I have greatly enjoyed everything that Adam Green has done in the past. From his horror to his comedy, everything has been extremely entertaining and I am always excited to see what he will come up with next. I have heard some mixed reviews, but I have to say that I can add yet another one of his projects to my ‘good movie’ list (as opposed to the ‘awful movie/waste of time’ list) with Digging Up the Marrow.
Taking cues from other documentaries or perhaps more appropriately, mockumentaries, Digging up the Marrow is written and directed by and stars Green as himself. Green receives hundreds of fan letters in the mail and one fan in particular has sent him a package, claiming that there are real monsters in existence. Green, along with real-life collaborator, Will Barratt, meet with retired private detective, William Dekker (Ray Wise), and begin to discuss exactly how to catch these monsters on film to prove to the world that they really do exist.
I’ve heard/read tons of people across the internet exclaiming that they can’t tell what Digging Up the Marrow is exactly — is it a documentary? a found footage film? something else? I think the correct answer is all of the above. Adam Green has set out to so something totally different from his former projects, while straying away from reinventing the wheel. Mockumentaries have been done plenty of times before, but this time, Green has put his own spin on things. I love that it starred not only Green and Barratt as some of the main characters, but also featured a large amount of past Green collaborators, as well. Horror fans should be extremely excited to see cameos from Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Tom Holland, Don Coscarelli, and of course Ray Wise, who is pretty much the only actor who doesn’t play himself in the film.
The acting throughout Marrow’s entirety is top-notch and although I can’t help but giggle every time I see Green’s face on screen (due to watching and enjoying the comedy series, Holliston), I think he was a great fit for this otherwise serious flick. I honestly have not enjoyed Ray Wise in a lot of the other genre films I’ve seen of his (i.e. Dead End), but was really surprised at how well he did here. Wise was perfect for the role of Dekker, a man who had uncovered perhaps the world’s greatest secret and had more than a few secrets still hidden, even from Adam and Will.
Based off of the creations of artist, Alex Pardee, the monsters of Digging Up the Marrow are an eccentric mix of the strange and macabre. A lot of Pardee’s monsters defy natural laws of anatomy, so to see some of them brought to life by sculptor, Greg Aronowitz, and the team of special effects artists is truly a sight to see. We all know monsters aren’t real, so how do you make a documentary film that features video footage of ‘real’ monsters? I feel Green did a wonderful job at giving the fans a taste of a variety of creatures without overdoing it and giving away too much. If you have a monster on screen for too long, you can over-analyze it and it no longer becomes something of mystery, but instead can be broken down to the last brush stroke or latex mold. By utilizing short bursts of footage and lack of replay to the viewers eyes, a lot of the mystery was left in tact.
If you enjoy Adam Green’s past work and/or are a fan of creature features and monster flicks, I highly recommend Digging Up the Marrow. It is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital from Image Entertainment.
I give this film 4 piles of chained-up-monster poop out of 5.