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Based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft, the undisputed master of the macabre, Dagon tells the story of Paul Marsh, a young man who discovers that the truth will not set him free instead it condemns him to a waking nightmare of unrelenting horror. A boating accident off the coast of Spain sends Paul and his girlfriend Barbara to the decrepit fishing village of Imboca looking for help. As night falls, people start to disappear and things not quite human start to appear. Paul finds himself pursued by the entire town. Running for his life, he uncovers Imboca's dark secret: that they pray to Dagon, a monstrous god of the sea. And Dagon's unholy offspring are freakish half-human creatures on the loose in Imboca...Written by
Friday Jones <email@example.com>
Brian Yuzna was in his car once with his wife, Kathy, and they were stopped by a gunman. Although terrified, Yuzna grabbed the gun and started smacking the guy with it. They ended up fighting, and Kathy started hitting the gunman with her cellphone to get him off Brian. She said "I've got to get a bigger cellphone," hence the use of the line in the film, which the filmmakers felt was representative of heroics of ordinary people. See more »
Near the beginning when Paul and Barbara are trying to get to the village in an inflatable raft, Barbara is clearly on the right side and Paul is on the left, mounting his oar. At about 16:38 the scene cuts and they are on opposite sides. See more »
Pablo, it is your destiny.
You stay away! I'll kill you all! I'll burn this fucking town to the ground!
We had different mothers, but the same father. We are children of Dagon.
You're a bunch of freaks. A bunch of fucking freaks!
Your dreams. Remember your dreams, Pablo. They brought you here.
No. They were nightmares. They weren't real.
Every dream is a wish.
Somebody help me! What's happening to me?
You are my brother. You will be my lover - forever.
[...] See more »
Dedicated to Francisco Rabal, a wonderful actor and even better human being. See more »
German version was edited by approx. 20 seconds to secure a "Not under 18" rating. See more »
Genuinely scary film that deals with the theme of innocent people stranded in a dangerous, foreign land
In "Dagon", Paul and his girlfriend, Barbara, go on a trip to Spain, but after suffering an accident with their boat, they end up stranded in a gloomy harbor port called Imboca. After a series of incidents, Paul becomes separated from his girlfriend, so he goes on a search all around the town to find her. For some reason, the villagers from Imboca are out to get Paul, but he manages to escape the angry horde. Through the story of a homeless guy named Ezequiel, Paul learns that several years ago, there was a fish shortage in the town of Imboca, which caused a lot of despair among the villagers. One day, an evil sailor introduced the townspeople to a new god called Dagon and forced them to abandon their catholic religion. Dagon eventually brought a lot of wealth to the town, but in return, he demanded live sacrifices and women to breed with him. Progressively, Imboca became a dark and isolated place, inhabited by fish-like creatures, which live to worship their beastly god. During Paul's search, he comes across a strange "girl" named Uxia, who is also the high priestess of the Order of Dagon and she seems to be in love with him. Paul decides to continue with his search, unaware of the fact that the townspeople, led by Uxia, want to offer Barbra as a sacrifice to Dagon.
Director Stuart Gordon offers a dark and even depressing atmosphere in this film that deals with the classic theme of innocent people stranded in a deserted place, where they meet a gruesome fate. While the story is simple, as it mostly features Paul escaping from the angry villagers, it manages to provide an hour and a half of genuine horror with dignity, avoiding never ending fillers that lead to nothing. In some way, I suppose "Dagon" may sound similar to a zombie flick, but in this case, it seems like the angry horde actually has something personal against Paul, which makes the whole thing more intriguing, since we don't get to know why, until the very end. Paul's quest becomes exciting, as we get to see the mysteries surrounding Imboca slowly unraveling.
My main satisfaction with this film is due to the perfect location, because I believe that the filming locations are very relevant in these types of horror films, where the setting usually works as another character that interacts with the rest. The fictional town of Imboca (which is actually called Combarro) makes the perfect horror scenery for this nightmare-like story; it looks frightening, even depressing, and it is always raining heavily throughout the entire film, which makes things even more difficult for the main character. Aside from the Combarro landscapes, we see a decaying hotel that seems to have been deserted for a long time, which gives a feeling of uneasiness and discomfort. Abandoned places always seem to provoke distress, because they give the feeling that they are cut out from the rest of society, the modern civilized word and its false securities. The Spanish architecture of the houses and mansions are somehow more unpolished and rustic than the architecture that we normally see in American horror films, and I find this rusticity to be also frightening, as it gives me the idea that the people from this place have some kind of a ferocious nature and aren't exactly tamed.
As for the bizarre villains, which in this case are mostly the townspeople, I thought this was a great achievement; the idea of merging humans and sea creatures as the main antagonists is perfect. These characters hardly ever talk, they mostly make strange noises, they walk around in a weird animalistic way, and most of them cover their pale fish-like faces with scarves and the rest of their bodies with black hooded raincoats. In a way, it reminded me of a zombie film, since these villagers move together in a horde without a mind, chasing the only humans in the town, because they want something from them. Of course, I have seen my share of zombie films and while I can enjoy them from time to time, I found these strange fish-like creatures to be more interesting and scary. The music in "Dagon", composed by Carl Cases is also very fitting. We mostly get to hear the same music throughout the entire film, in which a woman and a chorus of men chant a darkly appealing melody that helps to create a mystical and depressing atmosphere.
Of course, I don't think "Dagon" is the perfect film. My main problem with this film is the bad CGI; not only because it looks extremely cheap and amateurish, but also, because it is completely unnecessary. This film could have been much better without this horrible CGI, and while I cannot say that this ruined the movie for me, it cheapens it considerably. I have another criticism concerning the dialogs. Though "Dagon" mostly doesn't provide humor, unlike some of Gordon's previous horror films, I'm sure some of the dialogs in this film are supposed to be intentionally funny, and while I chuckled like it was intended, I find the humor to be out of place in a film like this.
Based on "The Shadow over Innsmouth", this film is mostly regarded by Lovecraft fans as a noble effort that actually remains true to the atmosphere and structure of his story. In any case, Dennis Paoli, who writes most of the scripts for Gordon, deserves recognition as well, since "Dagon" doesn't take everything directly from Lovecraft's story. The film deals with a few recurring Lovecraftian elements, such as the impossibility to escape fate, religion and non-human influences on humanity, among others.
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