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Risen, The (2004)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Risen, The (2004) Brandon Bethmann and Eric Szmyr, the Upstate New York filmmakers who brought us RAISING HELL a couple of years ago are back with their sophomore effort, THE RISEN. This is another extremely ambitious project with great production values, though they've obviously scaled their budgets down a bit this time around. Still, the filmmaking duo deliver another creepy-looking monster and an intriguing set-up: an alien beast is wreaking havok in a small town. There's Men In Black types after it and a local gal who knows all about it---as one of her family members was killed by it years ago. When the predator returns and goes on a new rampage, heads are torn off and blood spurts! Gore fans will not be disappointed, especially with the 'rave party massacre.' When a lead character is unexpectedly killed off midway through the movie (in a nice touch, a'la Janet Leigh in PSYCHO),Eric Szmyr takes over as a Snake Plissken-type, looking to avenge the death of this family member. He's chalk-full of cool one-liners (and one blind eye) and this 'Xtro' inspired movie keeps a tongue-in-cheek comic tone throughout---right down to E.C.-style comic book pages being turned to help move the story along! Nice touch and super artwork! One can only hope an official comic book is soon to follow! As stated about RAISING HELL, THE RISEN is also an example of what good independent filmmaking is all about and if you're looking for a low-budget monster movie with all the expected b-movie staples, THE RISEN does not disappoint. There's also some excellent war scene flashbacks, chalk full of explosions and gunfire, which demonstrate how creative and talented the producers are even with a smaller budget. Ultimately, THE RISEN is a fun story told with a lot of flare and style...it is a tautly-paced and exciting monster flick well worth checking out!
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