Whereas I usually bemoan so many of the low budget efforts that we come across as of late, a lack of funds doesn’t necessarily mean a bad movie when you’re blessed with a wealth of intelligence and inspiration. Such is the case with writer and director Dante Tomaselli’s 1999 effort Desecration, which began its life as a 1994 short film.
Danny Lopes plays Bobby — he would go on to star in several more films for the creator — a troubled boy who has lost his mother and has been raised by his overly protective and extremely Catholic grandmother. After an accident with a remote control airplane causes a nun’s death, Bobby’s life becomes a true nightmare, both in waking reality and in dreamlike states that attack the viewer when you are least prepared for their onslaught.
We’ve interviewed Dante before, whose cousin is director Alfred Sole, the creator of Alice, Sweet Alice. Much like that film — while becoming an original work all its own — the feeling of dread that one may feel inside a house of worship comes home to roost. I can almost smell the sweet odor of incense and hear the clanging chain of the censer as the priest makes the procession to the altar. And I can remember the sheer worry I felt when one elder priest would bark into a crackling microphone, chastising us all for believing that the Communist menace was dead, as late as 1992.
Desecration is the rare film that can make a gold balloon or an outdoor Christmas decoration lighting up more ominous than a hundred jump scare packed big budget Hollywood film. It’s terrors feel like they come from a real place, from true nightmares, from worries that you have while kneeling and praying for salvation.
You can get the Code Red blu ray of this film from Diabolik DVD or from Kino Lorber. The special edition also comes with the short version of Desecration, a 13 track Witches album and commentary by Tomaselli.
DISCLAIMER: This film was sent to us directly by Dante Tomaselli. That has no impact on this review.