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Dead Matter, The

Year of Release: 2010
Theatrical Release Date:

Director: Edward Douglas
Writing Credits:
Tony Demci, Edward Douglas
Run Time:
89 minutes
Studio: Midnight Syndicate Films / Precinct 13 Entertainment

Cast: Andrew Divoff, Jason Carter, Tom Savini, Sean Serino, Tom Nagel, C.B. Spencer, Christopher Robichaud, Brian Van Camp, Donna Williams

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Summary: Tells the story of a vampire relic with occult powers that falls into the hands of a grief-stricken young woman who will do anything to contact her dead brother.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 2.5 | Fun Factor: 3 | Gore: 2 | Nudity: 1 | Scare Factor: 1.5 | Overall: 3/5

From the Producers of From Dusk Till Dawn
Reviewed by

Tom Savini is the most noteworthy name in The Dead Matter, a new film promoted as ‘From the producers of From Dusk Till Dawn’.

The Dead Matter that throws vampires, zombies, horror, comedy and the gothic occult at its audience in hopes that enough sticks to warrant a cult-status following.

The Dead Matter throws vampires, zombies, horror, comedy and gothic fantasy at its audience in a film that is promoted as being ‘from the producers of From Dusk Till Dawn’. Tom Savini is the most noteworthy name in a film about a young woman named Gretchen (Sean Serino) who is desperate to connect with her dead brother and discovers an ancient amulet that has the power to control the dead.

The amulet is of particular interest to Vellich (Andrew Divoff of Wishmaster fame) – an ancient vampire who has yet to read fashion magazines informing him that 1980’s hair is long out of style – and Sebed (Tom Savini of From Dusk Till Dawn) who are at odds in a feud that has spanned for eons.

Complicating matters for Vellich and Sebed is a vampire hunter named McCallister (Jason Carter) who will eventually team up with Gretchen and her three friends Mike, Jill and Frank in an attempt to keep the impending evil at bay. A confrontation of both parties will be the climax of the film’s final chapters and will house a few surprises and some slightly above average make-up and special effects to keep The Dead Matter with the enjoyable range of the entertainment meter.

The Dead Matter reminded us a lot of the old 1980 second tier horror films such as Warlock and Wishmaster. Its production values are good enough to keep us involved and the film knows well enough not to take itself too seriously which only adds to the enjoyment factor.

Our particular liking was the storyline that dealt with a zombie that appears in Gretchen’s bedroom and is controlled by commands by the beholder of the amulet. The zombie’s attempts at drinking beer or eating snacks at the dinner table drive the humor at just the moment that The Dead Matter required an infusion of fresh air (zombie’s are referred to as “Post-Mortem Americans” in the film’s most noteworthy bit of humor).

Directed and edited by Edward Douglas, The Dead Matter also features a musical score by Midnight Syndicate (which Ed Douglas founded in 1996) and the music is definitely notable and predominates throughout the film’s 89-minute running time. It often adds to the mood and accompanying CD of tracks is well worth the additional purchase.

Far from perfect, but far from an independent throw-away, The Dead Matter was a pleasant surprise – like a movie your eyes catch on a sleepless night and you can’t turn away from.

Reviewer Film Ratings:
Plot: 3.5 | Fun Factor: 4 | Gore: 3.5 | Nudity: 1.5 | Scare Factor: 1.5 | Overall: 3.5/5

The Dead Matter
Reviewed by Xander_Kane

Edward Douglas to most horror fans would be recognized for his works with Midnight Syndicate composing Halloween music and gothic, horror, fantasy soundtracks. His latest project is directing the newly released horror film The Dead Matter. I had the joy of watching this film at a convention in Atlanta, Ga. In which Edward was there promoting the film and offering a Q and A session after the viewing. I could not stay for the question segment but I did catch up with him later to talk briefly about the film and other horror related topics.

The Dead Matter is about a young woman who is grieving the death of her brother. This causes her to become obsessed with the occult and convinces her friends to have a séance with her in the woods. Upon their arrival they find an ancient relic that turns out to control the dead. The grieving young woman wears the ancient relic and slowly realizes its powers. Her friends try to save her from the chaos that the relic has unraveled.

It is always a bit unnerving when you are a watching a movie with the director in the same room. After hearing him talk about his film for a few minutes I was ready to watch. There is a saying that when you go to a convention and see a film that you watch it with “convention goggles”. And this means that you get caught up in the hype and like it much better than it actually is. So I bought the film at the convention and took it home and watched it twice before I wrote this. It also came with the soundtrack and another Midnight Syndicate CD with it. He even signed it for me which was awesome.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. The film slowly won me over as I watched it. The dialog is cleverly written and its humor is throughout. This is what you hope for when you watch horror films with a modest budget. Douglas clearly knew what kind of film he wanted to make. He wanted to make a film that was fun for horror fans. That is something that is clear from the start of the film to the end. With his budget he put his money in all the right places. Even the soundtrack to the film is spot on. There is so much to like about this film that it outweighs any negative point I thought I might have.

Of course there are people that might disagree with me but you can’t please everyone. Even if you are super critical of low budget films you will still find things you enjoy in this one. You will be quoting lines from the movie all day and get another good laugh out of it again.

If you are looking for a fun film to watch this Halloween this is one to add to your list. Edward is obviously talented musically. But he also has a love for horror and I would hope to see him in the director’s chair again.

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