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A Charles Band production that draws heavily on the voodoo culture of Louisiana, “Netherworld” never takes any solid shape.

Cody inherits his father’s Louisiana mansion and the demonic cult that comes with it. Let’s dig into 1992’s NETHERWORLD, directed by David Schmoeller!

As I See It

Netherworld carries a similar morbid whimsy to early Sam Raimi films and feels like it could be a cousin to the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn.

The gore, albeit not a heavy flow, is what you would hope for from the low-budget, DIY production house Full Moon, and they don’t disappoint on the cheese level either. Of course Marilyn Monroe would be hanging out in some grimy bayou bar if she were reincarnated and looked like a low rent impersonator, right?

The story is simple, which makes it all the more surprising that it feels so bogged down. It just gets so messy that it feels like they’re trying to rush to get to the sex scenes.

The set dressing, especially for the bar scenes, is second to none. It doesn’t have the hollow, “set feel” that I’m used to with Full Moon Pictures. It feels authentic. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. I’ve always found their sets charming, in the vein of the old Hammer sets.

It does lack the roots of a film like Angel Heart.

Schmoeller directed some classic cult horror films, including Band’s Tourist Trap and Puppet Master, Crawlspace, and Catacombs. This is hardly him at the top of his game, but you’re sure to find worse things to watch.

Famous Faces

Just about every actor in this film stopped acting, or at least failed to find work, after 2010. If you were watching TV sitcoms around the turn of the golden era of horror (the 1980s) into the hyper-sexualized nineties, you might have caught one or two of them in hit shows of the era such as Doogie Howser, M.D., 21 Jump Street, My Two Dads, Suddenly Susan, and Melrose Place.

The only outlier is Robert Sampson (Cody’s Father), who I could have sworn was Rutger Hauer. He played Dean Halsey in Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator.

There is no mistaking the white-haired saxophonist who plays through Dolores’s seduction of Cody. It’s Edgar Winter of the famed classic rock group The Edgar Winter Group, who are known for their hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride”.

Of Gratuitous Nature

It’s a very sexual film and one with a brothel as a central element of the plot. Hard to call that gratuitous if it’s so important to the story.

Heartthrob

Using a contemporary meme for comparison, Michael Bendetti is the Wish version of Jason London. He’s lit well in every shot and always looks like he’s about to steal your girlfriend’s heart.

Ripe for a Remake

I’ve read Gumbo Ya-Ya. I’ve delved into the stories of voodoo and witchcraft in Louisiana. I found that it wasn’t for me. Maybe it’s my extremely East Coast upbringing, but that type of story is for someone else to craft.

Spawns

No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Netherworld is available on Blu-ray from Full Moon Features. You can stream it on Tubi, Night Flight, Freevee, and Full Moon’s streaming service.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 2


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