Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Dagon' (2001)
'Evil Dead 2's fucked up flipper-baby cousin.
The movie was awful and campy and tropey as fuck! AND IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!!
My god, seriously, stop what you're doing and go watch this bizarre shit show. Make a fucking riff party out of it! Get a couple bottles of booze, some good friends, order pizza, SIT THE FUCK DOWN, and watch this movie.
This movie is on the same level of funny and fucked up as Evil Dead 2. I don't know if that's what they were going for, but I sorta hope not. I'd like to think they took this movie deadly serious when they were producing it, because it kinda comes off that way. There's always the sense that this was supposed to be serious horror in the presentation of the scenes and dialogue. But as you're watching it, you get the sense that even they started to realize what they were making was total garbage. That's always the best when the writer and director are going for serious but fail, and it all just comes falling to pieces.
However, it's far more likely that, like Evil Dead 2, someone saw the script for Evil Dead and realized it should be a dark comedy, something that only takes the horror part seriously, but the rest is almost slapstick. The important part is this is actually much harder to pull off and takes incredible directing finesse. So while the former, like Troll 2, is always more amusing for fans, the latter, like Evil Dead 2, actually proves the muster of the director and the writers.
The acting isn't the greatest, of course. It's on par for standard horror, about what you'd expect out of Evil Dead 2. The same goes for the atmosphere, which is always just slightly on the side of overboard (no pun intended). I think what truly makes it are the practical FX. There are some scenes where the actors are required to sell some pretty shoddy rubber monster stuff, and it almost feels like a throwback to Bela Lugosi in Bride of the Monster.
I can really only recommend this movie to hardcore horror heads and riffers, but it might just be silly enough to entertain anyone. Just realize, taking it seriously is an act of psychological futility.
So you're telling me that the fish gills on the innkeeper's neck didn't give the characters any clue that there was something SERIOUSLY wrong? Okay. I mean, yeah the rest of the townsfolk looked fucking weird, but the innkeeper had fucking gills! That's sorta hard to overlook and one of those things you feel should have fucking come up.
But remember, you always have to suspend your disbelief with this movie. There's a scene where the male lead jumps out of a second story window, lands on his coccyx, and easily limps away. Don't bother asking yourself how he didn't just break something, there is no logic here. Any disbelief will only drive you mad.
Me and my wife spent a lot of time riffing the scene when the male lead is macking it to the squid priestess, only to find out it's his sister. "Dude, you kissed your sister!" got tossed around every time the two of them where ever in a scene together.
My favorite part, however, is when the male lead has to wholesale sell a fight with a tentacle prosthetic on an octopus person. It was something straight out of WWE, only in knee high water.
One thing that was hard to figure out was why Dagon kept eating the women he was impregnating. You get the feeling there was a reason, but they never get around to it. And of course, the male lead has to breed with his sister the squid lady for some reason. The whole thing is a wonderful mess.
It's just too much fun not to riff, and you really can appreciate that about it. I love this movie and you likely will too.
Mandatory must-watch for all horror heads!