Dagon (2001) Review
A noble effort by Miskatonic University graduates. It features buckets of blood and everybody's favourite Cephalopoda: Cthulhu! The Great Old One even gets a sacrifice or two.
This film is clearly low budget, but whether that is a weakness or a strength depends on your perception. I feel necessity breeds invention. And sometimes a race of Merpeople.
Barbara and Paul are enjoying a cruise when their ship suddenly becomes shipwrecked. That's what you get for letting an IT professional navigate without google earth. They seek help in a nearby Spanish harbour. At first, the inhabitants seem friendly, but the tide soon turns.
The inhabitants are a tad more than eccentric. In fact, they are just plain creepy:
- they have no electricity. No, this is not a South African port, but a fictional Spanish town called Imboca
- there is a strange symbol everywhere
- there are virtually no opposable thumbs in Imboca
- no really, I am not kidding. There are virtually no opposable thumbs in Imboca
It turns out that Barbara was kidnapped instead of being helped. To what end? Well, that's where Cthulhu comes in.
Inhabitants of Imboca faithfully answer to the call of Cthulhu. If you aren't chanting "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu ftaghn!" by now, you might not enjoy this movie.
- Dagon is loosely based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In particular, the tales Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth were used: Dagon for the name, and the latter for the plot. The infamous author is long since "dead but dreaming", which means you can find the complete works of H.P. Lovecraft for download, free.
- There is some CGI, but it is not intrusive. More importantly, it is not tacky. You won't find actors playing imaginary dodge ball in front of a blue screen. It must be one of the few recorded incidents of tastefully used CGI.
- There are several latex heads. Even latex hands. Expect even anatomically non-descript latex, but as far as I could tell there were no severed latex heads.
- Expect even some fine breast implants on display.
- A man features as the protagonist and a woman as an antagonist, or half a woman as an antagonist. Nevertheless, for the most part, Dagon abides by the 10 Commandments of Horror.
- Produced by Brian Yuzna, who also directed Faust: Love Of the Damned. He is one of my favourite producers, because if you see his name on a credit roll, it means buckets of blood. Dagon is no exception. Let's just say your skin will crawl.
- Dagon is Spanish actor Francisco Rabal's last film. The dynamic between him and Ezra Godden is great to watch, especially in the dialogue right before Rabal's character gets... no wait, that would be telling. Watch it!
- It could always do with more ooze.
- It could always do with more fine breast implants.
Dagon also teaches us morality. It suggests a perplexing philosophy, sometimes difficult to grasp, but for the layman it could be summarised in a few words:
What Would Cthulhu Do?
Jorge Luis Pérez