04/16/2014  
Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13Transformers Energon: The Complete Series on DVD May 6American Jesus on DVD May 13Bad Country on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 29Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Clips and Web Sites and More!Call Me Crazy: A Five Film on DVD May 6Living Things: A Vegan vs. Meat Debate Movie on DVD Apr 15

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Brad Pitt to Star as General Stanley McChrystal in Afgh...
First Trailer for David Fincher's 'Gone Girl,' Featurin...
Autopsy: Ultimate Warrior died of heart disease ...
Longmire: Season 2 on DVD May 13...
Transformers Energon: The Complete Series on DVD May 6...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Pathfinder Home Entertainment presents
Necropolis Awakened (2002)

"I'm not part of those sick things in that town, whatever the hell they are."
- Detroit (Brandon Dubisar)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: July 07, 2003

Stars: Duke White, Garrett White, Brandon White
Other Stars: Brandon Dubisar, Coren Slogowski
Director: Garrett White

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, gore)
Run Time: 01h:35m:39s
Release Date: April 22, 2003
UPC: 825307906592
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+B-C- B+

DVD Review

Of all the different film genres out there, the horror field probably has more forgettable low-budget entries than just about any other. It's almost a prerequisite, or maybe even a right of passage, depending on your outlook. Over the years I've seen far too many of the forgettable type (they do seem to be the norm), and too few that don't let something like a limited amount of capital prevent a great story from being told in a new and exciting way. Necropolis Awakened, made with a small cast that doubles as the entire production team, is one of those extreme rarities.

The plot concerns a moderately deranged, wild-eyed guy named Bob (Duke White), who is just about the only human left alive in the small remote town of Sky Hook. It seems that an army of the undead have taken over the place, led by the villainous ghoul Nefarious Thorne (Brandon White), a slobbering, drooling, goggle-wearing, rubber-aproned freak with one of the best sissified high-pitch cackles since Margaret Hamilton straddled a broom. It's up to crazy Bob to not only stop Thorne, but to avoid a trio of demented assassins hired to kill him, whose leader is a psychotic control freak named Judas (also played by Duke White, in an almost unrecognizable dual role). Oh, and let's not forget all of the flesh-eating undead wandering around who used to be Bob's neighbors.

Made for a micro-miniscule budget, Necropolis Awakened is literally a family project from writer/director/editor/actor Garrett White (he plays Bob's cousin Tiden, an unwitting accomplice), who is one-third of the crew, along with special effects supervisor/actor Brandon (his brother, who plays Nefarious Thorne) and actor/jack-of-all-trades Duke (their father, and a man with a tour-de-force dual role as Judas and Bob). This is a cheaply made little film, no question about it. But it is a wildly enterprising and clever one, and it has far more exuberance and energy than a lot mainstream horror can manage to muster these days. What Necropolis Awakened lacks in elaborate set dressings and high-grade special effects (or extra cast members, for that matter), it more than makes up for in a lively script that is sprinkled with Tarantino-edged dialogue and weirdly offbeat characters.

It takes a certain type of genre fan to appreciate the low-budget goodness of an outing like Necropolis Awakened, and if you only fancy big, glossy Hollywood horror, then you probably won't really appreciate the slightly over-cranked car chases or the noticeable lack of any more than four or five of the same recurring zombies wandering around on screen. Likewise, the editing gaffes and the occasional cameraman's reflection also just go with the territory of the typical underfunded horror production, and believe me, there are some rough edges evident in the final product.

Those imperfections don't overshadow the thematic bits from The Road Warrior, Pulp Fiction, The Night of the Living Dead, and Gladiator that are mixed in liberally here, and when they are all combined together, the result is a fun bit of spirited indie horror that could teach a thing or two to the big boys about how to tell a story.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Necropolis Awakened comes delivered from Pathfinder in what appears to be a nonanamorphic 1.85:1 transfer (though the aspect ratio isn't indicated definitively on the packaging, it is nonanamorphic). Colors are muted, and image detail is generally a little soft and blurry in spots, but the transfer remains consistent throughout; though the film was shot on digital video the whole presentation has a "film" look to it. For such an extremely low-budget project, the transfer is fairly solid all the way around.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The weak link in the armor of this release is the flat 2.0 stereo audio track, which often clips and distorts during loud moments of dialogue (which in this film is a lot). Not that I really think I missed anything critical during these sometimes inaudible passages, but I did find myself constantly fiddling with my remote to raise and lower the volume accordingly.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Deleted Scenes
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Duke White, Garrett White, Brandon White
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
  2. Monster short film
Extras Review: Pathfinder has done the Whites proud by decking out the DVD release of Necropolis Awakened with a particularly good set of supplements. Things start off with The Making of Necropolis Awakened (17m:07s), features Garrett, Brandon, and Duke White discussing how some of the special effects were done, but also throwing in a couple of humorous anecdotes about how their set was almost mistaken by the F.B.I. as a terrorist enclave. Test footage, behind-the-scenes clips and a nice peek at the effects make this worth a viewing.

The three White's provide a full-length, scene-specific commentary track, too, and while not constantly riveting or insightful, it is a fun listen. In between revealing some of the cheap shortcuts they had to endure, they confess to using real weapons in many of the scenes and even point a couple of moments when a stuffed dummy was used onscreen because there just weren't enough people to go around.

There are also four Deleted Scenes (a total runtime of 23m:01s) that provide more backstory to Bob's involvement with Thorne, and the gem of the bunch wraps with a great bit of dialogue between Bob and Tiden about whether the undead are eating or simply helping someone. It's a hoot.

Monster: A Modern Re-Telling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (25m:21s) is a 2001 production from Team White, and as the title implies, it is a vague variation on a familiar theme. In this telling, the main characters are a couple of violent, escaped prisoners, and plenty of blood, guts, and gore figure into what is a solidly creepy vibe throughout. Darker and less fun than Necropolis Awakened, Monster makes the most of its 25-minute runtime.

The disc, which also features a photo gallery, theatrical trailer and biographies, is cut into 18 chapters, and does not contain any subtitles.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Here's a flick that has managed to raise the bar for low-budget indie horror, and the family filmmaking team of Garrett, Duke, and Brandon White are its (as of yet) unsung heroes. It is pretty rare when a genre title can dish out this much dark humor and clever writing in one package, but Necropolis Awakened has really nailed it.

Trust me.

Recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 





Covered California

Keywords

movie, brad pitt, general stanley mcchrystal, the operators, afghanistan war film, david michod, gone girl gillian flynn, ben affleck, rosamund pike, elvis costello, she, nine inch nails, trent reznor, atticus ross, gone girl's score, celebrity, television, ultimate warrior, james hellwig, wrestler, heart disease, world wrestling entertainment hall of fame, animation, hbo, game of thrones, jack gleeson, king joffrey baratheon, the purple wedding, documentary, movies, drama, horror, fantasy, sci-fi, shailene wookley, veronica roth, allegiant, divergent, insurgent, the croods, nicolas cage, joe, david gordon green, tye sheridan, late night, late show, david letterman, stephen colbert, comedy central, the colbert report, julia louis-dreyfus, seinfeld, heep, rolling stone magazine, crime, comedy, angelina jolie, big men, maleficent, unbroken, mickey rooney, a-list teenage star, andy hardy, judy garland, ava gardner, box office, indie, superheroes, captain america: the winter soldier, marvel universe, chris evans, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, late night talk, ellen degereres, tina fey, conan o'brien

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact