Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cellar Dweller


(1988) Zero stars

The story begins in the 1930s where we are introduced to the famed comic book artist of Cellar Dweller, Colin Childress, who we find hard at work on one of his horror stories. We quickly learn that he steals his ideas from some old book entitled, “Curses of the Ancient Dead”. For reasons that are never explained, his creature creation comes to life and kills him. Fast forward to the 1980s where Childress’ home has been turned into a snooty New York artist haven called The Throckmorton Institute For The Arts. Moments after new student, and comic book artist, Whitney arrives, the headmistress informs her, “We have no telephones, no ties with the outside world." Boy, I hope nobody gets in a jam. She is also told to avoid going down in the basement, where Colin Childress met his fate. Whitney disobeys this rule immediately, of course, and is delighted to find that apparently nobody ever cleaned up the joint since the 1930s. Begging the headmistress to use the basement as her apartment she is eventually given permission. Whitney begins to take ideas from Colin’s old book and before you know it, bam, the cellar dweller is reborn and he’s pissed.


Come on, I'm scary!

Cellar Dweller is supposed to be homage to those old comic books we grew up with as kids such as Tales From The Crypt and Vault Of Horror. I love those old comic books and have a few bound volumes that I like to pull out on a crisp fall evening as the sun is dipping. Cellar Dweller wishes it could be one of those old horror comic stories. What the writers of the script forgot is that the stories in those old horror comic books were only 2-3 pages long. I knew I should have aborted when the “cellar dweller” made its first appearance 3 minutes into the film. I mean, if this was going to be the story’s source of terror they needed to try harder. How can you be scared of this “monster”? He looks like a WWF wrestler after a hard night of steroids, drinkin’ and broads. Unspeakably awful Cellar Dweller plays like a bad episode of Tales From the Darkside without the meager budget. The only bright spot was seeing a young Jeffrey Combs in the prologue essentially playing Herbert West. This film is part of my poster series of reviews (i.e., movie posters I recall seeing as a kid and always wondered about).

Why am I wearing a lab coat when I'm a dang comic book artist?

2 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Awesome find JPX! And I laughed like 5 times during that review.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

"We quickly learn that he steals his ideas from some old book entitled, “Curses of the Ancient Dead”. For reasons that are never explained, his creature creation comes to life and kills him."

I have a theory about those reasons. I'd wager it has something to do with the "Curses of the Ancient Dead" book he stole from.