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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I enjoyed it somehow but not my thing, 18 October 2011
Author: trashgang from Midian
This is Edward Douglas first attempt to direct a flick. He surely knows
his stuff because he is normally an music technician for a few horror
flicks. By doing so he also knew the people inside the genre. By that
we see Andrew Divoff (wishmaster) as a leading role and Tom Savini in a
special role. The special effects were done by Robert Kurtzman, also
known in the genre.
It's a weird flick to watch because we have all elements in it that you can think about, zombies, vampires, ouija boards, supernatural effects...It's even sometimes a bit funny to see, a vampire being attacked by a zombie. It's really not your average horror flick. But the effects used are really well done and that makes it watchable. Strangely, Andrew Divoff couldn't convince me. Due the names in it it wasn't really my thing nevertheless I enjoyed it on the , for me, funny parts if you know what I mean.
Gore 2/5 Nudity 0/5 Story 3/5 Effects 3/5 Comedy 2/5
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
One of the better independent horror movies I have seen, 30 October 2011
Author: nkuttam082 from United States
If your tired of Hollywood horror that do not deliver then this is a movie for you. It has blood, guts, zombies, vampires, glowing amulet, spells and so much more. If you love old school horror from the 80's then you need to buy this movie. A guilt -ridden young women desperate to contact her deceased brother discovers a powerful ancient relic that controls the dead. Her dark obsession drags her into the tangled world of two warring vampire lords each with his own sinister plans for the artifact, and a vampire hunter who will stop at nothing to destroy it. This Gothic dark-fantasy co-produced by Robert Kurtzman features a haunting score by Halloween horror music composers Midnight Syndicate. A mix of classic horror themes with modern twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Dead Matter? Hardly mattered at all..., 26 January 2013
Author: Paul Haakonsen from Denmark
When I found out about this movie, my interest was peaked and I was
thrilled to find out about what Midnight Syndicate would muster to put
into this movie.
And now having seen it, it is with a heavy heart that I must say that in my opinion, then Midnight Syndicate should stick to what they do so well, and that is making music - not movies! This movie was bad, plagued by a shallow storyline, unenthusiastic acting performances and generally a lack of appeal. I am sure that Midnight Syndicate meant well and tried their best, but the end result was just not that impressive.
And more so, it was just downright tacky the way they were self-promoting themselves throughout the movie; such as the ring-tone on a phone was a classic Midnight Syndicate tune, and the mentioning of the band when someone was looking at vinyl albums. It was just too sleazy the way they were subtly trying to promote themselves through the means of the storyline.
The story was mediocre at best, though it was heavy with stereotypical things, and it didn't really work out all that great. If they had stuck to just one type of classic horror creatures instead of two, it would have worked out much better. Either go with zombies or vampires, both of them together just doesn't really work out all that great.
And what was up with the horrible fake wig plastered to Andrew Divoff's head? It looked God-awful, and I was laughing most of the time when he was on the screen because of it. So it was hard to take this movie seriously. And it was far from anywhere near the usual performances that Andrew Divoff delivers in movies. It was cool to see Tom Savini in the movie, though, and that much credit is due to the movie.
"The Dead Matter" is a shallow movie experience that is thick with self-promoting from Midnight Syndicate. And for a horror movie, then it turned out to be as far as it could be from being a horror movie. It sort of resembled a parody of horror at best.
The one thing, and the best thing, that the movie had working for it, was - without any surprise - the music score / soundtrack. As always with Midnight Syndicate, you get some really great atmospheric and ambient music that emphasizes on the horror and occult aspect.
8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Great mix of horror and humor, 18 November 2010
Author: cjh668908 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Dead Matter...
This is the imagination of Gothic/Halloween band Midnight Syndicate founding member Ed Douglas at work. Being creative always starts with an idea and a vision. In the mid 1990s he had an idea. He had a vision. He had a dream. He had $2,000. He had...............a Super VHS camera that he borrowed. It was used to film the first version of The Dead Matter, released in 1996. You have to start somewhere. A decade later an opportunity to re-make The Dead Matter with a much larger budget was realized (about $1.5 million). The script was co-written by Ed Douglas and Tony Demci, just as it was in the original 1996 film. Shooting took place in August and September 2007 in the Mansfield, Ohio area. To make this movie, Douglas went to the well and drew on his many talents, knowledge, creativity, interest in horror films, and prior background as a filmmaker and musician/composer, not to mention a college degree in theater and filmmaking. The end result is a dream realized. An excellent independent horror film with excellent actors, an excellent musical score courtesy of Midnight Syndicate themselves, not to mention contributions from other artists in the form of rock & roll songs (Lazy Lane, Eternal Legacy, and HipNostic).
This movie stars Andrew Divoff (CSI: Miami, Lost, also movies such as Wishmaster, Air Force One, The Rage, Indiana Jones 4), Jason Carter (Babylon 5, Beverly Hills 90210, Angel, Charmed, Third Rock From The Sun), special effects legend Tom Savini (From Dusk Till Dawn, Dawn Of The Dead, Lost Boys 2, Grindhouse, Friday The 13th), Sean Serino (The Rage), Tom Nagel (North Mission Road, Beast Of Bray Road), CB Spencer (Passions, Ally McBeal, the movie Ballistica) Christopher Robichaud (the original 1996 version of The Dead Matter, plus voices on Midnight Syndicate albums), Brian Van Camp (New World Disorder), Donna Williams (The Rapture), Jim O' Rear (Hell House, Vampyre Tales), Meredith Beardmore (CSI: NY, A Family Matter), Kenyatta Foster, and "Big Chuck" Schodowski (American Scary), to name just a few, along with special effects/makeup artist Alan Tuskes (Star Trek, Vanilla Sky, The Rage). The narrator is Richard "Count Gore De Vol" Dyszel (The Alien Factor, Chainsaw Sally).
What is this movie about? It's about a grief-stricken young woman named Gretchen who will do anything to contact or "reconnect" with her deceased brother. She stumbles upon an ancient Egyptian occult relic that leads her into the dark world of vampires and the living dead. She gets more than she bargained for, as all hell breaks loose. Two warring vampire lords are in search of the relic, which can control the dead. A vampire hunter is trying to stop them from obtaining the relic. This movie is unique in that it mixes both zombies and vampires. If you're somebody who is a fan of the Halloween season and its darker aspects, yet also embraces the lighter side of Halloween, then this movie will entertain you, as it is both on the dark side and lighter side. This movie has horror, humor, twists and turns, and keeps you guessing. The atmosphere is dark and creepy in parts, while at other times everyday activities and locations are used, such as in houses, bars, office buildings, etc. Midnight Syndicate doesn't hesitate to embrace the lighter side of horror/Halloween once in a while, and this movie proves it. You can't go wrong. I don't want to reveal too much. Watch it and be entertained. It's destined to become a Halloween classic, one of those movies that you'll want to watch every year during the Halloween season or on Halloween night after the trick-or-treaters have gone home and the jack-o-lantern has been extinguished. While not that scary, it does have its moments that will catch you off guard.
Ed Douglas and Tony Demci were inspired and influenced by horror films of yesteryear, particularly from the '30s, '60s, '70s, '80s, Creepshow, and the Hammer films, but the bottom line is that The Dead Matter is ORIGINAL. The movie takes the "old school" approach of yesteryear, and it works. I personally think it's a great movie and I think you will, too. It doesn't take a lot of money to accomplish the primary goal, which is to scare or at least entertain the audience. Think of films like Carnival Of Souls (1962), Night Of The Living Dead (1968), and Halloween (1978). These are perfect examples of independent films that make their point and get the job done by scaring and entertaining you and creating the perfect atmosphere with minimal money.
The Dead Matter is 89 minutes long and is presented in widescreen format.
The extras on the DVD are excellent. There are two Midnight Syndicate music videos ("Dark Legacy" and "Lost", both of which appeared on The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates album, released in 2008), three finalists' music videos from the Midnight Syndicate 13th Anniversary video contest, gag reels, audio commentary by Ed Douglas, Robert Kurtzman, and Gary Jones, a feature called Maximum Dead Matter that allows you to watch a scene in one corner of the screen while simultaneously watching the actual filming of the scene in another window, interviews with cast and crew members, locations, and concept art.
Robert Kurtzman (producer, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Rage, Wishmaster), Gary Jones (Xena, Hercules, Boogeyman 3), and Ed Douglas all co-produced this movie.
Yes, there is still hope when it comes to the making of quality horror movies. Thankfully, there are still a few people out there who actually have their own ideas and imagination. This is a standout independent horror movie gem released during the Age of Horror Remakes that we're currently living in. As good as this movie is, I believe that time will elevate this movie's status even more.
5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Check it out if you dig your Gothic horror with a sense of humor, 10 September 2011
Author: lovecraft231 from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's a bit weird to me when a movie that's less than a year or at least
a year old passes me by, or that I've heard of it but haven't seen it.
Case in point: last year's "The Dead Matter." Directed by Midnight
Syndicate main man Edward Douglas, and a remake of sorts of his earlier
film of the same name that was shot on camcorder, I had heard good
things about this movie, with Fangoria, Arrow in the Head and FEARnet
singing its praises. So, does it live up to the hype? For the large
The plot goes a little something like this: Gretchen (Sean Serino) is morning the loss of her brother, so she and her buddies-Mike (Tom Nagel), Jill (C.B. Spencer) and Frank (Christopher Robichaud) hold a séance to bring him back. Well, what do ya know, Gretchen finds an ancient relic that can bring back and control the dead. Thing is, two warring vampire lords-Vellich (Andrew Divoff) and Sebed (Tom Savini) want possession of the relic, and vampire hunter McCallister (Jason Carter) wants to destroy it.
If there's anything that harms the movie, its the fact that the actors playing our heroes don't do a good job. Serino tries her hardest, but she's just not that convincing as our lead protagonist, no matter how hard the movie tries to make us care about her plight. Meanwhile, Robichaud is hit and miss as the science loving Frank-sometimes admirably goofy, but other times kind of flat, while Nagel and Spencer feel like they're just kinda there.
Apart from that, "The Dead Matter" is a lot of campy fun, and one of those movies I find myself disappointed that I didn't see it sooner. A fun mix of Gothic atmosphere and tongue-in-cheek black humor, the plot and events usually play like Hammer meets a horror-comedy from the 80's ala "Night of the Creeps" with vampires and zombies. Speaking of which, the dead here are interesting-the zombified Mark (Brian Van Camp) is amusing with his drinking beer and other goofy antics that thankfully don't suck, but most of the dead here of of the more haunting, specter like variety ala "Carnival of Souls." I find it refreshing to see someone who thinks outside of the box instead of constantly feeding us the typical zombies eating yards of intestines type of movie.
Also, while our heroes are bland, everyone else does a fine job. Divoff is a hoot to watch (bad fright wig and all), while Savini makes the most of his time as his vampire rival, and Carter is a lot of fun as the vampire hunter out to stop them. Oh, and while not a gore-fest, you still get some nice scenes here and there (including an awesome bit with a jaw being torn off), though I must say the director must also be commended for not going overboard with splatter.
So, will "The Dead Matter" win any awards for originality? Probably not. It is however, a refreshing little sleeper that shows what plenty of gumption and can-do spirit can accomplish, and for that, I applaud it. Check it out if you dig your Gothic horror with a sense of humor.
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
I hate to give a good ranking for this unwatchable movie., 28 October 2012
Author: yeodawg from United States
I could barely sit through the mandatory 30 Minutestes of this drivel, but still I have to give it high marks. First star goes to the fact that the movie is called DEAD MATTER and it opens with a town under siege by well made up zombies. In the middle of the Zombie Apacolypse are two Sabre Wielding Zombie Slayers. The Sabre wielding Zombie Slayers turn into Wooden Stake impaling Vampire hunters as they are in pursuit of a magic Amulete. Although one vampire over-lord has a cheap wig and horrible fangs, the actor who plays him already has a couple of Horror movie franchise under his belt already. He kills humans turning them into Zombies, technically ghouls to do his bidding. the other vampire overlord a veteran of the remake of Night of the living dead (which explains why the Zombies were so well done) drugs his fellow vamps to do his bidding. However the actress playing the women in distress is so horrible she brings the movie down.
2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A lot to love about this film, 14 May 2012
Author: james_depaolo (email@example.com) from United States
Andrew Divoff stars as Vellich, he has to have that relic and will do
anything to get it. Watching this film, I realized how much I missed
him in the Wishmaster films. He truly makes this film a blast to watch.
If you take away the vampire and zombie parts, this felt like
Wishmaster 3 should have felt. This is true indie movie gold. What a
fun film from start to finish, this film is just a treat to the genre.
You get the bad wig worn by Divoff which made him look like a 70′s
stoner with a weird touch of Col Sanders. You have Tom Savini, who
plays Sebed, a vampire lord that really gives Divoff some of his best
moments in this film. To watch those two icons act with each other is
almost the equivalent of watching Robert Plant sing with Paul
McCartney. There is a scene in the film where Gretchen opens the fridge
and the food becomes reanimated. To watch the chicken act the way it
did, was such a nod to Evil Dead, without feeling like it ripped it
off. You also get a beer drinking zombie, hey zombies get thirsty also
you know. The special effects were done by Robert Kurtzman, who a few
of you may have heard of once or twice maybe? And get this, you get a
Jessica Cameron cameo. Some of you guys may have heard that name before
This is old school horror meets new school ideology with a twist. The script was fun, it was dark humor and it was smartly written. The characters felt fresh, as did the situations. And the nod to Fulci The Beyond. Kudos for having the guts to attempt it, and not only that, but succeeding where you know Fulci is in his grave clapping the effort. If you are going to rent this to be scared, you may be watching the wrong film. This film is not a scary horror film, it is a fun one. And such a breath of fresh air, that all horror movies can still be effective but yet has heart and humor. This film gives you a fair amount of gore and blood goodness. This is clearly a nod to us old school fans, and it is such a fresh breath of air in the lungs of people who suffer thru so much junk to get to good films like this. This is a must watch, and will enjoy film.
The extras on the DVD are very amazingly fun. There are two Midnight Syndicate music videos, three finalists' music videos from the Midnight Syndicate 13th Anniversary video contest, gag reels, audio commentary by Ed Douglas, Robert Kurtzman, and Gary Jones, a feature called Maximum Dead Matter that allows you to watch a scene in one corner of the screen while simultaneously watching the actual filming of the scene in another window, interviews with cast and crew members, locations, and concept art. Also included in this triple disc combo is 2 soundtracks.
All in all, this is so much fang for your buck
3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A practicing witch named Gretchen discovers an ancient amulet with strange powers when she brings her friends to the woods in order hold a séance., 20 December 2010
Author: DriveInoftheDead from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a fan of the musical duo Midnight Syndicate, I was thrilled to learn
that Edward Douglas was working on a feature film entitled 'The Dead
Matter.' I have followed the musical exploits of this group for over a
decade and I looked forward to how their audio work would translate to
the medium of film - with the chilling music they created it just
seemed like a natural progression for them. Was it worth the wait? Most
definitely but there is a catch. First off it helps to have a healthy
dose of Hammer Studios and Universal Monsters blood in your veins. If
you grew up watching b-movies starring the likes of Peter Cushing,
Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff in late-night creature
features, then you'll totally 'get' this movie's vibe. If, however, you
aren't cursed with a wickedly warped sense of humor (and fun), then
'The Dead Matter' might come across as just another off-beat vamp
flick. For me, I totally jived to the old school approach to horror
that screenwriters Ed Douglas and Tony Demci offered up. You can see
how they were influenced by their horror forefathers, but they also
give the film a groovy twist by injecting a bit of George A. Romero
into the picture's undead veins. I've tried to think of another movie
that incorporated vampires AND zombies into the same film and came up
empty. Nice! Throw in the fact that the film is capably directed by
Douglas, has a healthy sense of humor (you'll dig the classroom
dream!), sports a likable ensemble cast including genre legend Tom
Savini, not to mention some killer make-up effects, Midnight
Syndicate's Gothic, Hammer-esquire score, some genuine scares (I was
all about the creepy cemetery 'death is the answer!' scene) and you'll
understand why this movie satisfies an old-school fan-boy like me.
There were, however, a few minor points that I felt kept 'The Dead Matter' from becoming a classic film. For one, there were a lot of characters to keep track of none of whom are fleshed out to their fullest potential. A little more backstory on the main characters of McCallister and his vampire adversaries would have been nice, as well as more history on Gretchen and her group of friends (not to mention the amulet). Likewise, some of the acting was hit or miss. I can't help but feel that some scenes might have been a bit rushed, resulting in fewer takes, so the actors weren't able to achieve the best performances they were capable of (Also here's my idea: Douglas should have worked Vellich's horrible wig into the story somehow. Since he seems like such a vain vampire, seeing him put the wig on over nasty, patchy hair would have been a hoot. There was no way to hide the fact that he was wearing a wig, so they should have played it up rather than try to sell it as his real hair). One last point is the effects. While the make-up designs were amazing, some of the CGI was not entirely convincing. I also thought some more locations were needed and the ending was a bit too vague for my taste but these gripes have more to do with budget constraints than anything and are minor issues that don't dramatically decrease the quality of the film as a whole.
When the final bloodsucker is staked, I thought Edward Douglas's 'The Dead Matter' was a fun-filled horror-fest that mostly satisfied and definitely entertained which is what Douglas set out to do so in that regard, the film is a smashing success. The clever plot, the gnarly make-up, the perfect score (that had many nods to Midnight Syndicate's past), and a healthy mix of b-movie charisma make this film a refreshing change from the usual horror schlock that Hollywood churns out. It's always a thrill to see when a group of filmmakers 'get it.' For me, the dead definitely matter!
As I mentioned above, the acting is a hit or miss affair in 'The Dead Matter.' Some of the actors came across as rather over-the-top (Divoff as Vellich needed to be de-fanged), many were somewhat wooden in their delivery (Sean Serino as Gretchen was pretty and definitely talented, but I just couldn't connect with her performance), and some, like Jason Carter as McCallister and Brian Van Camp as Mark were as solid as you can hope for. I can't come down too harshly on the cast as I feel like they were doing the best they could within the constraints of the script. Crafting more subtle, nuanced, and natural performances is something director Douglas will perfect as he grows as a director.
For his first full-length feature film, I thought Edward Douglas did an admirable job. With the amount of money invested in this picture it would have been easy to buckle under the pressure, but Douglas definitely holds his own. The direction tends to get a little static in places, particularly when there's a conversation taking place, but thankfully Douglas makes up for it with an energetic style when the pace of the film picks up and I know he will only improve as a director with each film he gets under his belt. Well done!
3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Production Values and an Engaging Story, 24 April 2011
Author: Thomas Berdinski (firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Dead Matter" has raised the bar for independent horror movies big
time! The production values (direction, photography, music, lighting,
sound) are of Hollywood quality, but unlike Hollywood (fortunately!)
"The Dead Matter" has a unique and engaging story that unfolds
throughout the film's entire run-time. In fact, it isn't really fair to
call "The Dead Matter" a horror movie - it's much more than that - it's
a supernatural movie.
Most Hollywood horror movies these days are remakes or are so 'by-the-numbers' you pretty much know everything that is going to happen after the first 5-10 minutes. "The Dead Matter" follows multiple stories that converge in the final frantic 20 minutes. The plot melds so many different supernatural elements that it's reminiscent of the creativity the old Shaw Brother's horror movies used to exhibit in the 1980s. Those movies, like "The Dead Matter" didn't follow the rules of horror genres; they created their own supernatural mythologies.
This review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the excellent actors assembled for this movie, including b-movie favorites Tom Savini and Jim O'Rear, but it is the welcome return of Jason Carter that really sets this one apart from its indie contemporaries. Jason Carter may be best known for his role on the TV series Babylon-5, but he really shines in "The Dead Matter". I hope this film re-energizes his career so we see him in more horror and sci-fi films.
If you're looking for something engagingly-different with Hollywood production values, "The Dead Matter" is for you!
5 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Vampires and zombies and fantasy - oh my!, 29 August 2011
Author: Greg (email@example.com) from Oakville, Ontario
Tom Savini is the most noteworthy name in The Dead Matter, a new film
promoted as 'From the producers of From Dusk Till Dawn'.
The Dead Matter that throws vampires, zombies, horror, comedy and the Gothic occult at its audience in hopes that enough sticks to warrant a cult-status following.
The Dead Matter throws vampires, zombies, horror, comedy and Gothic fantasy at its audience in a film that is promoted as being 'from the producers of From Dusk Till Dawn'. Tom Savini is the most noteworthy name in a film about a young woman named Gretchen (Sean Serino) who is desperate to connect with her dead brother and discovers an ancient amulet that has the power to control the dead.
The amulet is of particular interest to Vellich (Andrew Divoff of Wishmaster fame) an ancient vampire who has yet to read fashion magazines informing him that 1980's hair is long out of style and Sebed (Tom Savini of From Dusk Till Dawn) who are at odds in a feud that has spanned for eons.
Complicating matters for Vellich and Sebed is a vampire hunter named McCallister (Jason Carter) who will eventually team up with Gretchen and her three friends Mike, Jill and Frank in an attempt to keep the impending evil at bay. A confrontation of both parties will be the climax of the film's final chapters and will house a few surprises and some slightly above average make-up and special effects to keep The Dead Matter with the enjoyable range of the entertainment meter.
The Dead Matter reminded us a lot of the old 1980 second tier horror films such as Warlock and Wishmaster. Its production values are good enough to keep us involved and the film knows well enough not to take itself too seriously which only adds to the enjoyment factor.
Our particular liking was the storyline that dealt with a zombie that appears in Gretchen's bedroom and is controlled by commands by the beholder of the amulet. The zombie's attempts at drinking beer or eating snacks at the dinner table drive the humor at just the moment that The Dead Matter required an infusion of fresh air (zombie's are referred to as "Post-Mortem Americans" in the film's most noteworthy bit of humor).
Directed and edited by Edward Douglas, The Dead Matter also features a musical score by Midnight Syndicate (which Ed Douglas founded in 1996) and the music is definitely notable and predominates throughout the film's 89-minute running time. It often adds to the mood and accompanying CD of tracks is well worth the additional purchase.
Far from perfect, but far from an independent throw-away, The Dead Matter was a pleasant surprise like a movie your eyes catch on a sleepless night and you can't turn away from.
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