Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Images from 'The Damned Thing'

The Damned Thing is the retrograde television recapitulation of everything already contained in Mortuary, there in purer and more graceful form.  Whereas Mortuary cobbled together its Lovecraft, monster movie, and vulgar teen movie elements into a fluffy velvet firmament with which to hang stars and statements on the epic human scale of the horror film (just as Rivette did with mystery films), The Damned Thing is also epic and tragically-minded (even more so, surely, the image of a compass spinning uncontrollably the clear sign of that), but incapable of achieving success or subtlety, instead furiously single-track in its thinking.  It is a story that yearns to be a feature-length study or meditation, to have a true amount of time to draw out its tangle of characters and the dissolving of human gentility via psychological mud creature (a la Mortuary), but it is instead scripted without a sense of what would be realistic to convey within its means and limitations, and so without finesse, without a sense of self-editing, lost in the search to be all-encompassing.

At times The Damned Thing seems like the piece of 50% profiles - conversations and stand-offs caught in Leone-esque close-ups. 

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