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06-12-2004, 08:09 PM
Review Date: July 16, 2002
Released by: Lions Gate
Release date: 7/30/2002
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot1s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot1l.jpg) Dot-com millionaire (before the bubble burst, no doubt) Paul (Ezra Godden) and his girlfriend Barbara (Raquel Meroņo) are out sailing off the Spanish coast. With them is Howard (Brendan Price), a major investor in Paul's company, and his wife Vicki (Birgit Bofarull). Paul is uneasy over some bizarre dreams he's been having the past few days, all of which involve a beautiful and mysterious mermaid. In an attempt to get Paul to relax a little, Barbara throws his laptop overboard. Before any of them have a chance to settle down and relax, a sudden storm moves in, causing severe damage to the boat. Below deck, Vicki's leg becomes trapped in a damaged section of the hull and sustains a serious injury. With the boat rendered inoperable, Paul and Barbara have no choice but to leave their friends behind and use a raft to get help at the nearby coastal town.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot2s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot2l.jpg) When they arrive on shore, Paul and Barbara find a seemingly deserted town. Eventually they find a priest (Ferrán Lahoz) in what appears to be some sort of church. The priest sends Paul off with some fisherman to rescue Howard and Vicki, while Barbara stays on land to inform the police and get a doctor. Paul and the fisherman arrive at the boat, only to find that Howard and Vicki have disappeared. When Paul returns to shore, the priest informs him that Barbara went off to get the police and that he should wait for her at the nearby hotel. At the hotel, Paul meets a strange looking desk clerk - the first of the town's many strange inhabitants Paul will encounter. Eventually Paul manages to get a "roomo" that is "upstairso."
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot3s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot3l.jpg) While waiting for Barbara to return, Paul's adventure begins. When he goes out on the balcony to take a look at the town, several of the townsfolk spot him. They chase him through the hotel as if they make out to kill him; he manages to narrowly escape. When he encounters Ezequiel (Francisco Rabal), an old drunk living on the streets, Paul begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the town and its inhabitants, as well as his connection to them. Now Paul must step up to the challenge and become the reluctant hero in order to find his friends and escape before its too late.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot4s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot4l.jpg) Dagon has all the elements I'd want in a horror movie: action, adventure, humor, a good story, and good acting. I purposely left the plot outline vague - even leaving out major characters - as to not ruin the movie for anyone. The special effects aren't the greatest, which isn't surprising for a low budget movie. I've read people complaining about the chase sequence with Paul being too long; I couldn't disagree more. The chase sequence with Paul and the townsfolk is an essential part of the story. It introduces major characters and helps develop Paul's character, showing the viewer who he is and who he ultimately becomes.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot5s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot5l.jpg) Acting performances all around are exceptional. I absolutely love Ezra Godden as Paul; his character reminds me of Ash (Bruce Campbell) from Evil Dead, only on a much lesser scale. Raquel Meroņo does a fine job as Barbara; it's interesting to see her character develop and change throughout the movie, especially in conjunction with Paul's. Fans will no doubt enjoy her nude scenes as well. The character of Uxia (Macarena Gomez) - you'll learn more about her character during the movie - will be enjoyed by many for her beauty, mystery, and a few other things you're sure to appreciate.
Dagon moves along nicely and does a good job of holding the viewers attention. At times you'll be on the edge of your seat, wondering what's coming next. The character development is superb; as a viewer I found myself caring for many of them, even the not-so-good ones. Believe me, you're in store for many surprises in Dagon. There's not a lot of gore, but there's some and it is quite extreme. I highly recommend Dagon. It's an entertaining film on all fronts; horror fans are sure to enjoy it.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot6s.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_shot6l.jpg) Dagon is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that is 16x9 enhanced. Overall it's a good transfer, though there are some minor problems. My main gripe would be with the minor MPEG artifacts that appear in the underwater scenes. Fortunately, there aren't a lot of underwater scenes, which means there aren't a lot of artifacts. Some scenes do appear soft and lacking in detail, but overall the image is clean and sharp. There are also several scenes that contain light grain. Colors are consistently vibrant and flesh tones appear accurate. No visible print damage was evident, which isn't surprising for such a recent movie, but you never know with these low budgets. I'm rating this one with a B.
Dagon includes a decent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. LFE activity is light but kicks in nicely during the storm sequence and a few action scenes. Surround activity is also light, occuring in just a handful of scenes. Dialogue and soundtrack are consistently clear with no distortion.
English and Spanish subtitles are also included.
http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_menus.jpg (http://www.horrordvds.com/reviews/a-m/dagon/dagon_menul.jpg) This special edition DVD of Dagon contains some enjoyable extras. There are two commentary tracks on the DVD: one with director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli, the other with director Stuart Gordon and actor Ezra Godden. The first track is Stuart and Dennis; the two are old friends (they were college roommates) and are quite comfortable discussing their collaboration on Dagon. Much of the commentary focuses on comparison between the film and the two H.P. Lovecraft stories it's based on. They point out the many differences between the film and the stories, as well as the similarities. Next is the commentary with director Stuart Gordon and actor Ezra Godden. This commentary focuses more on the actors and their specific characters, as well as their behind-the-scenes experiences filming Dagon. It's a good commentary, though Ezra doesn't talk all that much.
Wrapping up the extras are a theatrical trailer (look for the rather obvious Easter Egg containing trailers to other Lions Gate movies); storyboards for Paul's Dream, S.O.S., and Car Escape; and production art. All and all some decent extras here.
Dagon is a modern day classic if there ever was one. This movie has all the elements needed for an entertaining horror film; I highly recommend it. It's a darker, and certainly more serious film than than Re-Animator is, but I have no doubt horror fans will enjoy it just as much. Kudos to Lions Gate for releasing such a great special edition DVD of Dagon. The commentary tracks are enjoyable, as were the storyboards and production art. Given the very reasonable $24.99 price tag, this DVD is a must buy for all horror fans.
Movie - A-
Image Quality - B
Sound - B
Supplements - B+
24 Chapter Stops
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Commentary with director Stuart Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli
Commentary with director Stuart Gordon and actor Ezra Godden
10-02-2007, 07:45 PM
Did not know there was an official review for this; good to see. There appears to be some HTML issues, though, Dave, in the review. FYI.
I will definitely purchase this come the next DD sale.
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