Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge Day 2

Sea of Dust (Scott Bunt, 2008)

In a perfect world I would not even have to recommend a film with horror royalty of the calibre here. We have Hammer legend Ingrid Pitt and Tom "Mr. Zombie" Savini. What could possibly go wrong?

In a word: everything.

Writer/director Scott Bunt has two film credits according to the IMDb. One, for directing Sea of Dust, and one for writing Sea of Dust. I don't know anything about Mr. Bunt, but I assume he is a thirteen year-old boy who has seen every Sam Raimi film. Cruelty is not my intent here, and I would gladly make a bad movie just for the chance to make a movie, particularly with heroes of mine.

Now, the premise is quite good. Savini is Prester John, a mythical Christian king created by the Vatican. Prester John's kingdom was supposed to be deep inside Muslim lands during the Crusades, and used as a rallying cry to get more Europeans to head East. In the film, Prester John is brought into "reality" thanks to all the blood that has spilled in his name. There is travel between the land of the living and that of the damned. Prester John's kingdom is now Purgatory, and it is his charge to punish the unrighteous. There is excellent opportunity for some Lovecraft-styled madness here. The execution is poor. If this is any indication, the wife declared this film to be "almost as bad as The Room." During the end credits there is a song that is completely out of sync with the film, performed by a Dan Fogelberg impersonator. I don't know what it is called, but the title might be "I Can't Believe You Watched the Whole Thing."

Savini is fair in it, though he fills maybe twenty minutes of film. Pitt is very good, though nearly unrecognizable and hardly used. There is some nice creepiness, and a few good shocks, but overall this is not worth your effort. The worst part is that this was Ingrid Pitt's last film before her death. A shame, really.

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