Best Horror Movie You Never Saw: Resurrection (1999)

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Welcome to Arrow in the Head's The Best Horror Movie You Never Saw, which will be dedicated to highlighting horror films that, for one reason or another, don't get as much love as we think they should. We know plenty of you horror hounds out there will have seen many of the movies we pick, but there will be plenty of you who have not. This column is for all of you!

This week we take a look at Russell Mulcahy's RESURRECTION (WATCH IT HEREOWN IT HERE) starring Christopher Lambert, Robert Joy, David Cronenberg and Leland Orser

THE STORY: Detective John Prudhomme, still grieving the death of his child, finds himself suddenly thrust into the most grisly investigation of his life: someone is murdering people and taking their limbs. As Easter approaches, it becomes clear that the killer intends on making a replica of Christ using these body parts. 

WHY IT'S GREAT: First of all, let's get the elephant in the room out of here: Yes, RESURRECTION is a lot like SE7EN. If the latter didn't exist, the former probably wouldn't either. It is a grim and gory rain-soaked thriller in which two mismatched partners relentlessly pursue a self-righteous serial killer whose murder spree is part of an unthinkable master plan. And so what? We sat through seemingly dozens of DIE HARD ripoffs in the 90s – some of which were good! – so why not have some imitators of one of the greatest horror movies of all time? And with that said, Resurrection is a good imitator of SE7EN, and it eventually manages to be a solid thriller in its own right. While some people might not ever get over how much it resembles the Fincher film, I think it presents a dire enough picture of evil that it ultimately stands on its own two feet (pun intended if you've seen it).

The film was directed by that great Australian B-movie maestro Russell Mulcahy, best known for fun schlock like Razorback, Ricochet and the first two Highlander films. Resurrection re-teamed Mulcahy with Connor MacLeod himself, Christopher Lambert, a sturdy presence here playing a cop who, true to convention, doesn't always play well with others. (His captain actually yells, "No one wants to work with you!" at one point.) Mulcahy has always been able to alter his style to fit the script; he's a journeyman filmmaker who knows his way around a genre script. Here he does a very fine job of aping the look and feel of one of the most influential films of the 90s. Resurrection is atmospheric and foreboding, and to its credit you get over the SE7EN comparisons before long. Mulcahy crafts some truly unsettling set pieces throughout: the murder scenes are mean and troubling. The make-up effects work is phenomenal; you won't have much of a problem believing the sorry victims of "The Numbers Killer" have really lost a piece of themselves quite literally. (Personal fave is the poor bastard who loses his head and subsequently finds himself on the toilet.)

I've always enjoyed Lambert as a screen presence. He plays tough guys, yes, but with more vulnerability than the other macho heroes of the 80s and 90s. He always looks slightly unsure if he's doing the right thing. (Well, except in Mortal Kombat.) Resurrection offers him several opportunities to do some real acting – I suppose it's no coincidence he helped conceive the story – and he performs them… admirably. Again, he won't be confused with Olivier, but he doesn't need to be on that level. He's a very serviceable lead. Stealing the show is Leland Orser as Lambert's far-more-amusing partner. Orser is best known for his freak-outs on screen – see: SE7EN, Alien: Resurrection, The Bone Collector – and he delivers several memorable freak-outs in this film. The chemistry between Lambert and Orser is actually quite good; they're a likable duo, as is necessary in a buddy-cop scenario, and when Orser's character suffers an unfortunate setback, it's hits hard. Another treat: David Cronenberg shows up in a small role as a priest who consults Lambert's character – because (true to form) he's lost his faith. Cronenberg is always a welcome sight on the screen – honestly wish he were in front of the camera more often – and here he provides a soothing figure for both Det. Prudhomme and the audience. Finally, Robert Joy (Land of the Dead) is alternately likable and creepy as a shady FBI agent with his own agenda. This flick has a reliable cast who can sell the dread and fear inherent in the story.

BEST SCENE: There are plenty of grisly moments in the film that I could pick from, but I think my favorite moment is when Orser's Det. Hollinsworth is brutally injured and Prudhomme attempts to console him with a bad joke. There's just something rather bittersweet about that scene that moves me. (Shut up.)

WHERE TO WATCH: Resurrection is available for free on Tubi, IMDb TV and Vudu; it can also be picked up on Blu-ray.

PARTING SHOT: Whether or not you can look past the fact its many similarities to SE7EN, Resurrection remains a satisfying and intense chiller with an ample body count and engaging characters. If you're looking for something a little different to watch this Easter, ask the Easter Bunny for this one.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Eric Walkuski is a longtime writer, critic, and reporter for He's been a contributor for over 15 years, having written dozens of reviews and hundreds of news articles for the site. In addition, he's conducted almost 100 interviews as JoBlo's New York correspondent.