Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Supernaturals (1986)

My relationship with director Armand Mastroianni is odd. I'm trying to find every horror/thriller movie he made and every time I find one I realize that it's not really that good. Sometimes even boring, or just lacking "it". But why the hell do I continue to seek up his work? There must be something in what he does that attracts me. Maybe he has good ideas that never reach their full potential? I have no idea. The Supernaturals is a zombie movie made when horror movies started to fade out from mainstream culture, which means it's low on gore and terror, but has a childish approach to it's themes that's more connected to movies like The Gooniss and The Monster Squad, but still not suitable for kids.

Nichelle Nicolas, the female afro-american version of Cameron Mitchell (just look at those eyebrows!) leads a troup of soldiers for an exercise out in the deep southern forests (I have no idea if it's the south, but it sounded good!). What they don't know - as usual with these horror romps - is that the area is cursed and underneath the ground awaits a small army of civil war zombies to kill them and take revenge on their deaths!

That's it. And it takes some time to get going. My reaction to the first half was that it was flat and uninspired. Like Mastroianni just didn't care for either the flashbacks or the normal life of the soldiers. I can agree, because that's the least interesting in the whole movie - and it never works as a good set-up either. But when the night finally falls and the zombies awake and becomes more active I would say that this becomes a good little zombie movie. I love how the zombies has tunnels underground and sets out traps for the soldiers, which also generates a couple of the very few bloody scenes in the whole movie. I'm not sure if it was edited for violence, but it could have used some more to really make up for the boring first part.

Maybe it would have worked better with more defined characters. Right now I can't remember any of them, except Nichelle Nichols - but that's because she's famous from Star Trek and it's fun that she of all people plays the officer in charge. The characters seem to melt together, and in the end it's the nice zombies who takes the lead. Yeah, almost forgot, Maxwell Caulfield plays one of the main characters and he's good. Weird that he didn't became a more popular mainstream hunk, instead of slumming in DTV movies and soap operas after this.

I can understand all the negative stuff I've heard about The Supernaturals, but it a few fun scenes here and there and the zombies and night-time locations was nice enough for me. Watch it on your own risk!

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