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Movies From the Black Lagoon: The Arrival
Movies From the Black Lagoon
The Arrival - 1991, Rated R
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" gets spliced with "The Hidden" in this dark thriller that came out five years before the title was slapped onto a lame Charlie Sheen flick about alien contact. This one is actually pretty good and was made for less than Sheen donated to Heidi Fleiss when she was still laboring in the world's oldest profession.
It all starts at a birthday party for Max Page, who has just turned 73. The party gets crashed (big time) when a meteorite lands in Max's yard. The next day finds Max barred from his own back yard as government agents rope off the site and study the debris. This doesn't deter Max who pulls up a lawn chair to watch the show. Turns out to be a bad idea as an unseen force tunnels up from the crash area and heads for Max like a deranged gopher. In a flash he's off his rocker, literally, and an ambulance whisks him to the hospital.
His family arrives in time to find that Max didn't survive the incident, which no one witnessed, and his passing is attributed to age. Max stuns the scientific community by being the first dead guy to get better. Unfortunately, he almost kills his son who is taking a quiet moment with the deceased when he suddenly springs back to life. After a few days of observation (which Max spends flirting with a cutesy nurse named Connie when he's not raiding the ward's blood supply) he is released. Trouble isn't far behind.
He begins suffering from nightmares in which his daughter-in-law tries to seduce him and he retaliates by drinking her blood. Freud would be envious.
Things take a turn for the worse when he develops odd powers, which include: a strong sense of smell, which is attuned to estrogen levels in women, super strength, and a thirst for human blood. The upside, however, is that Max begins to get younger though his anti-aging method (drinking the blood of women) is not socially acceptable. Page decides to hit the road and begins preying on the poor souls who give him a ride.
Meanwhile, an F.B.I. agent gets on his trail and soon hooks up with the government goons who trashed Max's yard. Oddly, they work well together and no one questions the fact this is some weird stuff. Eventually, Max lands in San Diego and puts the moves on Connie (who has relocated there). It all leads to a showdown between the cops and our possessed hero, which ends in copious bloodshed and a tad of melodrama as Connie rushes into Max's arms to hold him one last time - bad idea. The last shot is a killer and it promises a sequel that we never got. This is too bad because director David Schmoeller has made a ton of sequels to his other films (like "Puppet Master") and usually serves up an entertaining flick.
Good lensing and an air of mystery help this one, as they never even try to explain exactly what has possessed Max. The actors are okay and include a load of genre vets such as Stuart Gordon ("Re-Animator"), John Saxon ("Enter the Dragon"), and Michale J. Pollard ("House of 1,000 Corpses") is as hilarious as a muskrat grilling dope whose pet parrot knows more cuss words than the late, and great, George Carlin.
Best Line: "He was sucking on my neck and then he began to gag."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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