The Bottom Line: "Take, take a look around She's a pretty good dancer She dances on my grave" ~Velvet Revolver
Generally when school friends get together after a period of time it is a fun occasion but not so for Harris, Kira, and Sid, who have met up to attend the funeral of a friend that died in an automobile accident. As they rehash old times it becomes apparent that there is some strife between them, overflowing on this grim reception.
Finally, meeting up late at night at the cemetery with wine in hand, they reminisce about the past and just why they are here. As they wander through the cemetery, having drunk way too much wine, Sid finds a card and reads, for all to hear, the strange incantation on the card. It speaks of death and dying and how you should celebrate ones passing instead of mourn. In fact, you should become Gravedancers, paying homage to the departed.
So they did. Danced the night away, laughing, singing, drinking.
However for every action there is a reaction … isn’t that what they say? In this case the three are soon haunted by malevolent spirits that rested in the graves they danced on. Calling on a paranormal investigator, he attempts along with his assistant, to rid the three of the ax murderer, pyromaniac and rapist that have become their down fall.
Whether or not he will succeed depends on an extremely strange ritual. You’d have to watch it to discover not only the ritual but also the outcome.
Gravedancers was directed by Mike Mendez, writers Brad Keene and Chris Skinner. In the long run, this wasn’t that bad of a film although it took a bit to get accustomed to the strange colorations initially used, sort of a green/gray overcast aura that gave an edgy appearance to the film. At first I thought this was a black and white film, they introduce the color so sparingly.
On the other hand, as any creature feature watcher knows, films of this caliber depend either on an solid, outstanding cast and/or a great creature. These spirits weren’t your typical fare and so neatly dropped in your lap that you have to scoot back in your chair and smooth down the hairs on your neck once in a while. Not that they were that frightening, per se, but the introduction of them was often not what you would expect. I’ll admit it, at times it was kind of unnerving.
The other operative in the film was the very fact of the incantation. Most would agree they would rather celebrate a loved one than mourn them. Often people say “I want you to throw a big party when I die, don’t stand around and cry”. So it seems only fitting that the inclusion of this poetic wording to dance on the graves seemed quite in line with the feeling of the moment. Only later do we discover this is, instead, an ancient curse, damning the dancers as they frolic. The paranormal investigators added a small bit of humor to the otherwise bleak film.
Some really decent acting by Dominic Purcell, Josie Maran and Marcus Thomas gave us three souls to root for although Clare Kramer, the assistant, almost blows the whole deal. Paranormal investigator was played by Tcheky Karyo through his eerie beliefs and goals.
As far as extras on the DVD: commentary by Mendez and composer Joseph Bishara; deleted scenes; F/X futurities; a substantial group of extras telling about low-budget movies, etc.; storyboards; financing trailer; and a fairly interesting discussion by producer Lawrence Fuhrmann, Jr.
I did note, on the trivia on IMDB that Dominic Purcell was actually buried alive for one scene, holding his breath until discovered, which apparently took some time because they couldn’t find him. Now THAT is putting your all into your performance!
*** out of **** I love me a good horror film that combines haunted-house scare-tactics with paranormal encounters with CGI ghosties; but only when it's a genuinely good show in the end. I've fought my way through countless mediocre horror/thrillers which use cheesy, lame scare tactics such as cheap jumps and gore. So why, oh why, is "The Gravedancers" that one movie that impresses me? I mean, it shouldn't have; it wasn't even remotely scary, as far as the word goes. However, … more
THE GRAVEDANCERS I was a bit surprised way back when I bought this and finally sat down to watch it, compared to the previous ones I had seen this one wasn't that bad. I have come to find that most of the films in this series are decent while only a few are really good. This one falls kinda in between as it is just good not real good but good none the less. It is actually very creative because the story line I find really intriguing. Imagine … more
Imagine saying good bye to a friend and in the process unleashing evil spirits upon you by dancing on their graves, sounds like a good time. That is exactly what happens here and other then a few missteps this is a pretty good flick that I found entertaining.