Look you guys, there is nothing that the presence of Michael Rooker wouldn’t improve on. Over the years The Rooker is constantly the high point of his films. The same goes for the MVD Rewind Blu-ray reissue of a satanically bonkers film, Bram Stoker’s Shadowbuilder.
Rooker plays Father Vassey, a disgraced, gun-toting, renegade priest who is tasked with tracking down a soul-eating demon that was set loose on the world during a satanic ritual. It’s a race against time to stop the demon before it takes soul of a young boy destined to be a Saint. If the demon is successful he would be able to open a gateway to hell, and that would be bad news for everyone. Like I said, its bonkers.
We are introduced to Vassey when he kicks open a door open wielding guns akimbo, fully fitted with laser sights. Again, that’s pretty much all you need to know before taking the plunge on watching this one. Also, did I mention Tony Todd plays an eye-patch wearing, dreadlock styled badass? Well, he totally does and that is worth the watch all on its own.
Shadowbuilder was based on a Bram Stoker short story in a collection titled Under the Sunset and Other Stories. There are several blaring differences between the original story and this Jamie Dixon directed film. Writer, Michael Stokes take it in a contemporary direction, and basically re-writes the whole thing to fit nicely into a very 1998-centric cinematic world.
The special edition MVD Rewind Collection Blu-ray is loaded with special features, that take a deep-dive into the making of this 90s-hidden gem. The transfer is a major improvement from the original VHS quality, almost making the film a different experience entirely. The downside of the fantastic transfer is that it does shows the detail on some extremely rough 90s CG. The good news is that with the transfer a lot of the black levels have been ironed out making for a viewing experience that isn’t as muddy as its previous VHS release.
- Audio Commentary from Director Jamie Dixon
- Making of Shadowbuilder featurette featuring director Jamie Dixon, writer Michael Stokes and stars Andrew Jackson (The Shadowbuilder) and Tony Todd (Covey)
- Shadowbuilder: Visual Effects
- Shadowbuilder: Kevin Zegers
- Original Theatrical Trailer
It’s a nice section of Rooker’s body of work and a cool entry into a strange time for horror during the 90s. Outside of the rough CG work, Shadowbuilder is definitely worth a peek.