Dan O’Bannon is a name that resonates with genre fans everywhere. With a fairly small body of work, he left a great impact. This is the guy who wrote the first draft of Alien as well as the screenplays for Dead & Buried, Lifeforce and Total Recall, to name a few. O’Bannon also stepped behind the camera a few times to lend his hand at directing. The first time was in 1985 with the absolutely legendary Return of the Living Dead. A few years later he would direct his follow up, and last feature, The Resurrected.
The Resurrected, or Shatterbrain as it’s also known, was a straight-to-video release in the early 90’s that I never managed to see. A number of years back it received a DVD release but the only way to get a copy of that now is to pay more than anyone ever should for a DVD. Fortunately if you’re looking to get acquainted with the O’Bannon flick, OFDb Filmworks out of Germany has you covered with their DVD/Blu-ray combo.
Claire Ward (Jane Sibbett) wants to know what her husband Charles Dexter Ward (Chris Sarandon) is up to. Ever since learning of his ancestor, Joseph Curwen (also played by Sarandon), Charles has been acting very strange. It starts with Charles performing experiments in his home, before he eventually takes them to a secondary location. This is when Claire becomes most concerned as Charles simply does not come home anymore.
Claire enlists the help of a private investigator by the name of John March (John Terry). John starts by visiting the house where Charles is now conducting his experiments. Immediately John notices a foul odor that can be detected a mile or so away from the house. Once John gets to the house he encounters Charles and his assistant, both of whom are acting quite strange. Being the ace investigator that he is, John knows that something fishy is up. After doing some further digging, John discovers that Charles is attempting to resurrect the dead!
There’s a real pattern with Chris Sarandon that I’ve noticed over the years. Any time I see him in a movie, he’s awesome. The Resurrected is more of the same from Sarandon. He just has a very commanding presence about him and here he gets to demonstrate it in two roles. It’s a pleasure to watch.
The Resurrected did leave me with a bit of a bitter sweet feeling. Sweet because the movie is a ton of fun. It has the genre charm that was found in a bunch of horror movies from the late 80’s and early 90’s. There are some really great practical effects used throughout. One in particular is of what I believe to be the resurrected remains of a person who has dissolved into some weird looking creature. It’s hard to explain with words, but The Resurrected does a great job explaining it visually. The bitter part is that this is O’Bannon’s second, and ultimately last film as a director. That’s a real shame because much like he did in Return of the Living Dead, O’Bannon shows he has a great style and feel behind the camera. It’s a real bummer we didn’t get to see more from him.
Unlike most horror fans, I’m really not all too familiar with the work of H.P. Lovecraft. By that I mean the actual writings. All I really know of Lovecraft’s works is the adaptations. I bring this up because if there is a downside to The Resurrected, it’s a few issues here and there with the script. What I don’t know is whether or not these issues are tied to the actual source material from Lovecraft or the script itself, written by Brent V. Friedman. The issues I’m referring to are very minor. The script just isn’t as tight, as maybe something O’Bannon would have written itself. Parts get a little clunky at times, but this is really nitpicking. Overall, The Resurrected is a very fun horror movie that any horror fan would absolutely love.
Enough About the Movie, How’s the Actual Blu-ray Release
The release itself from OFDb Filmworks is quite nice. Starting with the packaging, which I’m admittedly a sucker for, down to the special features included on the three discs, this is the type of release I’d like to see most horror movies get. The packaging itself is a box that is quite a bit bigger than your typical Blu-ray case and even bigger than most DVD cases. It’s almost like a little boxset that a TV show would come in. The discs are contained inside a small flip book that comes in a large slip cover. The slip cover features gorgeous artwork and has the title in English, with everything else in German.
Inside the slip cover it the flip book containing the three disc – Blu-ray, DVD and DVD of special features. The case also contains a booklet, but this is also in German. There’s still a few cool pictures to look at in the booklet, but if you can’t read German, it likely won’t do much for you. Outside of the film itself, the real joy for fans, however, will come from the special features including on the 3rd disc. This thing is loaded and the majority are in English! There’s interviews with Sarandon, Friedman, Richard Band, audio commentaries and a ton more! The Sarandon interview in particular is a treat to watch.
I’ve said before that I’m no expert when it comes to judging the technical aspect on transfers of any release. I just know what looks good to me and what doesn’t. I think the transfer on this release of The Resurrected looks quite good, especially for a fairly obscure straight-to-video horror movie from the early 90’s. There was one very brief scene of a car driving that looked a little blurry to me, but other than that I had no issues. My biggest concern going into any release is whether or not darker scenes will be hard to see or contain lots of fuzz and I am to report that is not the case here. OFDb Filmworks used the true HD transfer they received from MGM and in the end I think it turned out quite well.
The Resurrected is now available on a special limited edition Blu-ray/DVD combo from OFDb Filmworks. If you’d like to order a copy of The Resurrected you can do so through Amazon Germany. If you’re in the U.S. and iffy about ordering from Amazon Germany, I can assure you that you can do so without a problem. I’ve done so many times without issue.