A Visit to Scared To Death: The Thrill of Horror Film (MoPop – Seattle, WA)

In September 2017, the MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture) in Seattle, Washington opened an exhibit called Scared of Death: The Thrill of Horror Film. The exhibit is over 3,000 square feet and features more than fifty props from various horror movies and TV shows. It was a dream exhibit for a horror fan like me, and I really wasn’t sure I’d ever get a chance to see so many pieces of iconic horror history in one place in my lifetime. Luckily for me, I have family in Seattle, and my dad and I flew to Seattle last week to meet our family and I got a chance to check out the exhibit.

Upon walking into the MoPop, I made a beeline for the horror exhibit. 

The first thing you are greeted with is the Governor’s aquarium of heads from the Walking Dead.

Once inside the exhibit is incredible. It’s dimly lit and feels almost like a haunted attraction. Glass cases that you can look in from both sides house most of the props. And if props aren’t your thing, there are all sorts of high quality sitting areas with TVs showing clips and documentaries about horror films, as well as nice art work that explains some of the biggest icons in horror, the timeline of horror, and even recreated pages from Bram Stroker’s Dracula. 

I’ll be honest, I was like a kid in a candy store. It was the most excited I’ve been in a very long time. I was surrounded by so many pieces of horror history it was hard to know where to look and how much time to spend there. Had I been on my own, I probably would have spent four or five hours browsing, but I had family in tow so I made it through as quickly as I could.

I think most of the pictures and props are self-explanatory so I’m just going to post them for everyone to view. Some of the highlights include: a sweater worn by Robert Englund in A Nightmare on Elm Street, Machete Prop from Dawn of the Dead (1978), Lament Configuration Box from Hellraiser: Inferno, Mr. Pointy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1998), Special Effects Switchboard Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, Pages from the Necronomicon from Evil Dead 2, Judd’s head and ankle from Pet’s Sematary (1989), and the Ax used by Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

If you ever get a chance to check out the horror exhibit at MoPop I highly recommend it!

Resurrection Review (1999)

My History With the Film:
In my life, I can only remember two movies my dad ever forbid me from watching: Pulp Fiction and Resurrection. Like all rebellious boys, those movies quickly became my most anticipated movies. I managed to rent Pulp Fiction while visiting my grandmother a few weeks after he told me I couldn’t see it and once I began working at Blockbuster Resurrection was one of the first movies I rented.

The use of religion in a serial killer plot must be what made my father take issue with the film. I didn’t see it as blasphemous and really enjoyed the movie. I actually remember thinking it might have been better than Se7en, a film it was clearly mimicking in tone and style.

Resurrection was a direct-to-video release and is not currently in print or streaming anywhere other than a bootleg version on YouTube. I decided to check this film out for the first time in over a decade shortly after watching Se7en back in August 2018. I enjoyed the film for what it was, but it was nowhere near in the same league as Se7en.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Two Chicago detectives investigate a series of gruesome murders where the killer takes a single body part from every victim.

What I Liked About It:
-The film does a good job of capturing the tone and darkness of Se7en, but it never gets quite the feeling of hopelessness.

-I’ve always liked Christopher Lambert (John Prudhomme), but I know people find him one-dimensional. His work here is no different. It’s Christopher Lambert, being Christopher Lambert as a cop.

-Leland Orser (Andrew Hollingsworth) is the star of the film in my eyes and he puts on a fantastic show. He’s the most believable actor and he plays well off of Christopher Lambert.

-The actual reasoning for the killings and what the killer is attempting to do is disturbing and it feels vicious, even more than the killer in Se7en. You feel like this killer is really out of his mind and that makes the film feel a little more real than it probably should.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-::SPOILERS:: Robert Joy (Demus) is a good character actor, but I never bought him as the killer. While clever at times, his character just never comes across as someone with the capacity to do the things that he does. ::END SPOILERS::

-The supporting cast leaves a lot to be desired. Most of them seemed like they showed up to read some lines real quick and go back to their real jobs.

-The film drags and is uneven in its tone. I think the subplot of John (Christopher Lambert) mourning his son was wasted and took away too much time from the actual chase of the killer.

Additional Notes:
-The film was released theatrically in most of Europe, Asia, and Australia, but went straight to video in the United States.

-Several scenes of violence and bloodletting were removed and shortened to avoid an NC-17 rating.

-Director Russell Mulcahy and star Christopher Lambert worked together on Highlander and Highlander 2.

Resurrection feels low budget, especially when put aside something like Se7en. I believe I cut the film a lot of slack because it was straight-to-video, but if I was to judge this as theatrical release my score would be lower.

On its own, Resurrection is an above-average straight to video film. It’s reasonably well acted, well directed, and has a coherent plot. It’s memorable because it attempted to mimic Se7en, but I think in a way it put itself in a category to be compared to Se7en and that does not help the film. I’d rate Resurrection a 2.5 out of 5 and say it’s a rental if you are into serial killer flicks. Otherwise you can skip it.