Imagine opening the mail one day, with a letter that could change your life. No, we aren’t dealing with Publisher’s Clearinghouse (they keep skipping over me for some damned reason). Reality meets a dark dose of insanity when artist Alex Pardee and filmmaker Adam Green team up for DIGGING UP THE MARROW. In this pseudo-documentary, we get a glimpse into the life of Adam Green when he’s sent some fan mail that could change the way we see this world.
Adam Green, the man behind the HATCHET series, SPIRAL, FROZEN (not the Disney one), and the Holliston TV show, opted to go a different route with his latest film. Rather than tackling a full on narrative film, he made a pseudo-documentary about the meeting of a man named William Dekker (Ray Wise, ROBOCOP, Twin Peaks) claiming that monsters do exist, and he knows where they are. Green, being a skeptic, still can’t resist the temptation of finding out if Dekker is a quack, or if the things that inspire his genre truly are real.
DIGGING UP THE MARROW started out in two parts, first with Adam Green receiving some amazing fan fiction claiming that the killer from the HATCHET series, Victor Crowley, was real and how badly he had botched the telling of the story. The fan had full stories, a supposed birth place mapped out, and everything. Green thought meeting the fan would be a great story, until someone asked him what would happen if the fan “Deliverance’d” him. And if you have seen Green, you know he has a pretty mouth. After kiboshing that idea, Green met an artist at a convention with a huge story idea about The Marrow, the realm where monsters live, just on the verge of our society. After realizing that artist was Alex Pardee, who he was a fan of, he had to work with him.
In a haunting monologue from Ray Wise, we hear about how the freaks and mutant babies when born are usually just discarded unlovingly. Those cast off children are embraced by the denizens of the Marrow, raising them as their own in the dark. With the accompanying images, and the conviction behind Wise’s words, I was choked up. As a parent, I can’t imagine casting off a child, no matter what maladies they had, but I know that it does happen.
In the telling of the story, while it is slow, we get a great glimpse into the horror community. We see a little of the convention circuit, dealings with other directors, as well as the editing room. Some of my favorite scenes involved Josh Ethier, editor, as the member of the outside world getting a glimpse into both the insanity and seeing the excitement Green has for the investigation. The film plays out a bit like TROLLHUNTER meets NIGHTBREED, but like TROLLHUNTER, we see just a glimpse of the Marrow, leaving us wanting more. Guess we’ll just have to consider NIGHTBREED as a pseudo-sequel.
And, as a forewarning, if you’re not a big fan of Adam Green, then this isn’t the film that will change that, as this film literally revolves around him. I think it will work great for casual horror fans, as you don’t have to know everything about him or the world to enjoy it, but if you’re already a fan of his work, this should just be icing on the bloody cake.
DIGGING UP THE MARROW is available on VOD February 20th, 2015 and will be on BLU/DVD March 24th, 2015!