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The maestro of adapting Lovecraft, Stuart Gordon, brings us “Dagon” — a well-done production based on two stories.

Dagon

Two young people end up stranded in a run-down fishing town in Spain and find the occupants to be spawns of Lovecraft’s Deep Ones. Let’s dig into 2001’s DAGON, directed by Stuart Gordon!

As I See It

Bringing together the Lovecraft dream team of producer Brian Yuzna, director Stuart Gordon, and screenwriter Dennis Paoli was a home run for the production companies (Castelao Producciones, Estudios Picasso, and Fantastic Factory).

You don’t go to a new school tattoo artist to get a banging black and grey piece done. You go to the guys who have brought us such gooey Lovecraft as Re-Animator and From Beyond.

What we end up with is a really great production with tons of promise that ends up falling short because of some poor acting and two lovers who seem far-fetched to even like each other.

The most surprising element for me, which I probably should have expected, was how gore-heavy the film was.

The Texas Chainsaw-like room was especially spectacularly grisly. The fish people are well done and subtle enough to be impressive, but the CGI Dagon is atrocious and jumps the shark. Why they wasted time and money on that when they pulled in a practically fabricated Dagon head afterward is puzzling.

There is great stunt work, including multiple full burns. Hats off to the stunt crew. This sits in the upper echelon of Lovecraft adaptations in my book.

Famous Faces

You may recognize Ezra Godden (Paul) from Spielberg’s epic World War II mini-series Band of Brothers. He played Robert van Klinken in what was his debut performance.
There is an uncredited cameo from the director of Color out of Spacewhich is also regarded as a high-quality Lovecraft adaptation — Richard Stanley as a fish monster.

Of Gratuitous Nature

A topless mermaid hardly qualifies, but I guess you could say the gore was over the top if you have a weak stomach.

Heartthrob

Uxia Blanco (Madre Ezequiel) has the perfect maniacal look, especially with the golden headdress.

Ripe for a Remake

Lovecraft permeates so much of the horror world, especially stories that have a cosmic tinge to them. Maybe we’ve reached a point of over-saturation, but I think there is still room to adapt some more of his stories properly. Give me more sea monsters!

Spawns

This is one of many adaptations that use Dagon and The Shadow Over Innsmouth elements.

Where to Watch

Dagon was released on Blu-ray by Lionsgate as part of their Vestron Video retro collector’s series. You can stream it on Tubi, Vudu, Plex, and Roku.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 3


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