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41 user 19 critic

The Eternal (1998)

Trance (original title)
R | | Horror | 24 July 1999 (Japan)
An alcoholic American couple travel to Ireland with their son so he can meet his grandmother but they walk in on their crazed uncle who is in the midst of reviving a centuries-old Druid witch.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel O'Rourke ...
...
Mrs. Ferriter
...
Nora / Niamh
...
Jim
Sinead Dolan ...
Nora's Mother
Raina Feig ...
Young Nora
...
Jeffrey Goldschrafe ...
Jim, Jr.
...
Bartender
Paul Ferriter ...
Joe / Niamh's Iron Age Lover
...
Uncle Bill Ferriter
Niamh Dolan ...
Iron Age Niamh
David Geary ...
Nora's Father
...
Sean
...
Anlo
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Storyline

As with Almereyda's previous films, this one deals with a gothic subject in a modern context. Lushly filmed it concerns an alcoholic womans return to her Irish roots, only to turn into a film about a woman whose soul is desired by a 1000 year old witch. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil sleeps, but never dies.

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Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality/nudity, language and vampire violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 July 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Michael Almereyda's The Mummy  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the girl cuts her throat near the end, the wound is clearly already there before she slices it. Additionally, she does not slice it directly where the wound is. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Alice: In the beginning of the world, the earth and the sky were one creature, and it was the hardest thing to tear them apart. They loved each other so much. And that's why it rains. Because the earth and the sky are always trying to get back together. Mrs. Ferriter told me that, after my mother died, a long time ago, before I met Nora and Jim.
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Connections

References The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Johnny Was
Written by Rita Marley (actually written by Bob Marley)
performed by Stiff Little Fingers
courtesy of Chrysalis Records, a division of EMI under licence from EMI Music Special Markets and Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd and Odnil Music Ltd (ASCAP)
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User Reviews

A clever cross between mummy movie and witchcraft thriller that didn't get the theatrical release and critical attention it deserved.
29 December 1999 | by (Brooklyn, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

You might say that 1998 was the Year of the Mummy. Decades went by like desert sands in an hourglass without seeing so much as a single atrophied undead Egyptian dragging his moldy bones and rotting cerements out of the tomb and across the silver screen. Then, all of a sudden, there were not one but three mummy projects in the works. The most high profile and successful was Universal's bone-headed, big budget re-make of "The Mummy". The competition, Russell Mulcahey's "Talos the Mummy", was retitled "Tale of the Mummy" and downgraded to a DTV (Direct-To-Video) release. Likewise, Michael Almereyda's "Trance" - the tale not of an Egyptian mummy, but an Irish one - was re-titled "The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy" and by-passed movie theatres in favor of a video release. And that's a shame, because Almereyda (who made his mark with the arty "Dracula's Daughter" remake "Nadja") crafted an eerie little Gothic fairytale that is far more interesting and inspired than its boring and bloated competition.

The plot concerns Nora (Elliott), a young American woman of Irish origin who, well, lives up the stereotype of her people and is a bit of a lush. She and her equally inebriated husband Jeff (Harris, who played Dracula's son in "Nadja") are coming home from their latest drunken binge one night when Nora takes a tumble down the stairs of their New York apartment building. Nora survives the fall, but is soon visited by headaches, nosebleeds and hallucinations for her trouble.

Determined to dry out for the sake of their young son, the couple head to Ireland (not *exactly* the best place to give up the sauce) where they pay a visit her grandmother and Uncle Bill (a typically gaunt and creepy Chris Walken) in their huge, labrynthinian mansion. Uncle Bill harbors a dark and fascinating secret in the basement: the perfectly preserved, mummified remains of a Druid witch; one of those fascinating "bog-men" you might have read about in National Geographic or seen on the Discovery Channel. Only this one is considerably livelier than your average bog-person and, as it happens, turns out to be a distant ancestor of Nora's.

Poor old Uncle Bill quietly explains to her that the druid witch was neither good not evil in her life, but more like a force of nature. But he and we learn different when the mummy gets her groove on and sets out to steal the body, soul and identity of her hapless descendant.

One of the things I like about Almereyda's neo-Gothic-monster movies is the fact he doesn't shy away from the kitschier and pulpier elements inherent to the genre. On the contrary, he rushes to embrace them for his own purposes. During the last reel, our heroes try to burn, break, stake, and even ELECTROCUTE the Druid bitch in an orgy of retro mayhem reminiscent of old 50's Sci-Fi horror epics like "The Thing".

It's a damn shame this clever cross between a mummy movie and a witchcraft thriller didn't get the theatrical release and critical attention it deserved. Like Stuart Gordon's ghastly gem "Castle Freak", this is a DTV release well worth the rental. It has all of the atmospherics and snappy dialog of "Nadja" without any of the annoying and pretentious Pixelvision crap. Here's hoping Alemereyda takes a shot of re-vamping werewolves next! The boy got game.


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