Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rare Flix: The Alchemist

Charles Band strikes again!  This 1986 horror film is by the famous Band, the man behind Full Moon- especially in its more recent years.  Before he got there, however, he was directing a lot of random films.  Guess what- this is one of them!  The film is called The Alchemist, but I can't really think of why.  I don't see any transmutation of metal anywhere!  Did the gang over at Full Moon just pick names out of a hat?  Of course, they would go on to make their titles into puns like Head of the Family, so which one is good?  I had to work long and hard to track this one down, so I can't just skip it.  The plot of this movie involves a family curse and a woman having freaky dreams.  I'm thrilled already.  Toss all of your lead into a pile as we go to meet...
The film begins with a man wandering around the woods.  Wow- we're two-for-two on that!  He confronts an evil man at an altar & demands that he set a woman free.  He tries to stab the guy, but he moves out of the way, causing the man to stab the woman instead.  After the titles, we jump to a P.O.V. shot of a creature running around the woods.  We juxtapose this with a woman driving down the road for no apparent reason (both parts).  The man ends up in the house owned by an old woman who promises to complete the spell.  The woman continues to have random flashbacks, which distracts from her driving.  She stops and picks up a guy, but her reactions freak him out.  She drops him off and drives off...but comes back again.  Oy.  Meanwhile, the old woman casts a spell involving the glowing fluid from Re-Animator.  That stuff gets around!
The two drive around some more until they get to the woods.  They wander around even more until they meet the man at the cabin (Robert Ginty) and the old woman.  It's around this time that things start to get weird.  Ginty has a vision of the dead woman and starts to look crazy.  Oh yeah, a portal to Hell opens up too.  This event is so weird that...the film barely focuses on it at all.  Our heroes decide to drive away from all of this.  Take me with you!
The drive away doesn't quite work out, so we still have a movie.  The lady's visions flare up again, causing them to cancel the trip.  The evil guy from the beginning returns, although I'm really not quite sure why.  Oh yeah, the old lady dies randomly by tripping and falling on a spike.  You're a great sorceress, obviously!  They wander onto a field that resembles the other dimension from Dracula Rising, which is only fitting when they came from the cabin that would be used in Totem years later!  We get a rehashed scene from the intro, but Ginty manages to stab the villain this time.  He gets sucked into the Portal and Ginty turns into dust.  Our heroes just kind of leave.  The End.
Seriously, where is all of the gold?  The plot of this movie is just kind of odd and aimless.  What was the point of any of this?  I couldn't exactly follow it, but I doubt that.  It involves a house, some witch lady and a weird guy in 1871.  By the way, flashing the year up every time you do a flashback only serves to make things more confusing!  Unfortunately for the film, it's too confusing, slow-paced and random to make a lot of sense.  If I can tell what happens, I may actually make some sort of emotional investment.  On the plus side, it gives us goofy shots like this...
Next up, yet another film from VHS For the Win arrives in proper review format.  This is about siblings that kill...something other than my time, hopefully.  Stay tuned...

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