When any “lost” films suddenly resurface, I am generally a bit jaded. Was it truly “lost”, possibly tied up in legalities for so many years that the producers just gave up? Or did it just suck, and enough time has passed to cash in on the nostalgia?
Well, “The Evil Clergyman” far from sucks. In fact, it’s perfect. Produced from a VHS print (which actually adds to the cult movie aesthetic) with much of the sound cleaned up, a great Richard Band score… It can’t be reviewed simply on the merit of the short itself, a solid adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft piece. Seeing such youthful versions of Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, and the late, great David Gale in (what is to us) a brand new short film is too much to ignore. The flicker of the slightly damaged print the VHS transfer was made from, the video artifacts still present from *that* transfer, and the mellow hiss of the tape all add to its charm.
The film is classy, shot on-location in Italy (see, classy!), in a beautiful old castle… Thingy. The practical effects are high quality, as to be expected from the era and it is just… Gorgeous!
This particular time, it’s not just a marketing ploy. Enjoy a beautiful piece featuring the holy trinity of romantic horror films in Barbara Crampton, Jeffrey Combs, and David Gale. It delivers. The cult and horror community should be salivating.
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