Though several of the characters in TALISMAN are the victims of ritualized sacrifice, the only thing that's truly sacrificed in this by-the-numbers horror outing is the element of surprise. It's all been done before elsewhere--and to a finer turn.
Teenaged Elias (Billy Parish) arrives at the Gornek International School for Boys, where overbearing administrator Mrs. Greynitz (Oana Stefanescu) warns against fraternizing with her daughter Elizabeth (Ilinca Goia). Elias has been plagued by nightmares about his parents, who died after conjuring
up a black angel (Costi Barbulescu)--who is now stalking the school, pulling out the boys' hearts. Dr. Jarod (Claudiu Trandafir) tells Elias that a talisman he has seen in his dreams is the key to a ritual involving seven sacrificial victims that will plunge the world into eternal darkness. Elias
later finds out that Elizabeth is only Mrs. Greynitz's adopted daughter.
The black angel kills two more boys, and Elias sees Mrs. Greynitz and Elizabeth in the room from whence their screams came. He reveals to Dr. Jarod that he was led to the school by a letter from his sister, whom he previously thought dead. Mrs. Greynitz kills Dr. Jarod, and Elias finds himself on
an altar with Elizabeth standing over him. She is in fact his sister, possessed by evil forces. The black angel kills Mrs. Greynitz; Elizabeth tries to convince Elias to join her in completing the ritual, but he kills her instead.
Utilizing a plot similar to another production from the Full Moon company, SHRIEKER (1998)--and quite similar to the previously produced DEAD WATERS (also 1998)--TALISMAN whisks us off to a school so exclusive that it only has seven students, yet more than half of them vanish before anyone notices
that something's amiss. The film then attempts to involve us in a mystery whose answers are transparently obvious from the get-go (who could Elias's grown-up sister be? Could she be the only teenaged girl in the entire place?) and to scare us with a demonic fiend who resembles THE ADDAMS FAMILY's
Uncle Fester after a three-day drunk. As are many Full Moon productions, the film was shot on location in Romania, but even the picturesque locations can't add life to the proceedings.
Director Victoria Sloan (a.k.a. David DeCoteau) seems more concerned with showing off his young actors in their underwear than bringing any variety to his staging of their deaths: Each time, the black angel plunges his hand into the victim's chest, and the boy screams as blood sprays all over him
from various directions (yet there's none on either the victim or the killer in the reverse shots). The lack of a music credit indicates that the score was patched together out of bits and pieces from other Full Moon movies--an approach entirely in keeping with the rest of TALISMAN. (Graphicviolence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: Though several of the characters in TALISMAN are the victims of ritualized sacrifice, the only thing that's truly sacrificed in this by-the-numbers horror outing is the element of surprise. It's all been done before elsewhere--and to a finer turn. Teenage… (more)