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.