Necropolis Awakened (2000)
Director: Garrett White
Brandon White/Nefarious Thorne
The town of Skyhook is overrun by genetically altered mutants led by an apron-wearing, Nazi-like goon with a skull complex named Nefarious Thorne (Brandon White). Itâ€™s up to booze-guzzling war vet Bob (Duke White) to take out the undead trash. Rev up that car...load the six -shooter...it's road rage time!
Hudson Productions first hit the gory streets with their short flick â€śMonsterâ€ť and now theyâ€™re back to the horror pub with the feature length kegger: "Necropolis Awakened". Much like a one-man army, Garrett White barges in guns blazing as the writer, director and editor of Necropolis Awakened. He even acts in the damn thing (he plays Tidden)! You go boy! Like most micro-budget flicks, itâ€™s also a family affair with Brandon White and Duke White starring while tackling various other duties on the show as well.
The movie itself was, in some respects, quite an accomplishment, especially when you take into account the filmâ€™s low budget. Visually, Garrett White is a mofo on fire behind the camera. He goes haywire in the style department and gives the flick a mucho polished look that rivaled the vibe of any big Hollywood production. The staging of the Mad Max-like car battles particularly blew my cock off to Britney Spears heaven. Talk about ambitious and well executed! Yes, some of the car jamborees went on for a tad too long, but who gives a damn! Iâ€™d rather have my glass half-full of Bourbon versus half empty. NICE ACTION!
My two other main spoonfuls of sweetness from this wild ride included its clever sense of humor and the blow-job gore. The gnarly red stuff went from surprisingly gruesome (that bad trip mutation) to dime store variety (rubber fingers anyone?). It worked on both levels; I was either disgusted or chuckling. As for the left field sight gags, they often had me on the floor, cackling like a witch on too many donuts. The monster wrestlerâ€™s extra face, for example, totally took me aback and made me check my drink for an LSD tablet (yes, there was one in there). FUNNY SHIT! I wonâ€™t spend the rest of the review listing the funny set pieces, but needless to say, there are lots of monkeys in this barrel. YIPPEE!
Unfortunately, every sexy blonde has her neurotic quirks as well and this filmâ€™s faults split me in the middle about the overall picture. Granted, I have to acknowledge the low budget, but that doesnâ€™t change the fact that some of the shootouts/ fight sequences werenâ€™t as exciting as they shouldâ€™ve been due to their ho-hum choreography, that some of the editing was choppy and that the score felt very "off". And although funny in a "so bad it's good" way, the bad dialogue and some of the BC theatre like acting (Detroitâ€¦'nuff said) took away from the gravity of the situation and some of the charactersâ€™ likeability factor. Apart from Bob and The Thorne man, I personally had a hard time giving two shites about anybody else.
The so-so writing also wound up hurting the film. The story, which is fairly simple, dragged too much at times and with a length of almost 2 hours, this sucka couldâ€™ve easily had 25 minutes shaved off its ass. The filmâ€™s exploration of its back-story via snail-paced flashbacks wouldâ€™ve been a good place to start snipping. Those flashes interrupted the flow of the present day action and now that I think about it, a couple of lines of dialogue wouldâ€™ve been sufficient to communicate that very same info. I just wanted the action to kick in already!
But when all was said and smoked up, I have to admit that good times were had with Necropolis Awakened. The action is at times enthralling, the laughs are plenty via the gags and the cartoon-like characters and the gore works (the kool finale delivered gangbusters in all those mentioned aspects). Like every other indie project, the film does sport shortcomings, but that doesnâ€™t mean that I canâ€™t respect the ambition and the obvious hard work that went into it all. Bob, this drink is on you!
We get some effective gore that goes from cheapo to pretty fucking gross. Iâ€™m talking inflating veins, a bloody mutation, bullet in the face, a nasty fingernail removal, a face sucked in a car wheel (nice), shot off fingers, cut off arm, exploding head, gunshot wounds galore and more!
Duke White is awesome as Bob and chews the scenery fervently (sometimes too fervently) as Judas. Brandon White is pretty bland as Johnny (to be fair, not much of an interesting part) but kicks all kinds of ass as the baddie Nefarious Thorne. Shit, I hadnâ€™t laughed at a character that much since the last time I sucked helium and watched the Rosie O'Donnell show. Brandon Dubisar (Detroit) didnâ€™t seem to know his lines at times and often resorted to yelling, instead of acting.
T & A
None...NONE? COME ON GARRETT...WORK WITH ME HERE!
Garrett White goes heavy on the mayo with tilted angles up the fubar, razor kool zooms and slick shot compositions. The cinematography is also bang-on and I grooved on the shots of the desert landscapes. I canâ€™t wait to see what Garrett can do with a real budget...it should be the bomb.
I found the score to be one of the weakest aspects of the flick. It often felt like a patch job of excerpts taken from already existing scores (was it?) and it didn't always fit the scenes it was backing in terms of tone.
"Necropolis Awakened" is an ambitious low-budget flick that doesn't always have the script, the actors or the coin to back it up, but is still definitely a cut above its ilk. The fly directing, the car chaos, the two main characters (Bob and Thorne) and the yuk-yuks all came through hardcore above the â€ślow budgetâ€ť norm. If youâ€™re going to check it out, I suggest expanding your guest list. Sure, the man Bob and the myth Nefarious Thorne are great guests for a horror party, but you should also invite El Captain Morgan and Sir Jack Daniels for this impending soiree. All four of them in one room will make for one hell of a happening shin-dig
Necropolis Awakened will be playing at the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle WA from December 26 to December 29. It will be part of the â€śNew Cult Cinema" series.
This flick was produced by Duke White. The makeup was done by Sarah Gannon. The special effects were put out by Brandon White.
This film was shot with a Canon XL-1 digital camera with a wide-angle lens and was edited on Adobe Premiere 6.