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July 10, 2015

Movie Review: Cellar Dweller / Catacombs (Blu-ray)

Reviewed By: James D.

Cellar Dweller stars Jeffrey Combs as a comic creator named Colin Childress. It so happens one day he decides to summon a demon through his work. When the demon starts to kill, the only way to stop it is to burn the paper he used to create this demon. We move 30 years after this and meet Whitney Taylor who is following in his footsteps and decides to move into his old house for inspiration. Well others have different plans as meet Mrs. Briggs and Amanda who is her art school rival and they want to get rid of her. As fate would have it Whitney decides to draw the Cellar Dweller comic and now we are back to the start and the creature has been set free to kill again. Cellar Dweller for years after its 80’s release became a cult favorite for what reason I have no earthly idea. The film is pretty bad by all standards. The story is sluggish; the plot is full of more holes than Rambo’s enemies. The creature in this film looks hokey and really does not scare the viewer. This film

I really thought Cellar Dweller lacked suspense and most importantly fun. It is just a long winded film that really tried hard, but it failed each time it even attempted. I would have liked to see this film at least embrace its badness and become so cheesy that you had to like it, but sadly it never did that. It just got so bad; it was going to get worst. This is that one film I wish would have stayed cult talk instead of being released.

The movie isn't a total waste, it has a few minutes here and there and Combs does his best with what he is given. Other than those two small positives, there is not much more left to talk about with this film.

Catacombs is our second feature and I am here to tell you, this one is on par with Cellar Dweller. This 1988 film beings in the 1500’s when The Inquisition looks into this possession claim at a monastery. They find his guy who seems to have possessed by a demon or something. He has been chained up in the Catacombs of the place. Well they decide to lock the demon away when they failed at delivering this exorcism. Well the demon is locked away without ever saying a word for all these years to the 1980’s when we meet Father Orsini who still thrives and he invites this American teacher named Elizabeth to stay at the monastery during her time in Italy. We learn that it is rare for a woman to stay in this place, which we really do not get much of an idea on why she is invited to break the rules but we are suckers so we follow and not ask questions.

You can assume why they want a female there, it is pretty self-explanatory as you follow. I remember seeing this film when it came out, because it has Class of 1984 baddie Timothy Van Patten in it. This film is just as forgettable as it is long and drawn out. David Schmoeller who directed this film made his living off of these cheap Full Moon films. To me his two best films were the Morgan Fairchild film The Seduction and Puppet Master. It is films like this I feel that were made so fast and cheaply to capitalize on the video era that really hurt where the genre was going. You have to think horror in the late 80’s to early 90’s took a break, and the films were not so fast releasing, until Scream changed it all. All in all, this film is just utter boredom and there is nothing positive I can add to that.

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