Monsters may exist everywhere. Not just monstrous people, but according to Adam Green and Alex Pardee in their documentary DIGGING UP THE MARROW, but actual monsters. And as much of a skeptic as I am, I didn’t want to believe until they delivered on screen.
As a documentary, DIGGING UP THE MARROW has your standard random interviews with “experts” in the field, in this case, horror movie actors and directors, as well as artists. Why they didn’t approach demonologists and monster hunters, I’m not sure, but we get plenty of Adam Green and Will Barratt of ArieScope Studios, the duo behind recent horror hits HATCHET and FROZEN. Their studio received a package of notes, sketches, and out of focus photos claiming that monsters exist. As a lifelong horror fan, Green has to find out if this is real, and thankfully decided to document his journey.
The man behind the cryptic package was a retired police detective, William Dekker. Dekker, who has a striking resemblance to genre actor Ray Wise, claims that the malformed children of our world aren’t just shuffled loose this mortal coil, but instead are led underground to a hidden society that he refers to as the Marrow. Accompanied by gruesome images of poor deformed children, Dekker tells the haunting tale of how he first became aware of the Marrow at a young age and how he’s devoted his adult life to find out more about this hidden enclave of people.
As one so close to the mystery, Dekker himself is shrouded in secrecy. He alludes to having a son, and has a padlocked door that he refuses to allow Barratt and Green to see inside of. He also is a man of many rules in regards to the Marrow. He contacts ArieScope to get the story out, yet restricts Green and Barratt on how they can film, leading to an argument when they finally have the chance to get one of the Marrow dwellers on camera.
Once we see our first Marrow denizen, things amp up in intensity, and my heart was beating as I’ve seen my first actual monster. Thankfully, the brave souls behind this film were mostly left unharmed, but definitely not unchanged by their experience. As a previous skeptic, this documentary made me a believer in monsters among us and has had me jumping at shadows since.
Included on this release are a 30 minute featurette explaining the process of how they made the monsters. I can only believe they included this to add a sense of disbelief so as to protect themselves from the threat of the menacing creatures they stumbled upon towards the end of the documentary. There are also deleted and extended scenes with Green giving a commentary to obfuscate the true message. And the fact that Alex Pardee was able to paint most of the creatures involved definitely explains his battle with mental issues at the beginning of the documentary.
Disclaimer: this review is done tongue in cheek much like the documentary style of DIGGING UP THE MARROW. The truth is that I thoroughly enjoyed the film, even more so on repeat viewings as I was able to pick up on all the Easter eggs Green and crew included, such as the appearance of Tombstone. My original review upon the theatrical release can be found here.
Enjoy the film, embrace the Marrow, and soon you’ll be singing this glorious song too (courtesy of Jerry Smith’s (Icons of Fright) daughter):