Andy Emilio, Ash R. Shah (executive), Daniel Chuba (executive) for Applecreek Productions
directed by Jamie Dixon
starring Michael Rooker, Leslie Hope, Shawn Thompson, Andrew Jackson, Kevin Zegers, Tony Todd, Hardee T. Lineham, Catherine Bruhier, Gordon Michael Woolvett, James B. Douglas, Richard McMillan, Charlotte Sullivan, Andrew Sardella, David Calderisi, Lawrence Bayne, Eric Murphy, Paul Soles, Billie Mae Richards, Nicole Stoffman, Toby Proctor, Tara Crooks, Steve Blum (voice)
screenplay by Michael Stokes, based on a short story by Bram Stoker, music by Eckart Seeber, special effects by Mark Rice, prosthetics by Francois Dagenais, animatronics by Paul Jones, visual effects by Hammerhead Productions, CGI effects by Waveform Digital
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A wayward priest (Lawrence Bayne) and his coven summon a demon, the
titular Shadow Builder (Andrew Jackson, voiced by Steve Blum), and while
this coven is soon eliminaed by priest assassin Father Vassey (Michael
Rooker), the Shadow Builder escapes, and heads for an insignificant small
town somewhere in the US to find a boy who's free of original sin to
sacrifice him. Father Vassey though is hot on his trail.
boy is Chris (Kevin Zegers), who lives with his aunt Jenny (Leslie Hope)
ever since his mother died. He lives the life of a normal 12 year old, and
that Jenny has a secret relationship with Sheriff Sam (Shawn Thompson) is
probably the most shocking thing that has happened in this sleepy little
town for a long while ... until the grave of Chris's mother is opened by
the Shadow Builder one night, and when a cop (Gordon Michael Woolvett)
catches him doing so, the cop is killed - but in such a bizarre way nobody
can make heads nor tails of it ... nobody but Father Vassey, but it takes
him quite a bit to convince the Sheriff, Jenny and Chris what's really
going on - and by then the Shadow Builder has already possessed half the
town and tries to get to Chris just in time for the next solar eclipse.
And the Father Vassey, the Sheriff and company have just one trick up
their sleeve: Since the Shadow Builder can't stand light, they get local
madman Covey (Tony Todd), who's fascinated with all things light and
constantly builds himself light systems, to have their backs - but does
this sound like a good enough line of defense? ...
Ok, if the
writer of the source material, Bram Stoker, had you expect something from
the gothic side of things, then you might be disappointed, this film is
pretty much as middle-of-the-road 1990s low budget US horror as they come,
with everything that comes with the genre, like a script that doesn't feel
100% thought through, some bizarre effects destined to gross one out, CGI
effects not always up to the task (little wonder given the year of
production), a stereotypical representation of smalltown America, the
young kid who acts much too smart and mature for his age, a couple of
horror "names" (Michael Rooker and Tony Todd) giving standout
performances, and an all around attitude that seems to be hell-bent on not
offending anybody too much. So in all, Shadow Builder is anything but a
genre classic - but at the same time it's lots of irreverent genre fun,
and if you're at all into horror from an era when you still went to the
video rental to pick up a VHS tape of whatever it was you fancied, then
this one if definitely for you!!!