Necropolis (1987)


USA. 1987.


Director/Screenplay – Bruce Hickey, Producers – Cynthia DePaula & Tim Kincaid, Photography – Arthur D. Marks, Miniature Effects – James Chai, Special Effects Supervisor – Matt Vogel, Makeup Effects – Ed French, Art Direction – Ruth Lounsbury & Marina Zurkow. Production Company – Tycin Entertainment/Taryn Productions


LeeAnne Baker (Eva), Jacquie Fitz (Dawn Phillips), Michael Conte (Billy/William), William K. Reed (Reverend Henry James), Paul Ruben (Dr Benny Baker), Andrew Bausili (Tony/Preacher), Letnam Yekim (Rudy), Gy Milano (Rosa), George Anthony-Bayza (Philly)


New Amsterdam, 1865. The witch Eva abducts Dawn from her wedding ceremony to William and intends to sacrifice her in a Satanic ceremony. The former slave Henry breaks in and banishes Eva to Hell, not before she promises to return and seek revenge. In present-day New York, Eva returns as a New Wave punkette. She kills all in her way in order to obtain the Devil’s Ring from street minister Henry James and then begins to claim souls with it. Reporter Dawn Phillips joins forces with investigating detective Billy to solve the murders. During the investigation, they come to understand that they are the reincarnations of the people from 1865 and that Eva has returned to complete her sacrifice.

Necropolis is one of the no-budget genre films made by gay porn director Tim Kincaid during the 1980s. Kincaid has previously directed a series of extremely cheap science-fiction films with Breeders (1986), Mutant Hunt (1986) and Robot Holocaust (1986), all of which were released through Albert and Charles Band’s Empire Productions. Kincaid and his regular producer/wife Cynthia DePaula then both produced Necropolis, turning the director’s chair over to Bruce Hickey. Like all of Tim Kincaid’s other genre films, Necropolis was released by Empire (it even has a score rehashed from other Empire films). In 1995, in an exhaustive study of every Band film ever made, Cinefantastique magazine described Necropolis as their worst ever release.

Necropolis is a ridiculously cheap film. This is more than amply conveyed by the opening prologue, which is supposedly set in 1865 but features the entirely absurd image of LeeAnne Baker conducting a Satanic ritual by disco-dancing and wearing a modern leotard. The plot is a rehash of older films like City of the Dead (1959) and Black Sunday (1960) concerning a witch returning from a burning at the stake to exact revenge on the descendants of her accusers. That is if one can imagine a Black Sunday having been uprooted and transplanted into 80s Blitz guise. Necropolis adds a ludicrous additional plot twist of having all the players in the 19th Century setting being reincarnated in the present day – even with the same names.

Necropolis is filled with absurd moments – the most amusing of these being when LeeAnne Baker manifests six breasts whereupon the unexplained creatures that lurk around come and suckle from her. It is an image that has a preposterous Z-budget poetry to it. There are numerous cheap, cheesy severed head and hand makeup effects. It might also be noted that, despite the title, there are no necropolises in the film – necropolis is a word that means a large cemetery or the ruins of an ancient city.

Like most of Tim Kincaid’s other genre films, Necropolis is shot around the cheap and gungy backstreets of New York City. LeeAnne Baker’s revived witch seems to spend a substantial part of the film in New Wave Blitz makeup and dancing very badly. Underneath the makeup, LeeAnne Baker has a rat-like face and seems to give her entire performance with an unhappy look on her face. She is surrounded by various other bad actors – from Michael Conte who seems to sneer his way through the part of the detective and Paul Ruben who gives a poutily gay performance as a coroner.

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