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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovecraft film faithful to the spirit of his writings
"Dagon" is not as bad as you think that it is for most of the first two-thirds of the movie, but you do not really know that until you get near the end of the film at which point you have an opportunity to rethink the problematic elements that were threatening to overwhelm it up to that point. Otherwise you are constantly wondering why Paul (Ezra Godden) is...
Published on May 26 2004 by Lawrance M. Bernabo

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected more from the meeting of Lovecraft and Gordon
Unfortunately, despite being directed by Sturart Gordon (Re-Animator) and based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, Dagon proved deeply disappointing. I was hoping for a modern adaptation of Lovecraft's deep sea mythos, complete with an intriguing premise, interesting characters, and grotesque special effects. Instead, I got a tired pastiche peopled with flat, unlikeable...
Published on Aug. 4 2011 by Andre Farant


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovecraft film faithful to the spirit of his writings, May 26 2004
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
"Dagon" is not as bad as you think that it is for most of the first two-thirds of the movie, but you do not really know that until you get near the end of the film at which point you have an opportunity to rethink the problematic elements that were threatening to overwhelm it up to that point. Otherwise you are constantly wondering why Paul (Ezra Godden) is still alive because this guy outlives a couple of cats in this movie.
This 2001 horror film is based on a pair of H.P. Lovecraft stories, "Dagon," an extremely short little story that was one of the first pieces the author got published, and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." Lovecraft was my favorite horror writer when I was a teenager and I have been always disappointed with what happens to his work on the silver screen or on Rod Serling's "Night Gallery," which did a couple of his short stories including "Pickman's Model" (if I had my druthers I would make "At the Mountains of Madness" into a movie).
The story begins with a quartet of Americans in a sailboat off the coast of Spain, approaching a old fishing town, when a storm suddenly and strangely appears, driving their boat onto the rocks. One of them is hurt, so Paul and his girlfriend Barbara (Raquel Meroño) head for shore in the dinghy to get help. However, the town seems almost deserted and the people they encounter are, to say the least strange. The next thing we know Paul is on his own and starting to get in way, way over his head in terms of being in trouble, especially since some of the things in the weird dream he had are starting to show up in the real world.
There are several things working to the advantage of director Stuart Gordon's film. First, a lot of the people in this town speak Spanish (and another language) and there is no attempt to translate any of what they are saying. If, like Paul, you know very little about the Spanish language (or the other language) then you are can identify with the character's sense of isolation because he does not understand what is being said to him either. Second, if you are looking for scenes in horror movies that have you squirming in your seats if not averting your eyes from what you are seeing, then "Dagon" is one of those films. You see, the natives have a peculiar use for hapless visitors that come to their town. Third, they found Macarena Gómez to play the mysterious women from Paul's dreams. I looked at this unknown actress with her wide eyes and all I could think of was that this was the reincarnation of Barbara Steele, except the star of "La Maschera del demonio" (a.k.a. "Black Sunday") is still among the living. Suffice it to say that Gómez provides an interesting blend of exotic beauty and psychotic horror.
Working against "Dagon" is the fact that Paul pushes his luck repeatedly through most of this film and even if he is wearing glasses and is the weaker person in his relationship with Barbara he keeps surviving situation after situation in which mere mortals should end up being dead. Also, the makeup and special effects for the monsters (it is a Lovecraft story; there are monsters; he usually avoids describing the monsters as anything other than monsters too terrible to describe but in a film you get to actually see them) are pretty much on the B-movie level, which I suppose is what Gordon is really going for here. Then there is the fact that female nudity, which is so earnestly avoided at all of the early opportunities in the film, suddenly becomes abundant in the last act. Also, for most of the movie the music is really two slow (and the roll of the final quotes is even slower).
The scale tips in favor of this film because it is arguably the most faithful adaptation of Lovecraft to date and because it has a scene that really gave me the wiggins. Obviously "Dagon" is not really faithful to the two stories on which it is based, but my point is that Dennis Paoli's screenplay honors Lovecraft's body of work in terms of the Deep Ones and the entire Cthulhu Mythos, which is more important than tossing in references to the "Necronomicon" or Miskatonic University. Plus Gordon films a lot of the big action scenes in the rail, which usually works well even when you are not making a horror film. But the most important things here is that fans of Lovecraft's works will not feel he was abused by this film, which forgives a great many faults all things being considered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected more from the meeting of Lovecraft and Gordon, Aug. 4 2011
By 
Andre Farant (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Unfortunately, despite being directed by Sturart Gordon (Re-Animator) and based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, Dagon proved deeply disappointing. I was hoping for a modern adaptation of Lovecraft's deep sea mythos, complete with an intriguing premise, interesting characters, and grotesque special effects. Instead, I got a tired pastiche peopled with flat, unlikeable characters and so-so effects. As the credits rolled, I felt unsatisfied and a little cheated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evil from the sea., April 12 2004
By 
Chadwick H. Saxelid "Bookworm" (Concord, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Director Stuart Gordon (H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator, HPL's From Beyond, Dolls, etc.) finally had the chance to helm his dream project. A feature film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, although the production used the title Dagon. Paul and his girlfriend Barbara are celebrating the success of their company with their key investors by taking a boat trip down the coast of Spain. When a freak storm traps one couple on the boat, Paul and Barbara head to shore to seek help. What they find is a nightmare beyond imagination. Gordon manages to capture the feel of ancient evil and urban rot that was at the heart of Lovecraft's story and the enlongated chase sequence that is the middle act of the movie had me jumping and cringing even on a second viewing. Of all of Gordon's Lovecraft movies, this is my vote for the best of the bunch. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As if Lovecraft were still here..., Feb. 19 2004
By 
Squeakey (Dont waste your time land) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Oh so yummy! I loved this movie, it had all the essential lovecraftyness! I'll just say that those who are interested or love his works should watch this movie. Although to some it may be a cheesy B class movie it is in its own way interesting. Believe me I have seen worse. I highly suggest you watch Into The Mouth Of Maddness. It reminds me so much of lovecraft.OH and I suggest you watch this movie if you have not already.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Condition., July 31 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
I enjoyed this product more so than any other as haven't been able to find this movie anywhere in this part of Canada so yeah i will enjoy it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars There is something fishy about Dagon, Oct. 29 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Two couples are out on yachting. They hear some sort of singing or chanting from the local village of Imboca. A freak storm appears and tosses the yacht on the rocks. One girl gets her leg caught between the yacht and a hard place. So the other couple Paul (Ezra Godden) and Bárbara (Raquel Merono) brakes out the "Rubber" raft and go for help. Naturally the raft gets a hole in it so we just can not wait for something in the water to eat them raft and all. Mean while back at the boat blood is spewing out into the water. I assumed they were the desert.

The village turns out to be occupied by boringly slow and somewhat in-human Dagonites.

What will they do?

It is not as if the mechanics are not there, but this movie has no soul. Everything is formula with the standard formula twists and a good dose of "Stay in the car" scenes. There is sufficient blood and slime to go around and the only thing missing is the flame thrower; however they come close.

However Macarena Gómez who plays Uxía Cambarro is a cutie and makes you forget you are watching a movie about three day old fish.

If you are looking for tentacles in the water you may as well watch "Tentacles" (1977).

Empire of the Ants/Tentacles
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5.0 out of 5 stars We shall dive down through the Black Abyss...., Jan. 10 2004
By 
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Starting out on a sailing yacht with another couple, on a beautiful day, skinny and whiney Paul (Ezra Godden) and his sexy girlfriend Barbara (Raquel Merono) are relaxing belowdecks while the boat is anchored off a quaint Spanish Village.

Foul weather blows in *very* suddenly in a gorgeously filmed scene, huge dark clouds rising up over the little seaside town. The sailboat is pushed into the rocks where Vicki is pinned belowdecks.

Paul and Barbara must take the dingy to shore to seek help. The town filmed here is very cool; narrow, climbing streets and alleys between tall villas and not a soul to be seen anywhere. Until they find the church, but this is no ordinary church. The symbols inside are unrecognizable, and the priest behaves quite strangely. Fortunately, Barbara speaks Spanish and convinces the priest to help. Paul goes back to sailboat where there is no sign of their friends, and Barbara goes to local hotel to wait, where she is promptly abducted by the hotel clerk and the priest.
Paul checks into the filthy hotel, and things start to get weird when the townsfolk come out to play; and here is where the fun begins.
Eerily determined, they stagger and creep through the streets in search of Paul. Paul runs into an old man named Eziquiel (Francisco Rabal), who tells him a strange tale of the beginnings of the odd little church, and of course Paul believes he is mad.
With Eziquiel's help, Paul searches for Barbara, running into all kinds of trouble. I don't want to give away any of the juicier, more tingly parts of the movie, but suffice to say that my hunger for monsters, grotesqueries, blood, creepiness, and action was sated.
One fine face peeling scene is quite noteworthy and worth the movie in and of itself.
He finds the beautiful woman that he had been seeing in his dreams, Uxia; who embraces him and teaches him the mysteries of Cthullu, whether he wants to hear them or not.
Most of this movie was filmed around Barcelona, Spain, and has some very beautiful scenery shots, along with gorgeous old castle-type buildings and villas...plus some creepy filthy places that remind me of my first apartment.
This is truly a great horror flick, with wonderful monsters and lots of blood, a creepy atmosphere and an ending you won't want to miss. I recommend viewing this tasty, blood coated treat as I did, with your cuddly stuffed Cthullu and Shoggoth, along with Harm the Bunny, at your side. Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Lovecraft goodness, Sept. 5 2002
By 
Tony R. Tucker (Crewe, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
I enjoy Lovecraft's stories, and the Cthulhu mythos tales especially. One of his creepier tales is "A Shadow Over Innsmouth". It's the story of a town whose people are hybrids of human and an ancient sea dwelling race called the Deep Ones. An outsider comes to the town and is pursued by the shambling, gurgling villagers as he discovers their dark secrets.
The film "Dagon" is based on the Lovecraft story. To cut down on costs, the production is filmed in Spain rather than New England (the location of the Lovecraft stories). This actually works well. The coastal town has a damp, run down feel and the locals speaking another language further alienates the main characters.
A boating accident causes a young couple to have to paddle to a fishing town inhabited by strange, malformed people. As in the Lovecraft story, they soon find trouble. It all culminates with a sinister ceremony to Dagon, one of those dark gods of the sea. It is all well done and pretty effective.
The actors are all pretty much unknowns. The standout is the woman who plays the priestess. She is both creepy and beautiful at the same time. She dominates every scene she is in.
My only complaint is the use of some poor CGI effects. They did so well with so little through the rest of the film, it's a shame they resort to budget CGI that snaps you out of the mood when it appears. Better effects are shown in video game cutscenes.
Overall, this is solid saturday night beer and pretzel viewing. Not fit for the kiddies. There are a couple of pretty gruesome effects. Now if they would just make a movie based on The Call of Cthulhu...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but could have been better, June 30 2004
This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
there's a lot to like about this movie, not least of all the unabashed use of CGI and rubber tentacle appendages. all things considered, the special effects were pretty good, and the set itself looked great. the creepy-assed town was perfect, the monsters were loathesomely believable, and the acting is not half as bad as the sanctimonious amazon.com reviewers would have you believe. and while i'm at it, my other amazonian metacriticism would be as follows: he who waxes petulant about plot holes reveals his lack of geek cred, for a passing familiarity with Lovecraft's mythos pretty much caulks up those story cracks that seem to have bothered you so much.
but at the end of the movie, i simply couldn't forgive Paul and Barbara for not running. these are FISH PEOPLE, for heaven's sake--they can barely hobble about on land, and they aren't exactly the sharpest cookies in the cupboard. the "holding cells" into which the captives are herded could be kicked down by a small contingent of special-ed kindergarteners, and much time is wasted trying to salvage a suicidally insane (and possibly pregnant with slimy demon spawn) compatriot who is clearly, hopelessly, chronically DOOMED. leave her ass, for crying out loud! she's got a knife and she's going to use it on herself! you can't stop her, you barely know her, and you don't particularly like her ... so use her as a distraction! now make like a missionary and get the devil out of there! cripes. okay, fine. stay there and make whimpery, floppy-lip faces. you get no sympathy from ME.
eventually i just got bored of screaming, "FLY, YOU FOOLS!" and i wanted everyone to hurry up and get sacrificed to death and be done with it. the ending (for those of you who have seen the movie and have been waiting for me to bring this up) is perfectly weird--but not altogether out of left field if you're a Lovecraft reader. i don't know. it's not how i would have concluded the tale, but heck, i'd more or less lost interest in what happened to the protagonists by the time the weirdness came around, so i can't say it bothered me any.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dagon is a worthy rental, June 12 2004
By 
Robert Cossaboon "devil doll" (The happy land of Walworth, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dagon (Widescreen) [Import] (DVD)
Those of you who love the man will universally agree that there just isn't enough H.P. Lovecraft in the world, especially in cinema. Most of the movie versions made, that have been in some way remotely influenced by a short story or novella, have been less than inspiring. Noteworthies include Unnamable I and II, The Dunwhich Horror (with Dean Stockwell), Horror Hotel (with the great Christopher Lee) and of course the Reanimator series. Dagon falls closer to noteworthy, but misses the mark. I guess the thing about Lovecraft is that he was a very dry, but verbose writer; his stories had slow build-ups that tended to end in horrific, often-mind blowing climaxes--hence the problem of translating his ideas to the big screen, as few people have the patience to watch a scary movie that slowly builds to an intellectually and sensually gratifying climax. So, producer Yuzna and director Gordon have sacrificed much of the exposition moved "The Shadow Over Innsbrook", the story much of this movie hails from, and have turned Dagon into a cat and mouse game of chase for most of the movie to keep the tension and suspense going. The idea of the Old Ones, so central to the Lovecraft mythology, is barely mentioned and thrown in too quickly at the end of the film to really appeciate the horrific consequences of selling out to a race of beings older than anything on the planet. Ezra Godden does a decent job as the lead, Paul, a stockbroker caught with three other friends in a mysterious storm and forced to seek help in a nearby Spanish town. The residents are quite creepy, and the dream sequences are woven into the storyline very appropriately. There is also a flashback scene which is one of the best parts of the film. Overall, Dagon will satisfy the horror buff in anyone who loves this genre, but whether this movie leaves you pondering and thinking about it five minutes after you put the DVD back in its case is a different matter.
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Dagon
Dagon by Stuart Gordon (DVD - 2003)
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