The Dead Matter
Midnight Syndicate Films - 2010
What I liked most about the movie was the scope of the story, which covers a large range of time, location and character history. Not only that but I found some parts very funny.
THE DEAD MATTER isn't designed to terrify or horrify but rather take you on a journey through life and death. It is a pretty classic set up where the protagonist (Jason Carter) chases the antagonist across different continents to stop evil from continuing. Everything is hinged around an ancient relic (a bug looking medallion) which serves as a portal of sorts to control dead matter. Two vampire lords Vellich (Andrew Divoff) and Sebed (Tom Savini) want possession of the scarab and will do virtually anything to obtain it.
A young woman named Gretchen (Sean Serino) ends up finding the Egyptian talisman in the woods and starts wearing it as a pendant. Shortly after she starts having visions of the dead and a zombie ends up coming to her to be her protector.
The actor playing the silent zombie bodyguard Mark Pym (Brian Van Kamp) steals the show. Though he doesn't utter a thing, his physical presence and how he stays in character is powerful and funny.
The rest of the cast is pretty sound with Andrew Divoff and Tom Savini having some fun with their darker characters.
The musical score by Midnight Syndicate is very good and features their signature sound of creepy piano, atmospheric keyboard and underlining percussion. Edward Douglas plants the music perfectly within the film to match what takes place on the screen.
There's also some songs, which all add to the appropriate feel in each instance used within the film.
I really admire that Edward Douglas shot his movie in his hometown area in Northeast Ohio, recruiting only outside actors and crew where appropriate. You've got to love home grown filmmaking. For me it's almost always more intriguing then the overused filming locations usually found in big studio films.
Robert Kurtzman's Precinct 13 company helped produce and run the production. He & Producer Gary Jones should be proud of a job well done.
The DVD comes with a feature length documentary that chronicles the making of THE DEAD MATTER. It's done in a little different way than most behind the scenes films in that; the screen has the movie playing in the upper left, while two to three other corners have behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and or storyboards playing at the same time. Though this is a good way to use a lot of the production material, I found my attention divided and split up. This approach sometimes was distracting and chaotic as a viewer. It doesn't mean any of this is bad but rather on overload of information to absorb. There's also two music videos from Midnight Syndicate. Commentary from Producers Robert Kurtzman, Gary Jones and Edward Douglas. Midnight Syndicate 13th Anniversary Video Contest winners and exclusive behind the scenes extras.
THE DEAD MATTER is a film that plays like something made from another era of horror because of it's unique qualities mentioned earlier. I'm excited to see Douglas continue along this path as a filmmaker and writer.