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Digging up the Marrow (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Adam Green

Starring:
Ray Wise/Dekker
Adam Green
Will Barratt
Rileah Vanderbilt
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
William Dekker (Ray Wise) contacts Adam Green (playing himself) through his ArieScope Pictures production company and tells him that he has a found a doorway to an underground monster filled metropolis. And before you can say “Nightbreed”, Green and his crew go and investigate. Are monsters truly in the house or is Dekker two cans short of a six pack?
THE LOWDOWN
ADAM GREEN’S DIGGING UP THE MARROW (watch it here) came out of left field for me, I didn’t even know that Green was working on a new flick and then POOF it appeared out of nowhere like a chick carrying your illegitimate child at your doorstep, with little fanfare beforehand. It is somewhat ironic being that the film has been in the works since 2010 and was only recently finished in 2014. You’d think I would have heard about it during all that time. But nope, NATHING! Maybe I should have my film radar checked out...

On that, I’m very happy I got to see this obvious labor of love. I had fun and respected its ambition and what it pulled off. DIGGING UP THE MARROW was inspired by artist Alex Pardee’s monstrous art and it played out as part documentary, part found footage and part mockumentory. Make sense? Let me TRY to clarify. Adam Green, Will Barratt and the rest of Green’s posse are making a documentary. Some of the stuff they shot was real while other parts were staged. Also, aside from Ray Wise (Who plays monster enthusiast William Dekker. A nod to David Cronenberg’s Philip K. Decker in Nightbreed perhaps?) everybody else played themselves. You got all that? No matter. The good news is that Green’s mish-mash of realities actually worked for the most part. His interaction with Wise and his peeps (Will Barratt and Rileah Vanderbilt did great here) was natural and credible, and the mix of convention footage (all about that Mick Garris and Tom Holland busting balls scene, I was on the floor), or bits of Green and cie grinding at the Studio lent further credibility to the whole. By result, when the supernatural shenanigans kicked in; they hit hard because I believed in the reality presented to me.

My favorite aspect about the film now that I think of it was its infectious build-up and how it managed to hook me in deep and keep me there (nice touch of using the creature drawings as foreboding in terms of things to come). I mean I too have an attraction with monsters, I’m pretty sure every die hard horror fan has one to varied degrees, and I was engrossed by the path I was being led down down and slyly at that! The happenings were cute and funny and then BAM the hammer was dropped on me Leatherface style when I least expected it. When the first creature finally popped up... man... nough said! The film went on to tap in and toy with my own fascination with the macabre. So for a while there... I was so in! Taken in by the premise, the mystery at hand, the funny dialogue and the engaging characters.

Shit I didn’t talk about Ray Wise yet. What can I say; I’m a huge fan of the guy (Leland baby, Leland) and he rarely does wrong in my book. Wise was intense and sympathetic even though he was an odd character that got creepy now and again. He sold the shenanigans at hand! What about Green you may ask? I am assuming that Adam Green played a variation of himself (No I never watched his TV show Holliston). I don’t know the dude in real life (met him once or twice but we’re not butt buddies), so I have no idea if this is who he is, or if it’s who he is pretending to be. Adam Green in the film though was likeable, funny, somewhat naive and also a bit of jerk. Although not as endearing as Wise, I still rooted for him and got on the edge of my edge when he started getting too close to da Marrow! Tag to that some mucho impressive creatures that killed it design and execution wise (one of them gave me Slimer flashbacks), groovy celeb cameos (like Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Don Coscarelli), the film's talent at "suggesting" (as opposed to spelling out) and some moments of potent tension and you get a flick that for the first hour or so kept rolling snake eyes! It could no wrong... until...  

The last act. It KILLED ME. I was loving the film thus far, the concept, the interaction between the folks, the Nightbreed meets Lovecraft world it was hinting at; I was engrossed in the happenings and riveted to the screen and then... the last act dropped. It’s first misstep was having our heroes STOP believing in Dekker, even after all that they had seen. That didn‘t feel authentic, just forced to shove the story in the direction it needed to go. And then we had one turn that made no damn sense and finally we had the last scene itself, which was underwhelming to say the least, leaving me on a limp note. As the end credits rolled, I couldn’t believe that a film that was so strong for so long could peter out just like that. It really felt like they had no idea as to how to end the film or didn’t have the money to end it right– so this is what they came up with and for me, it didn’t cut it. NOTE: Was it me or was there one too many Adam Green related t-shirts here? Does every body in the film shop at the Adam Green store? Was it a two for one sale somewhere?

So yeah to put it simply; DIGGING UP THE MARROW owned me hardcore for two acts and then told me to sit on it and spin via its last act. But hey that’s just my take on it! I read some reviews online after watching it and everybody was polishing this film’s knob and begging for second loads! So who knows! Maybe you’ll feel differently about it. Let me know below! Yo Joe!
GORE
There wasn't really any gore here, we did get a handful of icky monsters though.
T & A
Other than Green’s (now ex) wife showing off them legs in a t-shirt, nada!
BOTTOM LINE
DIGGING UP THE MARROW pimped out a cool initial premise, a clever found-footage cum doc/mockumentary angle that worked, an affable cast and Ray Wise owning that bitch like we all know he can! Furthermore, the film had some effective spooky moments, was aces at toying with my expectations and once its creatures were revealed; they came with cool designs and bang on executions. For the first hour, the picture tapped into my sense of awe and wonder when it comes to all things dark with skills. Which is why it blew shaved down goats that the last act tarnished it all with trivial character behavior, a WTF turn of event and a last scene that did little for me. Do with all of this what you will!
BULL'S EYE
DIGGING UP THE MARROW comes out today February 20, 2015 on VOD (WATCH IT HERE). The DVD (order here) and Blu-Ray (order here) release will go down on March 24, 2015. (GET IT HERE).
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3:23PM on 12/25/2015

I was letdown

REVIEW: What a disappointment. This movie had so much promise, but the execution was horrible and anti-climatic.

With horror icons, making guest appearances as themselves, except the story is treated as if the events are real, The Marrow was something I was really looking forward to. The design of the monsters (when they FINALLY appeared,) were also unique and interesting and I get the feeling, in more capable hands, this could've been a much better film, maybe one deserving of more
REVIEW: What a disappointment. This movie had so much promise, but the execution was horrible and anti-climatic.

With horror icons, making guest appearances as themselves, except the story is treated as if the events are real, The Marrow was something I was really looking forward to. The design of the monsters (when they FINALLY appeared,) were also unique and interesting and I get the feeling, in more capable hands, this could've been a much better film, maybe one deserving of more exploration. Instead we get talking, talking and MORE TALKING! It went on and on. By the time anything happened, I lost all interest. The only shining star, besides the practical effects, was Ray Wise, a genre mainstay and an actor deserving of a much better movie than this one. What a let down.
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1:24PM on 02/21/2015
I really wanted to love this film , and like you Arrow, I enjoyed the first two acts and totally agree with you about the final act and the manner in which it ended. The entire 'boot' scene was a mistake. Even if they did not believe Dekker entirely, that was a stupid thing to do and it felt forced to me.
***SPOILER ALERT***
Did Dekker give up his son for adoption to the monsters sometime between the first time Green visited his home and when he was feeding him at the marrow? I guess its
I really wanted to love this film , and like you Arrow, I enjoyed the first two acts and totally agree with you about the final act and the manner in which it ended. The entire 'boot' scene was a mistake. Even if they did not believe Dekker entirely, that was a stupid thing to do and it felt forced to me.
***SPOILER ALERT***
Did Dekker give up his son for adoption to the monsters sometime between the first time Green visited his home and when he was feeding him at the marrow? I guess its possible since there was a one month break when Adam and co went on tour. Just assumed that since there wasn't a Mrs. Dekker for a long time, his son would all grown up and he would have given his son up a lot sooner to the marrow instead of keeping him in the basement. Also, did anyone notice the monster with the bag on his head (Vance right??) appeared in the cemetery footage while Adam Green and the editor's backs were towards the computer screen just before they decided to go to Boston. Will was facing it though. How convenient to have missed such crucial evidence!! Lol. Anyway, still liked the film but i really wanted to love it. Hopefully they end up doing a sequel and since its established that the monsters are real, they would get straight into the marrow without any disbelief and maybe this time Adam Green would be the loony one trying to follow in Ray Wise's footsteps.
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