Sitting here, staring at the screen on my laptop, and trying to come up with the right words for Exhumed. Suddenly, it dawns on me that this is a completely pointless endeavor for there are no “right” words about a movie like this. Why? I’m about to become Betty the Bipolar Movie Critic* and tell you, that’s why.
Exhumed is an indie feature from Scorpio Films Releasing, directed by one of the newer names in indie horror, Richard Griffin (Nun of That, Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon). It stars renowned, prolific, Debbie Rochon, was shot entirely in black and white, and follows the final days of an idiosyncratic family who appear to be trapped inside their home . . . somehow. Vague enough for you? There’s a reason for that . . .
Let’s just get Betty’s manic side out of the way, shall we? Mani-Beti, or MB as I’m calling her, hated Exhumed. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word. MB has difficulty appreciating the smaller, quieter, and finer things in life and tends to go for the blood, gore, fire, and yeah, ‘splosions. She had her interest piqued right away with the visual design and the stark black & white photography – she eats that shit up with a spoon. Yet the longer the film went, the less and less interest MB had. Due to the repetitive dialog, Hammer-like pace (see: a snail’s speed), and a maddening lack of explanation for any of the goings-on. By the time of the WTF of an ending, MB had decided she wanted the last 93 minutes of her life back.
Dark Betty on the other hand . . . (What? That sounds a metric fuck-ton better than “Deep Betty” – you filthy pervs – or “Sad Betty”, “Betty the Cutter”, or any other lame-ass noise.) dug the ever loving shit out of Exhumed. While MB may have the patience and attention span of a tsetse fly, DB’s** tastes run a little bit higher than tits and blood (not that there’s anything wrong with that). DB adored the attention to detail, the Hammer-like script and performances, and the open-ended mysteries. Hell, she doesn’t even care that the title never even makes sense or that the mannequins aren’t explained. She’s sure there’s a reason for it, and if she watched it again, she’d catch it. She found herself laughing out loud to the dark humor, the overwrought nature of both The Governess and The Butler, and the wackadoo ending complete with necrophiliac murder/suicide. DB walked away wondering if there could be a good sequel in there (the answer is a resounding yes there is).
The moral of my story – A Tale of Two Bitches – is that you’re either gonna love Exhumed, hate it, or all of the above. It’s a weird number, feels like it could have been made 60 years ago (that’s a compliment, FYI), and should, at the very least, make most viewers sit up and take notice of its filmmakers. For a little flick made on a minuscule budget (with some help from Kickstarter) entirely in the decidedly non-Hollywood state of Rhode Island, that’s a major success.
Exhumed is currently available from Amazon: