31 Days of Hallowe’en 2022, Day 11: Resurrection Corporation [2021]

With its protagonist named Dr Caligari and its sharp, angular, black-and-white animation, I’d hoped I’d been in for a wickedly retro treat full of vintage horror easter eggs and a dash of macabre humour here. But Resurrection Corporation, directed by Alberto Genovese, sadly not only delivers none of this, but ends up one of the worst pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen.

And this is before it throws in racism, misogyny, sexual assault and rape scenes for what it thinks passes as humour. Jesus fucking Christ.

Resurrection Corporation is an Italian animation about a funeral director who finds he’s going out of business because people not only aren’t dying, but the dead are being brought back to life. With the help of his undead frankenassistant Bruta, Caligari takes it upon himself to get the root of the titular Resurrection Corporation, who seem to be responsible for these un-deaths.

According to Indie Horror Films, the film exists in an original Italian dub, but I only had access to an English dub via Amazon Prime, and it is fucking hideous. I don’t know if it’s the same Italian actors doing the English dub but almost all of the delivery, especially for Caligari, is stilted and unnatural, with some words even being completely mispronounced (e.g. ‘decent’ as ‘duh-sent’). After 4 minutes of this I was already starting to check the time. That’s not good.

It doesn’t help that the animation is so flat and cheap-looking. It seems to want to emulate the style of paper cut-out animation, but comes off as blocky shapes with no depth and no movement other than aimless floating. It’s jarring, and all of this prevents the film from being engaging in any way.

Worse still is the dialogue, which often has either nonsensical fragments or irrelevant/repeated lines, or just outright exposition dumps. All of the humour doesn’t so much fall flat as plummet to new depths, unless you think rape of a corpse is hilarious stuff.

And, speaking of sexual assault, there is tons of it in this film, including a scene where the main character actually fucking scolds Bruta for being ‘rude’ as she’s resisting a prolonged incident of sexual assault (and she’s later raped, too). This film fucking hates women. The first on-screen murder is of a nameless woman who’s beheaded by a gimpy-looking executioner who then fondles her severed head; the main character’s wife’s only dying wish is to be fucked on her deathbed; Bruta’s sole motivation is to get Caligari to fuck her; and other characters either make comments about women ‘having problems’ or having a ‘delicate nose’ around corpses. Just honestly, fuck this dumb shit. Whoever wrote this has never met a woman in their life.

There’s also a fantastic dose of racism, too. There’s literally a bit character called Mr Black, who’s black, and has the worst blackface-voice I’ve ever heard, and who is told he’ll have ‘clear’ skin by becoming a white man.

Look, be offensive if you want. Make jokes about necrophilic rape if you want. But at least be fucking funny about it. Those types of jokes aren’t necessarily for me, but I can at least recognise around it the construction of a decent joke or an attempt at humour or even a commentary on how disgusting men/people/etc can be. This movie does none of this. I find it baffling that these choices were made. I’m aggrieved that this film even exists. I’m pretty sure that it was the reason my skin broke out while I was watching it, and my skin doesn’t isn’t prone to breakouts anymore.

There is nothing at all redeeming buried within this film: The plot drags, the dialogue is pedestrian, the voice acting is poor, the animation is lifeless, and the rest of it is just unfunny muck. Not even worth the runtime of a short film let alone 77 minutes I wish I could have resurrected.

Score: fucking nothing

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