Three vignettes intertwine a common theme of the undead are delivered along with the reanimation of a buried undertaker. The dark man has diabolical plans to bring his infectious deeds and tales thereof to the world beyond. One obstacle stands in his way, a visionary of all that represents light and opposition of pure evil.
Directed By: Damian Morter
Starring: Stuart Wolfenden, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Damian Morter, Sam Cullingworth, Tim McGill Grieveson
The lead character known simply as the dark man is creepy, spooky, chilling and reminiscent of the Undertaker character Mark Calloway of the WWE of decades. His very emotionless expression strikes fear and intimidation into the hearts of bystanders, making this character as iconic to horror as Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers or Freddy Kruger. Director Damian Morter holds the key to creating the next big figure in terror. After this installment I eagerly await the possibility of a sequel. Trust me chiller fans this is not a sentence you hear in our darkened realm every day.
From the opening sequence of varying corpses walking in a wide angle shot, forever fixated with soulless eyes, this film grips you by the short and curlies and is relentless in letting go.
Each story or vignette if you prefer is approximately thirty minutes in length and executed with finesse, precision that truly delivers a punch full of emotion, dread, suspense and unease. It’s an ideal format that’s worked in countless cases such as the Twilight Zone, Tales of The Crypt, etc. Eschatrilogy if not a premiere movie would make a wonderful television series that would surely give other zombielore such as The Walking Dead a real run for its money.
Perhaps one obstacle in making this hidden British gem a series is the superb, over the top special effects and make up. For fans of crimson, fear not there is copious amounts of blood and gore. Yet somehow it doesn’t come across as subservient or gratuitous, to really feel the horror of protagonists, the gore is a most deserved expose. Each story raises the tension and emotion in ample time; no easy feat for such limitations. We get to know the characters quickly, sensing their family values and attributes that make them such effective protagonists. It is unsettling and disturbing to see the helpless victims devoured by the insatiable undead. The elements of drama and tenderness may seem out of place in contemporary horror, yet to truly captivate the audience on a psychological level they’re every bit as paramount as things that go bump in the night. Morter preys upon the psyche with ease alluding to a promising future in today’s horror scene.
The acting is top notch, especially for a low budget production. The music is riveting as well reminiscent of a Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, Metallica stew.
Remarkably Eschatrilogy slips into the micro-budget category of productions. This film was made on a modest five thousand UK pounds. What’s most impressive is the final product does not convey a production of lower value whatsoever. In fact I do believe Morter’s endeavor could quite easily stand toe to toe in comparison to many block buster budgets of today. In many cases I feel audiences will agree Eschatrilogy would surely prevail.
The British may very well be re-cementing themselves in the annals of horror cinematography history in homage to Alfred Hitchcock. The endings of each of these stories have just the right twist of dementia to keep you beginning for more.
Really there is very little that is disappointing about this film. The very beginning seemed a little confusing, perhaps too elusive and unclear. It was difficult to determine some of the relevance initially. My primary concern is that perhaps some viewers may reject this film before the real excitement begins. It also seemed to end right at a point where you couldn’t wait for the next tale. Then again superb film making is all about resonating with the audience long after the fact. Don’t just take my word for it. Look for Eschatrilogy to scoop up a handful of industry related awards in the forthcoming months, proving that the zombie genre is indeed still alive and well.
-Four out of five tombstones
The Eschatrilogy (2012)