Often imaginative and surprisingly accomplished within the limits of its ultra-low budget, Eric Stanze's 8mm horror fantasy pits seven mortals against a demented demon who rules his own dimension of wickedness. Unhappy Alison (Ramona Midgett) climbs into her bath and slits her wrists with a box cutter, only to find a surprise waiting in the next world. Alison's soul is intercepted by a mysterious emissary acting on behalf of both the angels in Heaven and the demons in Hell. The emissary tells Alison that centuries ago, an evil wizard created a dimension of cruelty encased in ice, and ruled over it with his human apprentice, Abraham (DJ Vivona). At regular intervals, six unfortunates were sucked into this dimension to be tortured and killed; their agonies fed Abraham's tainted soul, and he eventually metamorphosed into a god-like being called the Presence. Abraham/the Presence overthrew the wizard, uniting angels and demons in the conviction that he must be stopped. But as disembodied beings, they can't enter his kingdom, which is where Alison comes in. Her spirit reunited with her body, she's sent into the dark dimension under cover of a fresh batch of victims: Dana (Angela Zimmerly), Aaron (Todd Tevlin), Matt (Jason Christ), Keith (the late Tommy Biondo), Pam (Tracey Hein) and Buck (Jo Palermo). As the new casualties are horribly killed in ways that reflect their most painful fears, Alison searches for Abraham, whom she must force to remember his human existence so he'll become vulnerable to his supernatural enemies. Kudos to grassroots filmmaker Stanze for pulling off a project this ambitious on what was clearly a microscopic budget, though it would be easier going if it were half an hour shorter. Most of the running time is taken up by the victims' torments, which range from silly (pretty Pam's nightmare of being a dog-faced girl at a cheap carnival) to the genuinely disturbing, notably resourceful Dana's brutal death. But once you get through all the backstory (most of it delivered in a long monologue), the premise is pretty simple, and at two hours the murky sound, muddy low-light images and frequently dreadful acting are a little tough to take. That said, Stanze pulls out all the stops in movie's virtuoso opening, which features rapid-fire montage, color and B&W footage, solarization, scratched film and tinted footage, accompanied by a hissing, static-y sound effects that create a genuine air of dread.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: Often imaginative and surprisingly accomplished within the limits of its ultra-low budget, Eric Stanze's 8mm horror fantasy pits seven mortals against a demented demon who rules his own dimension of wickedness. Unhappy Alison (Ramona Midgett) climbs into h… (more)