Director – Edward Douglas
Cast – Andrew Divoff, Jason Carter, Tom Savini, Sean Serino, Tom Nagel, C.B. Spencer, Christopher Robichaud, Brian Van Camp, Donna Williams
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I was very excited to get my hands on The Dead Matter after reading on the film for the last year or so, which played heavily into my strong disappointment of this piece. The storyline is relative to the vampire-esque storylines we were given decades ago, as with Subspecies, and while the storyline was unique for this day and age both the writing and direction were poor and resulted in a very mediocre film at best.
The Dead Matter tells the tale of an old vampire relic with occult powers that falls into the hands of Gretchen, a young woman still grieving over the death of her brother, who will do anything in her newly acquired power to bring him back from the dead.
From the get-go I was digging The Dead Matter due to its pseudo-fantasy element, which also reminded me a lot of Subspecies, and a storyline that I was anticipating to be a great one dealing with the power of grief. INSTEAD, what I got was a storyline that after the first act felt bland and never really gave me anything interesting to see. There were a few developments thrown in here and there, and we get some cool genre shout-outs involving zombies and fun usage of horror gore maestro Tom Savini, but in the end there was nowhere near enough engaging material to keep me enthused in what was going on. The story is more than what the plot summary entails as there is also a vehement vampire on a deadly search for the very relic that Gretchen has in her possession, and while he delivered some pretty sweet kills I did not find him all that enjoyable.
Director Edward Douglas did what he could with the low $2,000,000 budget he had to work with, and it shows at times. He managed to bring forth colorful sets and fairly good atmosphere, which along with some cool live-action gore scenes made up for the lack of potential the story failed to produce, but end the end Douglas’ directing execution also suffered. I expected some decent cheese going into this, but the level of cheese was a bit too high for my liking, and no not that good 70s/80s cheese, but straight-up DTV quality cheese that should have be worthy of the buzz the film has attained.
Overall, The Dead Matter is a flick that I really wanted to like but sadly came off as just another mediocre horror film not living up to the buzz or it’s potential. We get a unique storyline seldom used in our modern time, but sadly Douglas’ writing and direction kept it from delivering anything special, with just mediocrity in the end.