So this was another wildcard movie but I was tricked. The trailer looked interesting and I didn’t recognize the director’s name, Victoria Sloan, but the concept of a woman working for Full Moon was intriguing to say the least. Turns out Victoria Sloan is a screen name for Creepozoids and Witchouse director David DeCoteau! Slippery bastard!
It actually fits that David DeCoteau directed this, it has his hallmarks. It’s one of the longest short movies I’ve ever seen (we spend nearly five minutes at the opening staring at the titular tacky amulet before it moves) and it’s convoluted and twisty, featuring various subplots and characters that seem important but aren’t. I will say this, the characters are all decently written and the film is well-shot and staged.
Our story focuses on Billy Parish (Elias Storm) a student at a European boarding school who shows up when a demon (Constantin Barbulescu) tied to a cursed talisman is sacrificing seven people to open the gates of Hell and bring about Armageddon. There are various similarities with plot and staging to yesterday’s entry, Netherworld, which only serves to highlight why David Schmoeller is a better director than David DeCoteau.
Contantin Barbulescu is a very un-threatening villain and the cheesy red filter they put on his eyes to make him look evil looks cheap and hacky. What Talisman is trying to be is one of those biblical horror movies that was fairly prevalent from about 1995 on (a list of such movies is at the bottom of this article and I don’t feel like writing them twice.) With the exception of the early Hellraiser and Prophecy movies this genre is generally over-stylized garbage and Talisman is no exception, though I have to admire it for breaking the mould and not using that awful sepia-toned filter that those movies are so fond of.
Talisman is boring, it’s generic, it’s a slow burn that never actually ignites. The marketing for this movie was trying to capitalize on the dubious star power of Walter Jones (Zack the Black Ranger from the first season of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) which is somehow sadder than Jones’ career itself. The time you’ve spent reading this review is already more attention than this movie deserves, go now and think of it no more.
Watch, Toss, Or Buy? When you toss it, be sure to burn it so nobody finds it and gets possessed by its mediocrity.
If You Liked This, Watch: The Prophecy (1995), Stigmata (1999), The Reaping (2007), Hellraiser (1987), Hellinger (1997), End of Days (1999), Legion (2010)