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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Decoteau has done worse!

Author: BHorrorWriter from Ohio, USA
11 September 2001

Granted, this is not one of the better movies to come out of Full Moon since their departure from Paramount. It isn't one of the worst, either. David Decoteau (under alias), directs this seemingly gothic movie. I say "seemingly" because, where is is dark and dreary (which I liked that), it still doesn't develop into the dark, gothic opus it really could have.

I have noticed...Quit a few Full Moon films take a really good idea, and destroy it with low budget films, full of bad acting, bad directing and silly scripts. I really feel they should allow outside talent. Anyway, this was a good idea, which is described in other reviews, so I will leave it out. The sets were very dark and gloomy, the cemetary was kinda creepy in that European cemetary kinda way. The Fallen Angel, was kinda silly looking, but worked on the budget. The blood spraying was utterly silly and the 2-dimensional CGI flames were just pitiful.

This really could have been a decent movie, given a bigger budget and a director that really understand the subject matter.

5 out of 10

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bizarro-WIP

3/10
Author: nickjack from Austin, Texas
6 September 2001

This plays like a Bizarro-world version of a Women-in-Prison movie. You remember Bizarro world from Superman comic books and Seinfeld episodes: everything is like our earth, but in an imperfect (really whacked-out) way. In this case, the classic Reform School, which in our reality would be full of nubile young girls who get hosed down, is full of nubile young men. There is a food-fight in the dining hall, a lock-down and even a trustee character who apparently is coercing his roommates into providing him with um...companionship. But when the plot should head toward showers and/or a breakout, the inmates/students start getting sacrificed on the apocalyptic demonic altar in the basement and then... Well, it's never as seedy as one might hope, but you've got to give Charles Band credit for trying something different.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Stay away!

Author: SunBlade from merseyside, England
5 January 2000

It's said that if you put a million monkeys in front of a million typewriters, one will write a shakespearean play. The other 999,999 are likely to write something like this.

The plot borders on the non-existent, the deaths are meaningless, the characters as 2 dimensional as the flaming-heart special effects. Overall, this isn't a film I'd recommend to the discerning horror film fan.

The fact it's rated "15" in England kinda lets on to the fact that it's no Elm Street, and the constant flashbacks take the film from the "mind numbing" category into the "annoying" one. The film features topics such as incest, demon worship and serial killing - seemingly, the base for a great film. However, the wooden acting (basing the film abroad gives birth to a new realm of stupidity in cheesy accents) and gratuitous special effects restricted to glowing red eyes and heart-ripping, mean that this film is as horrifying as...well....starring in it.

Harsh? Not really. If there's a plotline running through this film and not just a rehashing of more clichés than there are murders then I failed to notice it. The characters aren't fleshed out at all, the deaths follow no visible pattern and all in all the film is more predictable than a James Bond innuendo.

It's hard to come up with one word to sum this entire film up, especially without resorting to the libellous. I'd hesitate to describe it as "terrible" since it does provide some hints and tips to new writers how NOT to write a script. I'll settle for "laughable".

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Not terrible, but could've been better

5/10
Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
30 August 2012

Arriving at a strange European college, a student finds that a summoned demon that is trying to open the gates of Hell to unleash Armageddon on mankind requires his services to complete the ritual and tries to stop it.

While this one may not be one of the best entries out there, there's some decent stuff here. One of the better facets here is the film's rather nice mixture of sorcery and black magic, with the rituals being prepared here for the final ceremony, the location being a great setting for some Gothic atmosphere with its darkened hallways, eerie cemetery and expansive rooms within to make for some decent moments at times when this one really gets its solid plot going as there's some general creepiness on display here. There's a lot of mystery wrung out of this that it captivates what little attention that could have been given, and the storyline is pretty clever, giving the viewer the feeling that anything can go wrong. That said, there's still plenty to dislike here, from the exceptionally short running time that barely gives this one an hour-long running time, a rather unimposing supernatural killer that doesn't evoke fear at all, and a rather inane amount of time spent on flashbacks that aren't that exciting or thrilling, and when added to this one's low-budget gloss, comes up rather lacking in the end.

Rated R: Violence and some language.

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Think of it as a good TV show episode

5/10
Author: feet-likefins from United States
31 October 2005

This is definitely not a bad movie despite what others think here. It's so short that if you have any preoccupation with boredom that is virtually destroyed. With that aside, what does this movie have to offer? It's not scary, unless you're under the age of the highest voting score here. If that really bothers you, then you might think of each villainous scene as cheesy.

This is essentially a mystery draped in the occult. A similar story would be The Ninth Gate. This is probably the kind of movie you watch in the middle of the night during October (while you're in the Halloween mood). It might bug you out more if you are half asleep, because you may have difficulty distinguishing between the dream and real sequences, and finally the last 10 minutes could be a little disturbing too.

The premise starts with a young man beginning class at an expensive international school for delinquents, and he also suffers from ominous nightmares. The flick doesn't waste too much time presenting the enigmatic main character (why is he attending this school, and what of these dreams?), and introducing an intriguing antagonist(why is he picking off people for?). Therefore, I find it hard to believe someone will have a hard time sitting through this, unless they don't like horror movies (there are supernatural evil doers), they've seen some think like it already (which I cannot come up with), or it isn't that flashy for them (this movie isn't out to dazzle you with special effects or cunning murder scenes, but it does have some respectable twists).

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Okay in parts, but mostly unsatisfying.

Author: Prolox from Canada
27 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FULL MOON brought us this small budgeted horror epic, about an ancient talisman & other supernatural occurrences bugging the usual college students that attend a private college somewhere in Europe, where students start to drop off at a rapid rate. Obviously they didn't have to much money to spend here, I mean this is suppose to be a college that the kids in the film are attending, yet there are only six students in total attending it, & the special effects are nothing to special either, usually it's just a bunch of cheap uninventive kills & crappy looking CGI effects. The direction was okay but director Decoteau used to much lighting & overused the smoke machine in the film once to often giving this film a really cheap look, oh well at least the actors were good. Die hard horror fans might want to take a look at this, but they'll probably forget all about it the next day. Others are best to try for something else.

**1/2 stars

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I left my heart in Romania.

5/10
Author: capkronos (capkronos00@hotmail.com) from Ohio, USA
24 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

TALISMAN is yet another late 90s Full Moon release that was filmed on location in Bucharest, Romania (no doubt a cheaper place to produce these 'B' horrors). This one was directed by David DeCoteau under the name "Victoria Sloan," the same alias he used to direct two other Full Moon releases - SHRIEKER (1997) and CURSE OF THE PUPPET MASTER (1998). Now Mr. DeCoteau has had an interesting enough career, I guess. He started out making gay porn under the name "David McCabe" before churning out some popular cult classic 'Scream Queen' movies in the late 80s/early 90s. He then moved on to Full Moon Studios for a period of time before forming his very own studio called Rapid Heart Pictures, which specialize in (awful) homoerotic horror flicks that are basically just thinly-disguised excuses to feature hairless young men running around in their underwear. This effort, which is better than anything DeCoteau would make with Rapid Heart, is more of a happy medium. While there are a couple of the expected underwear scenes here, there's also some blood, a plot, a good filming location and a couple of actors who seem to actually be actors instead of Calvin Klein models who couldn't emote if their life depended on it.

At a European boys school, supposedly a place where wealthy people drop off their trouble-making kids, mysterious new student Elias Storm (Billy Parish) has just enrolled. Most of the other students are away at break, aside from about a half-dozen guys. There's a friendly black guy named Jacob (Walter Jones), a bully named Burke (Jason Andelman) and a couple of Eastern European guys who seem to have been horribly dubbed. The school is run by the stern and strict Mrs. Greynitz (Oana Stefanescu), who has a shy, attractive young daughter named Lilia (Ilinca Goia) she forbids the students from talking to. There's also some some bald demon dude who roams the halls, has red glowing eyes and rips out hearts. It all has something to do with a talisman necklace, human sacrifices, the new millennium approaching and flashbacks to when Elias saw his parents trying to perform some ceremony in a graveyard. Unlike what DeCoteau started putting out a few years after this, there are decent sets, OK special effects and a few bloody moments (including eyeballs getting poked out). Though most of the younger male actors are predictably awful, the performances from the Romanian actors - Goica, Stefanescu, Claudiu Trandafir as the school's doctor and (especially) Constantin Barbulescu as the caped demon - help to carry the film pretty well.

So while this is nothing special and runs only 72 minutes (barely over an hour if you exclude the credits), it's still watchable for the most part and that's more than I can say for the director's endless series of boxer brief "horror" films of late. For the faithful, you do get some guys doing push-ups in their underwear, but that's about it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If you don't enjoy this movie... well...

10/10
Author: greatayahala from United States
7 November 2006

OK, if you didn't find this movie downright hilarious and awesome, you are probably stoic and annoying. Your IQ is probably very low, because even my dog thought this movie rocked. It is not only funny, but it is clearly not mean tot be taken seriously. If the writer intended it to be serious... Then that's even funnier. Life just keeps getting better. Anyways, I recommend this movie to everyone. I saw it a long time ago it was so great.

Man I can't wait to see it again. Apparently my comment must have 10 lines of text, so I will elaborate. A young woman and male find an awesome Talisman lying around. They then are embarked on a journey to stop the evil that was all along hidden within the talisman. There is betrayal, oh yes, and a school, oh yes, a private school. A private school with fabulous school uniforms. There is a guy who looks half-Asian. There is a hot teacher.

The list doesn't end there. There is also the evil itself. Which is taking lives for it's plan of ultimate world demise. I suppose I have reached my ten lines of text. I will leave you with a few descriptive words that I would use to describe this movie:

Awesome, Hilarious, Amusing, Entertaining, Not Scary, The opposite of Horror, Worth all the time I put into watching it, Worth the time I spent looking it up, Intuiging, Exciting, etc.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

You had better be really bored.

Author: tenn-noodlehead from Sparta, TN
29 July 2000

If you like horror movies, you have probably seen this movie, done better, before. The special effects were weak, mainly red glowing eyes, and hearts being burned out of chests. The acting was half-hearted at best, the actors seemed bored by the whole affair. The basic premise of the movie, is two teenage siblings, separated by a mysterious event in the past, hold the key to stopping a (very small) cult from helping a fallen angel destroy the world. Naturally this happens at a boarding school somewhere. The accents in the movie were awful. The fallen angel resembled a constipated Uncle Festor from the Adams Family, but he was the most menacing and convincing character in the movie. Interestingly enough the talisman the movie is named after is a large pewter-looking necklace, that features an upside-down cross superimposed on an upside-down pentagram. There wasn't any real character development, so who cared who died or didn't, so it wasn't dramatic or spooky. There wasn't enough camp to make this it cheesy. No black comedy, to make it a cult classic, so I guess this just has to be a bad movie. Watch the original Satan's School for Girls instead. I think that may have been the inspiration for this anyway.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pretty bad, but not terrible

Author: slayrrr666 (slayrrr666@yahoo.com) from Los Angeles, Ca
23 February 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`Talisman' has to be one of David DeCouteau's unseen masterpieces, as he manages to turn a cliché storyline into a movie that has to rank as a Full Moon type film.

**SPOILERS**

In a strange European college, a man is killed by a strange demon (Costi Barbulescu) with glowing eyes. A young man, Elias (Billy Parish) meets up with Jacob (Walter Jones) who shows him around. Immediately, trouble starts in the form of Burke. (Jason Adelman) The headmistress, Miss Greynitz, (Oana Stefanescu) rules the school with an iron fist, keeping everyone there in a state of fear. Wanting to relieve some tension, Elias takes a walk, against Burke's better judgment, and wanders into the library. There, he finds Miss Greynitz's daughter, Lilia. (Ilinca Goia) She seems afraid of her mother, who makes her do weird things at night. Lilia is involved in weird satanic rituals with the same demon, and kills two of Burke's friends. The next morning, Elias does some investigating on the campus and begins to unravel the mystery of how he came to the same place where his supposedly insane uncle was working. Burke comes into control of the school and tries to rape Lilia, but the demon comes to protect her. Burke and another friend are killed. Elias sees this, and Miss Greynitz catches him. The next day, on the eve of the new millennium, Elias digs more into the back history of what brought him to the college. Convinced now that Lilia is in danger, he finds out that he is wrong. He finds five of the seven sacrifices needed to bring out the apocalypse. As midnight nears, Jacob becomes the sixth and Lilia reveals herself as the one from whom sacred books say will bring about the end of days. Lilia makes a proposition to Elias: take her hand as second in command or be burned like the rest of humanity.

The Good News: `Talisman' is one of the few films that clocks in at less than an hour long, but an awful lot happens in that short amount of time. There is a lot of mystery wrung out of this that it captivates what little attention one could have given to this movie. The storyline is pretty clever, giving the viewer the feeling that anything can go wrong. Making the least likely person the head of the whole apocalyptic plan was a bit of a stretch to believe thinking about afterward, but it keeps the viewer hooked into thinking anything. The apocalyptic movie was done quite often in the late 90's, with `End of Days,' `The Minion,' and this one coming out within several months of each other. In those three, `End of Days' is the one to see, with this one edging out the dull Dolph Lundgren flick.

The Bad News: This movie was way too short! I own full CD's that are longer than this movie. That's an embarrassment right there. There is also no suspense whatsoever. There were plenty of opportunities to provide some cheap thrills the way other Full Moon type films do. Instead, this film relies on having some supposedly scary demon with glowing eyes popping up sometime to kill people for a sacrificial ritual to give you scares. He never did, and his presence only made me yawn when he was on-screen. His power was entirely laughable, simply sticking his hand inside your body and pulling out your heart in one piece. Creative, but not effective. That statement could also describe this movie as a whole. I try to provide something positive about every film I review, and here I have by saying that it was creative. Unfortunately, that doesn't appeal only to the acting. Here, it is simply atrocious. It is so wooden and unemotional that High School drama plays have been livelier. No one seems capable of giving the film any energy, as it meanders on from one scene to the next. It misses several great opportunities to be a great film that another rewrite or ten on the script could have chiseled a great film out of this.

The Final Verdict: While not one of the worst horror films ever made, `Talisman' is no classic either. There are so many things that could have gone wrong that could have easily been fixed by putting more heart into it. The movie is best viewed when in the complete and total fix of alcoholic beverages and several friends to simply ridicule it to make it more enjoyable.

Rated R: Violence and some language.

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