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Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Unearthed (2004)

Film Review: Unearthed (2004)

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When a downtown Tampa high rise project results in the discovery of ancient Indian artifacts, a brilliant but idealistic young archaeologist, Mallory Page (Kate Kissingford), steps in to preserve the native Tequesta Indian history of site. On the eve of her team’s eviction from the dig by the powerful politics of local progress, a discovery awaits – a discovery so profound that a bloody conflict spanning centuries and light years is about to spill into the backstreets and alleys of an unsuspecting city, and Mallory Page is caught in the middle. But a tough, seasoned Tampa detective, Victor Tonelli (Tom Savini), knows the series of brutal slayings erupting from the city’s waterfront district is anything but normal, and he’s determined to bring the killers to justice and to unravel the mystery that has been Unearthed.


So what does deformed bones, Indian parts, diseased bums and John Doe all have in common? If you guess “Unearthed” then you are correct. A small production that has some pretty cool costume design by Melanie Dean. Tom Savini gets a choice role as Victor Tonelli, a hard nosed street smart cop who begins to worry when dead bodies start showing up in dumpsters, especially a increase in dead vagrants. Though Tom doesn’t contribute to the FX work he does hold his weight as an actor. Other additions to the team include the pretty busy lately working actor Joe Davison who plays Victor’s partner Jeff Juransky. Plus a whole ensemble of talents to the mix.

Unearthed come at us with a sort of all inclusive type endeavor We got horror, sci-fi, and action. It begins under the premise of an archeological dig being excavated in the middle of the city. A court order has been presented for the team to vacate the premises so that the locals can get on with there corporation building. Dr. Mallory Page (Katharine Kissingford ) is key to finding the relic who hides it from the rest of the group. Though thinking its just a relic finds out that this particular dig has uncovered various Indian artifacts which appear to more important than they imagined. The importance of the Takesta artifacts as they are called begin a hunt of green blooded street zombies intent on claiming them. As other events unfold the cops are investigating the reports of 5 bodies within 24 hours.

Enter in our enigmatic leader, who calls himself Voss (John Bernath)intent on building a perfect society in an old abandoned warehouse. Those who disobey get killed or zapped with some sort of blood infecting injection. Voss is an alien who found this way on to Earth for a bigger purpose. He has brought plenty of Alien toys with him as well. Bug headed and all he is running a group of homeless on a mission. He also carries a pretty mean sword / gun contraption that he uses quite often.

Now as we get back to the artifacts, it appears that the archeologist has uncovered some important finds. Though the one in particular of interest is called a “Kife”. Voss of course wants this to further implement his plans. This Kife which looks like just a vase is explained as an astrophysics device that manipulates dark matter and energy. Fractals define states of all things including space and time. This Kife is a storage vessel of fractals.

Now if your confused, then that’s ok too…the film tries to be alot of things at once. One portion feels more like a cop shoot em up action thriller while another delves into horror scifi connections. Another portion seems rooted in Indian folklore and mythology. I think perhaps this could be tighter and streamed down to pull in more time on the more interesting elements.

Music is sprinkled though out with a adequate dose of punk, industrial metal songs to season the mood.

As a production, most of this is pretty low budget. Though it does have its moments that exceed the expectations. On one hand I might say that maybe the focus was too broad, though on another it did go for an original story which helped keep the interest up. I’m gonna say it was an ok film that I think fit the bill for the budget involved. Extra points goes to the killer makeup job they did on Voss, the alien. This film is first outing for writer director Craig Kovach which i’m sure he will improve as he takes on more productions. I’d like to see more focus on developing the look of the film to curb some of the low budget elements.

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