Netherworld (1992)

Starring Michael Bendetti, Denise Gentile, Anjanette Comer, Holly Floria, Robert Sampson, Holly Butler, Alex Datcher, Robert Burr, George Kelly, Mark Kemble

Directed by David Schmoeller

Expectations: Fairly high. Schmoeller has a good enough track record with Tourist Trap and Puppet Master.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

Sometimes when a film is able to capture the vibe of a place it creates a film worth talking about. Other times this backfires and we’re left with a film like Netherworld. Shot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana, the film definitely takes on the slow-paced New Orleans vibe, but in a film about a cult turning people into manbirds, a degree of urgency should inform the film. OK, OK, it’s not exactly about manbirds, but Full Moon and director David Schmoeller do try to make you think it is within the first few minutes, when a stone hand adorned with Egyptian runes flies out of a crypt and onto the face of a violent rapist of a man and quickly transforms him into a crude man-sized bird (Think dude with giant cardinal head).

Now, I’d love to tell you that the rest of the film is about the stone hand rampaging around, turning men into hybrid manbirds; the flock eventually rising up against their evil creators. Or maybe an elder manbird taking a newly hatched manbird under his wing and showing him the ropes, training him for his ultimate finale against the evil creator. Nope, sorry. Instead, right after the massive manbird bomb (or egg, if you prefer) is dropped, the film completely, and I mean completely, drops that line of the plot and starts up a brand new one involving a son inheriting his father’s incredible New Orleans mansion.

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