Beneath Still Waters (Widescreen)
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I'd probably have passed the one up altogether were it not based on a Matthew Costello novel. I had no idea when I sat down to watch it that it was directed by Stuart Gordon protege Brian Yuzna, who's done some very interesting stuff over the years (though, to be fair, some not-so-interesting stuff as well). Yuzna, as Gordon before him (with Dagon), heads over to Spain, presumably to make a cheaper movie, casts a few minor personages on their way up and some established Spanish stars, and injects as much Lovecraftian silliness into this manuscript as he possibly can. But for the production values and Yuzna's slightly less-steady hand, this might as well be a Gordon flick, and I mean that as praise.
In 1965, the small Spanish town of Marienbad is to be flooded when a dam is built to supply power to the new neighboring town, Desbaria. Two children are investigating the town before it gets flooded, and they discover something horrific-- four people chained in the basement of one of the houses. One of them sets the leader free and is killed for his troubles; the other flees, retreating into insanity for the rest of his days. Fast-forward to the fortieth anniversary of the dam, and Desbaria is putting on a celebration. It's drawn Dan Quarry, a journalist (Michael McKell, of the long-running daytime soap Doctors) who's doing a story on the sunken town, and Teresa Borgia (Raquel Merono, who showed up-- surprise!-- in Dagon), daughter of the last mayor of Marienbad and the first mayor of Desbaria, a plucky news reporter. (For there must always be a plucky news reporter.) Teresa's daughter, Clara (Charlotte Salt, of the upcoming Beowulf), London born and bred, is desperately bored with the small town. Until all hell breaks loose, that is.Read more ›
This is a Spanish film shot in English with Spanish actors - so expect a huge latitude of accents (from laughable to hilarious). The story starts from a promising (an old village submerged by a big dam) and sinks fast into cliché (there was a devilish population of orgiastic devil worshipers there who suddenly come back 40 years after the fact to get some revenge).
The film could have been a nice thing if it was not for an ultimately bad script that boosts laughable characters, laughable situations, a contrived story and many many many genre clichés. The effects are not bad, but one would expect better ideas.
Mr. Yuzna, who is a talented director, keeps working with bad scripts and ruining his reputation. He should make less films and better ones. This is a Spanish quickie project made to exploit the relationship between the Spanish producer and the American distributor. Beware!
It begins with two boys, Teo and Luis, who stumble across the flooded remains of an abandoned church. Venturing inside, they find people tied up and in obvious distress, so poor Teo does what anyone might do - release them. Big mistake, as this frees Mordecai Sales (Patrick Gordon, doing his best Julian Beck impression), who is some sort of demonically-powered cultist. Mordecai enjoys getting really intimate with his victims - you could say he's fond of deep kissing, if that deep kiss happens to involve ripping your jaw open and biting your tongue.
It's pretty clear from the beginning that the normal taboos American horror films avoid, like mutilating children, won't hinder Spanish producer Brian Yuzna. And in that regard Beneath Still Waters is eager to shock, be it bizarre orgy scenes, over-the-top demonic worship by priests and nuns, or priests and nuns molesting goats in an orgy scene. American cinema did all this in the 70s; if you see something like this nowadays it's usually played with a wink. Yuzna plays it straight though, which gives the whole film a surreal retro vibe.
Forty years later, the town of Marienbad is celebrating the anniversary of the Desbaria Dam. Thanks to the Dam the town is dry, but Desbaria is forgotten, submerged by the floodwaters and long forgotten. Enter journalist Dan Quarry (Michael McKell) and news reporter Teresa Borgia (Raquel Merono).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Comically horrific! We really enjoyed watching this movie. It will not scare you to death but it is definitely entertaining.Published 11 months ago by bridget
A spiritual power is killing an entire town and is about to go global until the town builds a dam causing a flood to form a river over the cursed town. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Mark J. House
THIS MOVIE WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED--A REAL STINKEROO--I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS DVD-- I'M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE WHY THE FILM COMPANY EVEN MADE IT!!!Published 20 months ago by Carolyn Stanley
This was another strange offering. I think I liked it. I can say I did not hate it. Near the end i was hoping they would get around to it already and wrap whatever it was they were... Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by TJ Brown
great video quality and im a brian yuzna fan but this movie drags and has terrible acting off kilter tonal choices !Published on December 20, 2012 by Daniel Fouts
Director Brian Yuzna's Beneath Still Waters (2005) is a supernatural tale where the various pieces don't quite mesh, but the film does feature some thrills, gore, uneven special... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by trebe
This movie had great potential. But... its ends up being a stinker.
The concept is great. In the 1930s the WPA dams a river to create a reservoir. Read more