Wednesday, April 26, 2006

TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: RITUAL

Voodoo lies at the heart of TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: RITUAL (2006), directed by Avi Nesher.

A contemporized remake of the 1943 Val Lewton RKO classic, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, RITUAL stars post-nose job Jennifer Gray (DIRTY DANCING) as an idealistic young doctor who travels to Jamaica to provide healthcare for a wealthy young American (Daniel Lapaine) who is suffering from an unknown, debilitating illness. Before long, she finds herself caught up in a convoluted conspiracy and headed for a showdown with the local voodoo bigwig.

Now, it looks to me like the "TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS" and Crypt Keeper introduction were slapped on after production as a marketing ploy... apparently someone thinks there's still some mileage in the name (kinda like all those "National Lampoon" movies where the producers just paid to put the name on the video box). It's too bad that the Crypt Keeper intro is so shoddily done – the puppet is virtually immobile and the writing is neither clever nor funny.

The movie itself plays out like a slightly-better-than-usual TV thriller with a little added nudity. It's very talky and while it kept my attention all the way through, it was pretty much forgotten once the disc stopped spinning.

The DVD from Dimension is a bare-bones affair, with no extra features whatsoever. You do get a rock-solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and Dolby 5.1 Surround sound, though.

Eh.

BUY: Ritual - Tales From the Crypt Presents