Digging up the Marrow Movie Review
Written by Richelle Charkot
DVD released by Image Entertainment
Written and directed by Adam Green
2014, 88 minutes, Not rated
Blu-ray and DVD released on March 24th, 2015 | VOD released on February 20th, 2015
Ray Wise as William Dekker
Adam Green as Himself
Will Barratt as Himself
Rileah Vanderbilt as Herself
With an explosion of bad-for-the-sake-of-bad horror films in the recent decade, it's refreshing whenever a filmmaker does cheese justice, because some in the sub-genre tend to dampen the charm and become mind numbingly tired. Adam Green's knack for a new age of camp is wonderfully subtle. He consistently takes a premise that is outlandish and does it with as much seriousness as possible, which results in a palatable and fun watch to what he creates. Digging up the Marrow, starring the legendary Ray Wise (Twin Peaks), is a creative and unique ride from beginning to end, with practical monsters that are interesting in spite of their ridiculous aesthetic. This is a movie genuinely unlike anything before it, and is worth the watch if only to see Kane Hodder crack jokes about pornography.
Digging up the Marrow is fictitious documentary following Adam Green and his crew, with Ray Wise as the only actor not playing himself. Green is in the midst of filming a piece about genre monster art, when he receives a letter from William Dekker (Wise) explaining that he believes he has found an underworld lair in which he calls the Marrow, where mutated monsters reside and occasionally surface throughout the night. At first, Green and his crew are skeptical (albeit somewhat hopeful) of the allegations and somewhat reluctantly agree, but before long, they are dragged in further than they possibly could have expected.
This film is a marvelous example of what a low budget can accomplish. The dialogue (which can be assumed is primarily ad-libbed) is enormously fun to listen to due to the fact that everyone has such a profound rapport with each other. Several times (especially during the aforementioned Hodder scene) there are moments of laugh-out-loud worthy jokes, which adds to the overall atmosphere of the movie. Ray Wise is also perfectly cast as Dekker, as he is often at his best when he is playing a character that is on the cusp of being a caricature, but rooted in his unsettling and serious demeanour. During the scenes with Dekker taking Green to the Marrow's entrance, there is a very effective amount of tension. I found myself squinting to look and see if I could spot any monstrous inhabitants, yet squirming in my seat at the idea of actually being able to see one.
Horror fans can also breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that the mutants are made with practical effects, and in no way computer animated. Although this makes for a somewhat cheap look, it suits the tone to the rest of the film well. Any moment where a monster jumps out doesn't feel cheap and angering like most jump scares in modern films do, it feels more like walking through a theme park haunted house.
Adam Green's Digging up the Marrow is a perfect palate cleanser for a tired mind, with its simple yet tight plot, and multiple opportunities for giggles for fans of horror.