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Supernaturals, The - VHS - Embassy Home Entertainment Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Monday, 03 June 2013
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Cover art for The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

AKA: Los sobrenaturales, Super Naturals, Ekdikisi apo to parelthon, Rebellen des Grauens, Kuolleitten armeija.

Directed by: Armand Mastroianni
Written by: Joel Soisson, Michael S Murphy
Produced by: Michael S Murphy, Joel Soisson
Cinematography by: Peter Lyons Collister
Editing by: John Bowey
Music by: Robert O. Ragland
Special Effects by: Ed Ferrell, Mark Shostrum, Greg Landerer
Cast: Maxwell Caulfield, Nichelle Nichols, Levar Burton, Bradford Bancroft, Talia Balsam, Bobby Di Cicco. Year: 1985
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 27min

Distributor: Embassy Home Entertainment
 

Alabama, 1865, it's the month of April, and there is a scene of corpses laying around after a battle in the Civil War.  Dead Confederates are strewn around.  Jeremy, a young lad, dressed playfully in a uniform takes a gun.  Soon he and various other folks are captured by the “Yanks” of division 44.  The plan is to make all of the prisoners walk across a field of buried explosives, including Jeremy, who's the only one to make it in one piece.  Annoyed, the Yanks make him do it again.  As he's about to restart, the wind blows and some blue glowing FX surrounds his clenched fist.

Welcome to "The Supernaturals," a cheap little mid 80's "trying to scare ya" film which does nothing but make you wonder why the makers missed so many opportunities.  Where else could you find a zombie war movie which teams Nichelle ("Star Trek" original) Nichols with LeVar ("Star Trek: Next Gen") Burton, and then throw into the mix, Maxwell ("Grease 2") Caulfield and Talia ("Mad Men") Balsam?  Hey, only in the wild and wacky world of "
The Supernaturals," that's where.

After that introduction (incidentally, a certain Maurice Gibb played a Union soldier, in a blink and you cannot believe your eyes moment) we cut to the present day and two members of Platoon 44 are out in the same woodland area planting marker flags for some army manoeuvres later that day.  In between shaking broken radios, and pissing on trees, they find time to witness the ground open up and pull them down into some blinding lights.

Afterwards, we meet the rest of the soldiers, lead by tough Sergeant Hawkins (Nichols).  Typically we have a joker, a hero, a woman who is the brunt of the horny men's approaches, one token black man and of course a nervous fella with glasses.  Oh, did I mention, there's a soldier on the edge who later does unspeakable things with a skull?

Private Ellis (our hero) is betted to jump from the truck and run behind then try and catch them.  He jumps off (“That's real,” my Horror Soulmate noticed the patented false scene behind) and of course he does it and collects an old rusty bullet on the way.

Once dropped off in the location, they perform their military manoeuvres, or as one soldier states; “Walking around like dicks.” and we have a few paranoid talks, and of course sexual comments about the woman they have with them.  (No one counts Hawkins because she's almost sexless in appearance.)  On the way they spot a woman washing her face in the stream, and one troop spots what looks like a walking corpse but it turns out to be just a tree stump.

They discover an old underground bunker, so they scout the area for others.  The woman from the stream who is called Melanie turns up and chats with Hawkins, mentioning there are others in the region with her.  Meanwhile, as he digs a latrine, Ellis finds a human skull.  One of his comrades, Private Cort, decides to put shades on the skull.  He then shoots it, which winds everyone else up.

The calm before the storm is a brief few scenes as they all sit around the camp, as night falls.  Ellis is first on watch, and the camera approaches the bunker.  A skeletal arm switches on an oil lamp.  Private Weir, with the glasses, is next on guard duty.  He's so nervous that he clearly has, “I'm gonna die before the end of this movie” written near him in the original script.  There are two false starts before anything happens. The first is a snoring sleepwalker, then Cort sneaks into Legune's tent trying to rape her.  She pulls a knife on him and he retreats.  Cort fastens his pants and sees eerie blue lights and mist in the woods so ventures in.  Scared and running from a shadowy figure, he falls into another bunker.  Lost in the passages, he's met by one of the dead flag planters, and then two really shitty zombies.  The South shall rise again it seems, and Cort doesn't last long.

The next morning he's found with a shot to the head, wearing his trademark shades, similar to the skull he abused.  Hawkins gives them orders to use live rounds, continue trying to raise help on the radio, and to march away.  Soon they chance upon a cabin (very old), with a diary dated from 1865 which gives out the first clues.  Inside, there's also an old bearded man curled in a corner shaking.

When night falls again, they are pinned down by shots from the trees and are now in a mini war against vengeful Confederate zombies/spirits.

"
The Supernaturals" is not scary, not really gory, it doesn't have an interesting story, but it's watchable.  The acting is fair and though the zombies are goofy there's a few of them which makes the last half interesting.  That's the problem though, the movie would have been far more interesting had the makeup and effects been more skillfully put together, or they at least kept the walking dead more contained to shadows.  They have a similar look to the workman in the wall which was a very effective touch to "The Gate," but once in battle they are so weak.  Hell, Ellis manages to pick one up on the end of a pole and throw it about, which had us laughing at the stupidity.  Less would have been better in this case and added up the shock value.  The biggest jolt I had was from seeing Mark Shotrum on the credits as one of the makeup and FX guys.  A universe away from "Phantasm 2," "From Beyond" and all the others he's had a hand in.

The glowing blue mists and lights are cool though, reminding us of John Carpenter's "The Fog."  However, most of the film is ruined by a pathetic soundtrack which verges on comedy at times.  (Maurice Gibb was apparently originally slated to perform the music) and very predictable characters.  The man behind the music must have had an off day because he was the legend behind such B-Movies as "Abby," "Grizzly," "The Touch Of Satan," "The Glove," "10 To Midnight," "Q The Winged Serpent," and loads more.  The truth behind Jeremy, Melanie and their connection to Ellis is, in conclusion, rather deflating and isn't explained enough.  Still, though the walking dead soldiers are goofy, like I said, there's around ten or so and the final battle has a bit of blood and a bucket full of cheesyness.

Director Armand Mastroianni is still a very busy man, mainly directing TV movies and TV series but always in work.  Known for episodes of "Friday's Curse," "War Of The Worlds," and "Tales From The Darkside," but most famous for horror hunters, he directed "Cameron's Closet" and "He Knows You're Alone."  I personally think the fault can be placed on the writers who have come up with the recent "Piranha 3DD," "Mimic 2," "Hellraiser: Hellworld" and "Trick Or Treat."  Both are based more on producing these days.

It's hard to find this movie -- as far as I can see it's never emerged on DVD or had a recent VHS release.  This review is from the 1986 UK Embassy small box tape and has a nice cover.  Strange how the front title and the side names it "T.H.E Supernaturals."


 

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Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

Screenshot from The Supernaturals UK VHS From Embassy Home Entertainment on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema0 Skull - Severed Cinema

 

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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