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Creaturealm: Demons Wake   B

Brimstone Productions

Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Directors: Tim Thomson, Michael Legge
Writers: David Rains, Michael Legge
Cast: Paul Locklear, Michelle Fitzgerald, Celeste Cheramie, David Rains, Frank Page, JJ Rains, Frank Garymartin, Phyllis Weaver, Wendy Drescher, Rebecca Tredeau.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

Executive produced by Kevin Lindenmuth's Brimstone Productions, Creaturealm: Demons Wake contains two short films by up-and-coming indie directors. The first one is an excellent example of quality storytelling on a micro budget, while the second one is just plain silly.

In the first short, "Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law," a woman (Michelle Fitzgerald) is on trial for the brutal murder of her husband. Attorney Pat Macmanus (Paul Locklear) is given the troubling job of defending this obviously guilty woman -- after all, it had even been proven that she had eaten some of the victim after viciously stabbing him to death. But could demonic possession have something to do with the murder? You bet.

Working from David Rains' clever script, director Tim Thomson meshes the courtroom drama with the demonic possession flick with wonderfully entertaining results. The acting all around is great; in shot-on-video movies with such low budgets, there are usually some laughably bad performances, but not here. A particular mention should go to Celeste Cheramie as the Assistant DA -- she was pretty damn good. And there's writer David Rains, who provides some comic relief as a tabloid journalist/mystic who buddies up with Pat Macmanus to help him solve the case. "Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law" clocks in at about 52 minutes, but it's so well-written and directed that I wished it had been feature-length.

The only quibble I had about "Possession" was the needlessly graphic flashbacks to the murder. I love a good disemboweling as much as the next guy, but here it seemed like it would have been better off left to the imagination. A minor complaint, for sure -- "Possession" still rocks.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for director Tim Thomson as the dead husband.

The short flick that follows "Possession" pales in comparison, but it has its own goofy charm. "Dryer Straights" pits an old woman (Phyllis Weaver) against something we all live in fear of -- that lint monster that emerges from our dryers every now and then. Written and directed by Michael Legge, "Dryer Straights" is a masterpiece of heart-pounding terror -- ah, who am I kidding?

Creaturealm: Demons Wake is definitely worth a look, especially for Tim Thomson's "Possession is Nine Tenths of the Law." I hope we'll see more from this talented director in the future.

Review published 06.23.2000.

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