A THOUSAND DEATHS (2014) – This 22 minute suspense/ horror piece was directed by Adam Zanzie who also adapted the script from the 1899 short story by Jack London. Last Halloween Season I reviewed that short story HERE
Adam Zanzie’s effort immediately improves on London’s original tale by at least giving the characters NAMES. I’m not kidding, by the way. The 1899 short story was Jack London’s first published work and he neglected to provide names for any character except the mad scientist’s dog, Dan.
Zanzie wisely decided not to retitle this Dan the Dog and Company and instead chose to just make up names for the characters. Ford Fanter portrays the main character Jack (nice little homage on the director’s part) and John Bratkowski plays Jack’s sadistically deranged father, Dr Chaney.
Like Stuart Gordon having to reconfigure Tales of Herbert West, Reanimator for modern sensibilities, Zanzie does an excellent job of “scrumblin’ up” (for Marx Brothers fans) most of the original story’s elements to accommodate pacing AND budget considerations.
Doctor Chaney tests his life-restoring process by using his own son as a guinea pig, killing him over and over in various violent ways. After each unpleasant resurrection he pumps his son for clinical details about how he felt as he experienced each horrific end. All in the name of science, of course. Continue reading