Posted: 03/27/2005

 

Polymorph

(1996)

by Barry Meyer



Fun-loving college kids tangle with gangsters and aliens. Purchase this DVD here.


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A group of sexed-up college kids (amongst them are director JR Bookwalter alums James L. Edwards and Ariauna Albright) are called upon by their Professor to help search deep into the forest for a fallen meteorite. Unable to locate their fallen mentor or the fallen meteor, the interns instead discover an isolated cabin with a dead body inside—and a lethal gang of drug-runners there to protect their loot. Little does any of them know, the crashed meteorite has brought with it an organism that can emulate anything it comes into contact with — one of them being the dead body inside the cabin. Soon, dead bodies start walking, all their transportation and contact is cut off, and nobody can figure out exactly who’s who…and no one is quite sure how to kill something that they can’t even find!

If you’re a seasoned Indie no-budget splatter horror fan, then you won’t mind the typical Indie no-budget splatter horror film acting and camera work. Edwards has been in several flicks before, but it was great to see that his acting has never improved. I always get a kick out of watching unintentionally bad acting—it’s so much more fun than the intentionally campy turns in crap like The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. But, even more enjoyable was the Italian dude who played one of the gangsters — just listening to him trying to make sense of his own dialogue was brilliant. And seeing him “dangling” from a cliff that was really just a slope was plain hilarious.

JR Bookwalter is probably one of the only no-budget, splatter heavy, shot-on-video, Indie filmmakers that I really don’t mind viewing. He has a career (in fact, I think his success is well-deserved), mainly because he understands the importance of storytelling (or at least, the importance of plain having a story), even in the cheapest, most mico-budgeted fare. Most of the Indie-Horror stuff I get sent is from fanboy, backyard filmmakers (unfortunately, several are on Bookwalter’s own DVD label Tempe/Splatter Rampage) who do little more than duplicate cool plot lines and action from other, more noteworthy movies. But Bookwalter can always be depended on for doing his own thing and taking some chances with his flicks (the ending of Polymorph has a rather sadistically satisfying character twist). His flicks may not always succeed, but they’re more often than not worth their weight in popcorn.

Barry Meyer has morphed into a puddle of radioactive gel in the bowels of Jersey.



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