Talisman (1998)

David DeCoteau has a goal of making the “male version of Suspiria” which means that we get a movie where the dialogue says things like “Boys’ tears are the most delicious of all,” and the music from Dark Angel: The Ascent gets reused and so does the exteriors from Subspecies, plus this was shot at the same time as Frankenstein Reborn*. Also, DeCoteau dislocated his elbow halfway through the shoot and toughed out the filming on painkillers, which I would argue made this a better film.

I would assume that by Suspiria the director meant that this had to be set in a foreign school and not anything to do with the color palette, as this looks quite dark and drab. It’s closer to Reform School Girls except it is not self-aware and it’s really all about seeing shirtless boys get murdered on a Satanic altar. And it’s also about dudes in their underwear betting one another about how many push-ups they can do.

There’s also a dude named Theriel the Black Angel who is bald and has glowing red eyes and seems like he’d be a good hang, but is really here to bring about the end of the world so he just roams the halls and rips out human hearts. There is actually a talisman, so the title makes sense. He was brought back to life by said talisman, along with the blood of a baby virgin. Now he gets to set people on fire, which is a way better life than I figure he had the first try.

Also, the Black Ranger is in this. And the only straight relationship in the whole movie ends up being incestual. It also make 78 minutes feel like 78 years and I’m not even going to bring up that the credits take double digit minutes to play.

This was renamed “Evil Never Dies” and cut down to thirty minutes for Full Moon’s Tomb of Terror remix release. Full Moon does so love recycling things. To prove my point even further, they’ve re-released this under a new Fulci sounding title, 7th Gate of Death. Don’t be fooled. It’s the same movie.

*I am not talking down on re-use. Roger Corman made a career out of it. He also made some better movies than the output of Full Moon, but why argue?

You can watch this on Tubi.

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