A strange homage to the German expressionist films of the early 20th century, Resurrection Corporation brings back the infamous Dr. Caligari (Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920), this time in a dystopian world where the dead walk the streets and where magic and mysticism are centre stage.
Produced and directed by Alberto Genovese using an original story and screenplay by Mattia De Pascali, Resurrection Corporation stars the voice talents of Antonio Amoruso, Paola Masciadri, Alessandro Bianchi, Eliana Farinon, Gianmarco Castellan, Erik Martini, Dennis Lessio, and Marco Soldà. This Italian production was completed in 2020, a hundred years after the release of the film that inspired it and has recently been given an English dubbing as well as an international release.
The film follows Dr. Caligari and his loyal servant, Bruta, as they attempt to solve the mystery of the Resurrection Corporation and their new procedure that somehow offers eternal life in the form of undeath. The pair embark on a bizarre, dark, and twisted journey through wonderfully animated settings reminiscent of those aforementioned expressionist films. The handcrafted world is surreal, stark, and brutal but also rather beautiful with its crooked lines and quaint animation. The art style is rather unique; South Park meets Nosferatu, four words that really shouldn’t be together but work surprisingly well. The film manages to mix dark themes with black humour and timeless storytelling. There is a healthy dash of magical realism coupled with fantastic voice acting and wonderfully entertaining characters.
Caligari makes for an entertaining lead character, although he is probably better described as an anti-hero or unethical protagonist, with most of his actions entirely self-serving and his personality morally grey at best. Bruta, Caligari’s servant, is a reanimated corpse (or more accurately, pieces from several corpses) that contrasts Caligari’s character, showing love, loyalty, and devotion. She is probably the most human character in the film, which is ironic as she is at least part machine, her heart a clockwork construct forged by Caligari himself. The pair face off against a handful of colourful antagonists in their attempts to defeat death itself, though something more sinister may be afoot than either are prepared for.
I have a bias towards films like this, so needless to say that I absolutely adored Resurrection Corporation. Firstly, it’s a really well-made indie film done on a low budget, proving yet again that one can make a masterpiece so long has one has the determination and the imagination. Secondly, I’m a sucker for animation, and this was something new and unique. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but that added to the charm. The characters were some of the most memorable I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching and the story was original, fun and freaky. I watched the film in the original Italian with imperfect subtitles but it was still easy enough to follow. I watched a part of the English dubbing but I feel that the Italian voices suited the characters better. I know much of the North American audience seems to have a distaste for subs so go with whatever version pleases.
Overall, it was a blast. I even sat down to watch Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari a day after viewing this film just to see where the inspiration came from. Again though, I do need to warn you—dear reader—that I do enjoy the more weird and bizarre offerings that enter the world of horror. I’m always excited by fresh ideas, interesting concepts and artists that aren’t afraid to think outside of the proverbial box to push the envelope somewhere it hasn’t been before, and Resurrection Corporation does exactly that. It is as crazy as it is entertaining, from start to end. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Purchase links, trailers, and poster below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.