A blind army veteran moves into a retirement community where people and animals have been mysteriously dying off.
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
Starring: Nick Damici, Ethan Emby, Lance Guest, Tina Louise
Ambrose (Nick Damici) is a blind Vietnam vet who is moving into a retirement community and already picking out headstones for his own funeral. His son, Will (Ethan Embry) helps him move but seems more in a hurry to get back to his late dinner with his wife. After meeting a few neighbors, some of whom he was humorously rude to (“I’d see you to the door, but I’m blind.”) and one old woman, his neighbor, Delores (Karen Lynn Gorney) whom he found to be pleasant.
That night he hears some violent commotion at Delores’ house when suddenly a large creature breaks into his home and attacks him and his Seeing Eye dog, Shadow. Shadow is killed protecting Ambrose and the creature leaves the house. Ambrose begins to investigate the attack and comes to the conclusion that it must be something supernatural and believes that someone in the community may be the creature. He believes that he has one month to prepare for a battle with the creature and begins setting up his house and talking to people around the neighborhood. He suspects nearly everyone including Father Roger (Tom Noonan).
His son doesn’t believe that anything is going on except an animal attack and decides to drop some big news that he will be moving away and won’t be able to see his father any more. Ambrose, now alone, and facing what could be his last days, prepares for a battle harder than anything he’s ever faced before. He has his cunning, wits, weapons, and army training. Who needs eyes?
Ahh…werewolf movies. I love werewolf movies but only a select few do I ever find myself watching several times. Some of my favorites include: An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Wolfen, Bad Moon, A Company of Wolves, Silver Bullet and Dog Soldiers to name a few. Well now I can add Late Phases to this list of favorites. This movie has a very strong cast of actors. Nick Damici is an amazing actor from Mulberry St. and Stakeland (an fantastic vampire film), Ethan Embry from Dutch (yeah..he was the bratty kid), Tom Noonan from Wolfen, Tales from the Darkside, Robocop 2, and just a whole lot more movies. This movie even has Tina Louise (Ginger from Gilligan’s Island).
Damici is by far the great stand out actor in this movie. His role as Ambrose reminds me of Clint Eastwood’s character from Grand Torino. He’s this older, gruff, war vet who just would rather be left alone than meet new people. The only other character that I really liked was Tom Noonan as Father Roger, mainly because I enjoy seeing Noonan on screen. He manages to play any of his roles with some creepy flair that is fun to watch.
The movie as a whole really is a great movie. It’s like a mating of Grand Torino with Silver Bullet. The cinematography is good; the storyline works really well, music isn’t too bad but nothing special. The special effects you can tell were attempting to mirror what Rick Baker did in An American Werewolf in London as the F/X team tried to duplicate that transformation almost exactly. Unfortunately they didn’t quite get it done, but they did well nonetheless. I will say that the werewolf didn’t look as good as from the movies I listed above, but I did like the look of it. It was fun trying to guess who the werewolf was too but I wasn’t surprised when they revealed it. I had one of those, “oh yeah, of course it was that character” type of moments.