Title: Desecration

Also known as:

Year: 1999

Genre: Horror / Occult / Surrealism / Independent

Language: English

Runtime: 88 min

Director: Dante Tomaselli

Writer: Dante Tomaselli

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0273169/

Bobby is a teenager who lost his mother at an early age. Now she is trying to get back from Hell and this requires Bobby to be dragged down himself.

Our thoughts:
All I really expected out of "Desecration" was a surreal trip about nuns. I hadn't done my homework on it at all, a few screenshots and the cover was enough to make me interested. I figured it wouldn't be a surreal movie up there with the cream of the crop but at the very least I wanted some bizarre imagery to feed my visual-addicted tapeworm that I seem to carry around with me. My assumptions were pretty spot on, it's a fun trip if you strictly look for visual stimulance, much like with Alejandro Jodorowsky in that sense (waiting for the readers to kill me because I don't think Jodorowsky is much more than that, even though he is indeed very good at it). However if you want a solid story that builds nicely from start to finish, this isn't at all what you want. If you want to be scared or hooked into a good horror tale, this isn't the right movie either.

The plot of the movie is really not very open for us, and it seems it was mostly left that way so that the director didn't have to focus on working harder on it. It's a very shallow story that opens up the opportunity to show us his artistic merits. Take what you want from the plot - what I gather is the only part of importance is that it's about a teenage boy who is being haunted by what could only be described as Hell. Why? Because his dead mother is trying to get back from the dead. Apparently. Is that a bad story? Not at all, it's just the lack of work that has been put into explaining it in a way that will put me in the character's shoes. The nightmare that our young lead is going through isn't hitting us hard at all. Even though some things in the movie could've been extremely creepy and disturbing, the lack of involvement we feel for the characters takes it all away. With a runtime of 88 minutes, this makes for one hell of a boring story.

To be fair to the movie, I will also judge it completely by it's visuals and nightmarish imagery. I sincerely believe that is all the director wanted to make, even though he struggled to give us a story to hold it up. Visually, yes, I am very impressed by the movie. It's somewhere between a typical 70's nunsploitation film and stunning Surrealist art. Shots of the disfigured nun, the attack of the flying scissors and the plants that grow around him when he sleeps are, among other scenes, all extremely impressive. I wouldn't hesitate a second to put "Desecration" up on a pedestal along with some of the better surreal films if it wasn't for the lacking plot and stale characters. Yes, the characters are just as boring as the plot.

I definitely think that if you enjoy movies simply because they have a few cool surreal moments you should watch this one. It's not a good movie but I think that if you can stand the boredom it has some great scenes that are worth watching it for. At the very least I think that Dante Tomaselli has potential to make something fantastic if he just lets someone else focus on the story, or if he co-writes it with someone. Maybe it's too hard to say he's a bad writer from his debut feature, so I can only hope he has improved with his later films; "Horror", "Satan's Playground" and "Torture Chamber" (something tells me he hasn't).

Positive things:
- Some fantastic imagery.
- The scissors scene was silly but awesome.
Negative things:
- Poorly written (or maybe he just didn't want the story to be important).
- Stale characters and actors.
- As many times before, would work better as a short film. I know he made a short film with the same name before this so I wouldn't mind seeing that.

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1/5
Effects: 3.5/5
Comedy: 1/5

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