Review of "The Last Voyage of the Demeter", 9/9/2023

FANGS FOR THE MEMORY: Excellent—just saw this with my old friend Glenn Kenny at a screening at AMC Lincoln Square 13 IMAX Theatre. Kind of like an updated super-Hammer Horror film without the cheesecake, based on the Captain's Log section of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (true confession: I have a soft-spot for vampire films). Return to Whitby as the good ship Demeter manned by a crew of 7 sails from Romania to England with the sailors getting picked off one by one by that old devil Drac, here portrayed as a cross between Max Schreck's Nosferatu and the "Night on Bald Mountain" demon Chernabog from Disney's "Fantasia". Filmed in Malta and at Babelsberg Studios in Berlin (site of the old UFA Studios, where all the great German Expressionist horror classics were filmed, including "The Golem"—made a pilgrimage there in the 90's when "Tim Drum" director Volker Schlöndorff was heading it up, as their studio tour brochure claimed to feature the "Golem Village"—not true—but they do have the Ray Harryhausen creature armatures from "Jason and the Argonauts" et al in glass display cases). Back to "Demeter": the film looks incredible and features a cast of relative unknowns who really do deliver the goods, along with terrific cinematography, editing, sound design and fx. The "Special Thanks" credit crawl at the end includes Guillermo Del Toro and inexplicably, Thom Yorke (wha??). There's been zippo marketing of this film to date, at least not any that I've noticed—shame, as the audience was spellbound throughout. Coulda shoulda might well be the sleeper hit of the summer. Demeter is running!