… Runtime: 95 min Release Date: 31 Oct 2001
While it's not technically the *first* Lovecraft film, "Dagon" still has the honor of being the first actual adaption of one of his stories, rather than existing in the 'Lovecraft-inspired' genre.I think I speak for everyone when I say that a good straight-forward Lovecraft film has been a long time coming. Sure, "Re-Animator" was a great quirky homage, but we've also suffered through more "Unnammables" and "Lurking Fears" than one can point a shotgun at!Adapted from "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," this film actually does justice <more>
to Lovecraft's rich universe. Die-hard fans will no doubt go nuts when they see that every bit of the 'Deep Ones' mythos has been preserved. "Dagon" also marks the first time Cthulu is ever mentioned in a film unless you count "Cthulu Mansion." Heh heh. While it doesn't contain the high production values needed to properly execute every aspect of Lovecraft, the film still looks damn good considering it's microscopic budget. This is the best looking Lovecraft film we're apt to see, as Hollywood won't touch this material with a ten-foot pole.Sure, a few of the elements look cheap and the acting delivers its share of ham does anyone understand a word Pablo Rabal is saying?!?! , but Stuart Gordon still succeeds in making "Dagon" an entertaining and sometimes creepy foray into one of history's greatest horror authors.
There's something fishy in Imboca! (by BrandtSponseller)
Based on two short stories "Dagon" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" by horror author H.P. Lovecraft, Dagon tells the story of Paul Marsh Ezra Godden , who has just made a bundle of money from stocks. While vacationing on a small boat with his girlfriend, Barbara Raquel Merono , and an older couple, they run into trouble off the coast of a seemingly deserted, small Spanish fishing town of Imboca. Paul and his Barbara make it to shore to look for help, but things turn from bad to worse as they discover the town's evil secrets.This is director Stuart Gordon's third <more>
Lovecraft related film, after Re-Animator 1985 and From Beyond 1986 . All were also at least co-produced by Brian Yuzna and co-written by Dennis Paoli. While I can't say Dagon is the best, it is just as good, finishing as a solid 10 out of 10 for me.What really puts Dagon over the top early on is the incredible atmosphere that Gordon achieves from the beginning of the film. We see a prologue of sorts with Marsh diving beneath the ocean, coming across bizarre, creepy ruins, and finally running into a beautiful mermaid who just happens to have a set of shark teeth. This turns out to be a dream, but shortly after, it gets even better when our heroes spot the deserted Spanish town and the ominous weather that's quickly approaching.By the time Paul begins exploring the spooky town, I wanted to spend an eternity there. It has all the atmosphere of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's superb Delicatessen 1991 , with the addition of creepy, freakish townspeople. The more we learn about everything, the more strange it becomes, until we're finally in the middle of a nightmare that seems like a melding of Federico Fellini, David Cronenberg and Frank Henenlotter--we get visceral horror, captivating dark fantasy, and beautiful surrealism. There couldn't be a much more exquisite mix for my tastes. Don't miss this one.
*** Major Spoiler Alert ***Stuart Gordon's Dagon is an intense and unique film based mostly on H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth and his much shorter work entitled Dagon. This is really epic material in a strangely soaked Spanish environment. A Lovecraftian cult worshiping the underwater deity Dagon have taken over a small town on the Atlantic coast of Spain. A sailboat on pleasure cruise ends wrecked there. They will not be leaving anytime soon.Now situationally this is a fairly obvious menu. Gordon does, at one point, dive off the gory edge, but this is a Stuart Gordon film <more>
after all. Meanwhile the chase through dripping dampness of the town is really a pulse quickener. What makes this work is the danker than dank waterlogged environment and the extraordinarily emotional relationship of Dagon's daughter played in a one of a kind performance by Spanish actress Macarena Gomez to our trapped nerd, played by Ezra Godden.Macarena plays the part of tentacled siren princess with real fish-eyed believability. She was given instructions by Gordon whose previous Lovecraft works include From Beyond and Re-Animator to keep her eyes from blinking. When in the end Uxía Gomez craves Paul Godden , whom she calls Pablo, she calls out to him with such an urgent imploring sad doomed yet loving tone in her voice she becomes perhaps the ultimate mermaid nightmare: Her eyes filled with wells of tearful salt water, her robes of gilded Symbolist splendor. She reveals the dark secrets of the unholy sect.Uxía: Pablo, it is your destiny... We had different mothers, but the same father... We are children of Dagon. Your dreams. Remember your dreams, Pablo. They brought you here. Paul: No. They were nightmares. They weren't real. Uxía: Every dream is a wish. Paul: Somebody help me! What's happening to me? Uxía: You are my brother. You will be my lover - forever.The tone Macarena hits here is the crescendo of the entire film, that sense of hopeless beauty and tragic certainty. I don't agree philosophically with the fatalism of that black romance, but who hasn't felt that temptation to give into it. And as Paul sets himself on fire and plunges into the sea Uxía follows. And together they descend into the depths of the tentacled God Dagon's realm. One feels the drowning, yet liberation. Yet we know to follow is to be annihilated.I can't think of another film to present the darker aesthetics aspects of the antique Symbolist dream so vividly. For those with strong stomachs yet sensitive hearts I strongly recommend Dagon.
Fried Fish with a dollop of H.P. Sauce (by juliankennedy23)
Dagon: 9/10: Early on in his novella Mountains of Madness H.P. Lovecraft paints the following picture. "On and around that laboratory table were strown sic other things, and it did not take long for us to guess that those things were the carefully though oddly and inexpertly dissected parts of one man and one dog" I bring this quote up because so many who are casually equated with the Lovecraftian genre naturally assume he wouldn't approve of the sex and violence portrayed in modern film versions of his work. He of course had to work within the mores of the day as he sought to <more>
get his works published in magazines often read by children. Graphic sex and violence was no more acceptable in the popular fiction of the 1920's and 30's than it was in the movies of the same time period. He however often pushed the boundaries of the time and though Victorian by both birth and nature he creatively expanded what was acceptable. Dagon is a movie filled with nudity and very graphic violence. It is also simply the best Lovecraft adaptation ever. A combination of the title work and The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Dagon creates a phenomenal atmosphere and doesn't let up. The tension is palatable for almost the entire running time till the grand finale which I'll admit was a little to much Lair of the White Worm for my tastes . The make up and special effects are wonderful with the exception one bad blink and you miss it CGI effect . The actors at least the ones that are intelligible do a fine job. But it is the incredible foreboding atmosphere that propels the movie along.Filmed on a low budget they apparently found a remarkably frightening real life city that didn't need a lot of dressing up. Add a cast of stranger and stranger "creatures" and you simply have a winner. If you are unfamiliar with the Lovecraftian canon this is a great B movie. If you love his books however this is pure bliss.
A lot of people have been sleeping-on this film since it's release in 2002 2001 in Spain & Europe . Not-since his classic, ReAnimator in 1985 has Stuart Gordon done something so stunning, horrifying, and eerie. There aren't many directors who have captured even a smidgen- of Lovecraft's-abilities at atmosphere, but Gordon is surely the finest. Only one-other director I know-of has captured-this, and that is Dan O'Bannon in his brilliant but sadly-butchered The Resurrected 1991 . It's a hard job capturing the feel of Lovecraft, and only the best directors can <more>
pull-it-off. For American-audiences, making a version of this story that actually works is a challenge; in an age of instant-communications, and few remote-areas in North America, the original-story simply wouldn't work placed in contemporary New England.Gordon originally wanted to place the story on an island off of Maine, which could almost work, but telecommunications are too-fast nowadays. You could alert society to what was happening in-seconds and the tale would be over. This wasn't so when Lovecraft wrote his short-stories, we didn't even have the interstate highway system at that time. And sure, we could have a 1920s period-piece, but how-scary is a story that is 80-years-remote? This is why there aren't many Gothic-horror tales being-made anymore--we are in the modern-age of horror, the scares have to be more-immediate. Gordon's choice of placing the story-location somewhere unfamiliar to-Americans is logical. In-fact, I think the eternal-qualities of Galician-Spain are really inspired, and are even evident in the Celtic-themes in the excellent film-score. Viewers should also be shocked-to-know that the film was made for $3 million, whereas it looks more-like $20 million. I've read that the film did respectable business in Spain, but that for the same-reasons, they found the story too-implausible in contemporary-Galicia.Since most fans will be interested in this film as Lovecraft-enthusiasts, I won't bother retelling such an incredible-tale. Read H.P. Lovecraft, he is our other Poe. Based-primarily on Lovecraft's 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth', and less-so on his early-short, 'Dagon' 1919 , we are entreated-to the strange fishing-village through the story of some American yachting-tourists who find-themselves shipwrecked there. The locals don't look quite-right. Many of them never, ever...blink. Some are hideously-deformed, and there are strange croaking-sounds emanating-from everywhere. What is this place? Was that--it isn't possible. That priest's hands were webbed! Who are these people? What are they? It's always-raining in this film, and it adds to the eeriness and oppressiveness of the story. There are some excellent moments of gore that have to be seen to be believed. You can feel Lovecraft's fear of the oceans and fish--he was known to leave a party if fish was on the menu, he was so-disgusted by ocean-life. If you share this loathing with us, you will be in for an added-repulsion, it's on-offer here. The story of Dagon is thematically-linked to Lovecraft's fear of going-insane, also. Gordon and Paoli home-in on this fact, and exploit it well. The main-protagonist is genetically-destined for a fate that would horrify most human-beings. Lovecraft was fearful he was doomed-to-madness by heredity. His parents were institutionalized before he was an adolescent. His gift for genius is how he was able to find the universal-threads of our common-destiny as a species, and he used science as his jumping-off point for many of his tales.But, then, there is the pulp-side of Lovecraft that all of us fans adore: the Stuart Gordon approach that celebrates the wonder and imagination of fantasy. Our inner-child that just enjoys the slime, the monsters and the imagery. In-fact, there is as-much slime and gunk in Dagon as there is blood in ReAnimator though Gordon's From Beyond wins on the slime-factor . There is so much more to enjoy in this movie. Stuart Gordon's films simply look great, almost like the juiciest Hong Kong cinema. The colors are vibrant, and present when they have the most-meaning, and his shot-compositions are excellent, just tons of eye-popping images to enjoy. It's ironic that the co-creator of 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' still has to make films on such low-budgets, but it doesn't seem to faze him. If-anything, I think he sees it as a challenge, and it pushes him to excel with-less--to innovate. While we wait for Del Toro's announced-version of 'At the Mountains of Madness', Stuart Gordon has already done ANOTHER Lovecraft-adaptation of 'Dreams in the Witch House' for the Masters of Horror series available on DVD . Nothing will stop this guy except death, and we should all be proud of Mr. Gordon, one of our finest directors of-horror. He's good because he's from the Midwest. Hurry-up, Guillermo, the world is ending.
Lovecraftian movies are often enough, but few actually capture the feel and theme of Lovecraft's intentions. This, to me, this is the BEST Lovecraft adaptation to date. 9-2010 While this movie may not hold much for 'modern' horror fans, it is IMHO the penultimate Lovecraftian adaptation PERIOD. We have here a somewhat standard horror story, which rapidly moves into disturbing territory that only Lovecraft fans will feel. Bloodlines and ancient ritual? alien influence? You'll only see what you know regarding the Lovecraft Mythos .... ... you ARE the protagonist. While it <more>
primarily addresses "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", it still brings in "Dagon" obviously and other stories NOT written by Lovecraft himself. Ultimately, it creates a plausible and disturbing story-line PLUS visual experience to address Lovecraft's intentions and visions. Many have tried Stuart Gordon with numerous attempts ... but finally we have a SERIOUS adaptation that actually works and leaves you with the feelings of despair, disgust, and joy that Lovecraft's own stories are capable of producing.
Dagon was the first horror movie I've seen in a few years that both had a good plot and kept me on the edge of my seat. After reading most of H.P. Lovecraft's short stories on which this movie was based, I can safely say that this is the only movie based on Lovecraft that is true to the atmosphere and plot structure of his stories. The special effects are not overdone and there is minimal and yet effective "splatter," unlike the movie "Necronomicon," which is also based on Lovecraft. The horror and suspense of the movie relies on xenophobia, fear of the strange <more>
and unknown, and this plays into the movie's surprise ending where the hero must question his own path.I'd also like to add that this movie was filmed in a coastal village in Galicia, Spain, and the scenery is both realistic and haunting.All in all, this movie should be a pleasure to both fans of H.P. Lovecraft and the horror genre.
Four pleasure boaters are shipwrecked near a Spanish fishing village. At first glad to be so close to a town, the boaters soon discover that the village is full of freaky deformed people who worship a bizarre and evil sea-religion. Soon the villagers turn on the outsiders, and the perverse and horrible tale of the village's decline becomes clear.I recommend this film to those who like cheap horror. It has all of the important elements of a B horror film: weird monsters, creepy people, unclothed damsels, exciting chases, gore, and a twist ending.In addition, this movie has a really weird <more>
plot, stolen from Lovecraft's short story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." If you like literary puns, you will enjoy the fact that our heroes become stranded in the Spanish town of Inboca. So, this movie is a lot more original than 90% of the horror out there. It isn't as scary as it is gross, weird and obscene. That is as the original author would have wanted it! Also, "Dagon" is notable for having the best human sacrifice scene since "Lair of the White Worm."
why cant horror/fantasy like this get a bigger release... (by nujuv)
TINY SPOILER ...when heaps like THE CAVE, THE CORE, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS remake get spread over every other cinema UK experience ? It has budget related flaws and couple of cheesy moments, but when you compare it in the imagination and shear stick-to-a-weird-story spirit department it piddles all over most movies, never mind recent offerings from a 'fringe' genre like fantasy/horror.This captures HP Lovecraft ideals with a mix of tongue in check cheese, sincere homage, inspired interpretation and a measure of terror and gore that fits the mood perfectly.The acting is... passionate, <more>
the prosthetics competent and the pace/plot/script often inspiring seriously - apart from the Star Wars moment... you'll know when it happens .Good looking - good effort - so why am I more likely to see a sequel to THE CAVE on the big screen than a film of this ilk? Makes me want to take up reading.