Since I enjoyed From Beyond, here’s another Stuart Gordon / Brian Yuzna / HP Lovecraft movie, Dagon (pronounced “DAY-gun”) which was released straight to video in the U.S., for some shameful reason.
Whole new cast and crew for this one, which was set/filmed in Spain. Sadly no Jeffrey Combs, just a nerdy Ezra Godden (who later starred in Gordon’s first Masters of Horror entry) and a lot of Spanish actors, including Francisco Rabal: the film director in Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down… the voice of Luis Bunuel in 100 Nights of Simon Cinema… a hit-man in Sorcerer… the guy monica vitti dumps at the start of L’Eclisse… the guy Viridiana ends up with… somebody (dom morel) in The Nun… Father Nazarin… and in his final role, a drunken old man, the only human survivor in a small Spanish town overtaken by the cult of DAGON.
More serious and faithfully Lovecraftian than From Beyond. Some unfortunate-looking digital effect shots of the boat, but all the makeup effects and sets are very good. It’s not exactly a tense, rapid-fire battle of wits and strength, but rather semi-competent Ezra (channeling Harold Lloyd) versus an army of slow-moving dull-witted fish creatures.
Oh yeah, so Ezra is sailing off the Spanish coast with his girl and another couple when a storm hits. He and the girl raft to a deserted town for help. Ezra returns to the boat to find his friends gone (he later turns up skinned to death, she turns up minus one leg and raped by fish-creatures), then returns to land to find his girlfriend gone. He hides at the hotel until the cult comes calling, hilariously escapes using his limited physical abilities and a pocketknife, then crashes with Francisco Rabal who fills him in on some back-story about the townsfolk’s demon-worshipping and eventual devolution into fish-beasties.
Ezra, of course, turns out to be the son of the high priest in this town, and his half-sister is the gorgeous mermaid he’s been dreaming of, who wants him to stay with her and have dirty incestual hot mermaid sex (which may actually be possible, since her legs are just sorta tentacles, it’s not the full-on fish fin). He fights this idea at first and tries to rescue his girl from being sacrificed. When his girl is raped by and then eaten by Dagon, Ezra is given another chance, but opts to set himself on fire instead. Fortunately (for those of us perverse enough to have hoped for such a thing), he’s extinguished and goes on to live eternally underwater with the half-human half-sister in the kingdom of DAGON.
Ezra (left) with girlfriend and evil priest:
Francisco Rabal, a fine actor whose final scene in his final film had his face getting graphically ripped off by the evil priest: