Creaturealm: Demons Wake (1998)

Rating:

USA. 1998 Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law:

Crew

Director – Tim Thomson, Screenplay – David Rains, Producers – Rains, Thomson & Soodebeh Babcock, Photography – Christopher J. Hogan, Music – Autodidact, Dr:Op:Fr:Am+E, Truth Decay & Walking Timebombs, Digital Effects – Lunatic Fringe Productions, Makeup Effects Design – Todd Waters. Production Company – Lunatic Fringe Productions.

Cast

Paul Locklew (Pat McManus), David Rains (John D), Michelle Fitzgerald (Gayle Hingus), Celeste Cheramie (Assistant District Attorney Wilson), Frank Page (Judge John Smith), Frank Graymartin (Jesus Noches), J.J. Rains (Mary Laveau), H.P. Platte (Sam Hingus), Christopher Cole (Xarxanxithma)

Dryer Straits:

Crew

Director/Screenplay – Michael Legge, Music – Daryl Dexter, Creature Effects – Michael Legge & Rebecca Tredeau. Production Company – Sideshow Cinema.

Cast

Phyllis Weaver, Wendy Drescher, Rebecca Tredeau)


Plot

Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law:- Criminal lawyer Pat McManus is assigned to act as defence for Gayle Hingus who is accused of murdering her husband Sam. McManus then meets John D, a tabloid journalist specialising in the occult, who persuades him that Hingus was murdered while Gayle was possessed by a demon. McManus decides to mount a unique case where he argues that Gayle is innocent because she was possessed. He then calls both the dead husband and the demon as witnesses. Dryer Straits:- A middle-aged woman living on her own comes out in a strange rash, which is possibly caused by the perfume New Woman that she was given by her daughter. She then has to fight off a monster composed of lint that has emerged from her washing machine.


Creaturealm: Demons Wake is one of the anthology films produced by Brimstone Productions, founded by Kevin J. Lindenmuth, director of highly imaginative low-budget films such as Vampires and Other Stereotypes (1994) and Addicted to Murder (1995). Brimstone Productions both distributes and produces films by other low-budget filmmakers, as well as producing anthology series that feature contributions from various directors, most notably the ambitious Alien Agenda series – see The Alien Agenda: Out of the Darkness (1996). Creaturealm is an attempt to do for occult what the Alien Agenda series did with science-fiction – create a series about demonic intrusions – although any sense of overarching structure is far looser – ie. non-existent – here than in the Alien Agenda series.

The first episode Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law is hilarious. The concept – putting the occult on trial in a courtroom – is positively ingenious. There is a wonderful wit and cleverness as each aspect of the story unfolds – the conjuring of spirits and then raising of the murdered as a witness in his own trial, followed by calling the possessing demon to the witness stand. As John D, David Rains does a very funny job of puncturing occult cliches. Moreover, the legal aspect is written with a great deal of conviction – the episode could with a few conceptual stretches easily almost work as an episode of The Practice (1997-2004). Indeed, it would make for a great big budget feature-film. The end credits promise that “Pat McManus will return in Possession 2: Posseport Service,” which one can only say they await with eager anticipation. This episode and the Worm segment of The Alien Agenda: Out of the Darkness are the two best things that Brimstone Productions have put out.

The second episode Dryer Straits is the lesser in terms of both length and quality. Nevertheless, it has some deftly drawn characterizations in the thieving neighbour and the indolent daughter. The sight of the aging grandmother taking on a lint monster, ripping its head and arm off and finally taking it on with a vacuum cleaner is rather funny. Although what is actually going on is a little murky – it is not clear what is the significance of the New Woman perfume? Does it create a doppelganger of the wearer? And what significance is the lint monster to this?

Brimstone followed this with Creaturealm: From the Dead (1998).


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