Necropolis: Legion Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Released by Full Moon Features
Directed by Chris Alexander
Written by Brockton McKinney (screenplay) and Chris Alexander (story)
2019, 60 minutes, Not Rated
Released on November 29th, 2019
Augie Duke as Lisa
Ali Chappell as Eva
Lynn Lowry as Zia
Joseph Lopez as Maynard Gandy
There’s really no such thing as a horror fan that doesn’t have an opinion on Charles Band and Full Moon Features. Since 1988, the studio that’s the cinematic equivalent of knock-off brand junk food has brought you series like Puppetmaster, Subspecies, Trancers, Demonic Toys, and The Gingerdead Man, along with standalone gems like Castle Freak and The Pit and the Pendulum. I would dare say that Full Moon films are a rite of passage for every horror fan.
I can’t confess to having seen the original Necropolis from Charles Band’s Empire banner. It has a reputation of being trashy good fun, though, and I’m never one to turn a blind eye to a new Full Moon pic, especially when it’s a “reimagining” of an ‘80s cult classic. So, I dove in headfirst into the singular waters of Chris Alexander’s (Female Werewolf) fresh take. What I found was (like most Full Moon pics) a mixed bag with some killer highlights and glaring weaknesses that nonetheless strides boldly onto your screen without apology or fear.
Lisa (Augie Duke; Bad Kids Go To Hell) is a hearse-driving author of the dark and macabre who’s come to write her next book about legendary satanic vampiress Eva (Ali Chappell; Psycho Biddies) in the very cabin where she was executed by her priest husband, Maynard Gandy (Joseph Lopez; A Child’s Voice). At her local book signing, she’s approached by a mysterious woman named Zia (genre legend Lynn Lowry; Shivers, The Crazies). Zia warns her of the power of that place and says that Eva is returning. Determined to bring the ancient story to light, Lisa moves into the cabin only to find out that Eva’s power is all too real. Will she be the vessel for the return of ancient evil?
It’s a pretty classic set-up, really: When the seemingly loony old lady shows up and tells you that your soul is in jeopardy if you keep putting your nose where it doesn’t belong, you can damn sure bet that she’s not half as crazy as she appears to be. Half of all good horror stories center on the lesson about digging too deeply into things best left buried. The trope works here, though unfortunately it’s not fleshed out any further than the surface aspect. Some of that can be attributed to the scant run time (a mere 60 minutes), which leaves little room for a deeper level of character development. Necropolis: Legion relies a little too heavily on disturbing imagery in the visions meant to further the possession narrative (and plenty of Augie Duke rolling thrashing about in her undies; not exactly a bad thing).
Still, the performances range from solid (Augie Duke) to exemplary (Ali Chappell and Lynn Lowry), with no real duds in the group. You won’t find yourself rolling your eyes at the acting, which can’t always be said of Full Moon fare. Though the writing is a little on the thin side, the leads make the absolute most of it and the result is elevated by their overall talent.
The real highlight, of course, is the imagery and unique SFX work. Did I mention when it comes to breasts with vicious-looking mouths for nipples, Ali’s are the best? They come complete with razor-sharp teeth, suckled blood, and spewing milk! Throw in some nun-flavored blasphemy and you’ve got yourself a trip you’re not likely to forget any time soon. Call me an old-fashioned guy, but hungry boob-mouths with a taste for blood outweigh light characterization and shallow writing any day of the week.
Critical analysis demands that I point out some of the flaws, but let’s be honest – you’re not taking the Full Moon challenge because you’re looking for deep thought and an underlying social message that’ll make you think about the state of world affairs when it’s all over. Do we eat donuts because they’re healthy? Do we listen to KISS because they’re talented? Hell no! At the end of the day, we all want some hungry boobs with teeth. Am I right or am I right?
That’s rhetorical, by the way.
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