A lumpy melange of supernatural ingredients and distinct genre elements that never cohere.

If someone took a handful of VHS tapes from the horror/fantasy shelf of an early ’90s video store, plunked them in a blender and hit puree, the result would look something like the ineptly titled “Fading of the Cries,” a lumpy melange of supernatural ingredients and distinct genre elements that never cohere. Old-time Hammer horror, Romero-style zombies, “Evil Dead”-type necromancy and sword-and-sorcery action scenes compete with incongruously pricey-looking f/x in this effort from tyro writer-director-producer Brian A. Metcalf. Humorless and strangely squeamish about its own violence, pic bows in limited bicoastal release July 8 and seems cable-bound.

Michael (Thomas Ian Nicholas) resurrects chief ghoul Mathias (Brad Dourif), their mansion-set misadventures structured with diary entries read in old-fashioned voiceover. But the connective tissue between its separate segments is so tenuous and unconvincing that “Cries” almost suggests a failed anthology. The Romero-influenced section finds Elaine Hendrix (convincing) as a harried single mom, already saddled with downbeat, disaffected daughters (Hallee Hirsch, Mackenzie Rosman), now stuck with corpses traipsing on her front lawn. Fancily swashbuckling, demon-battling Jacob (Jordan Matthews), meanwhile, cultivates yearning for the tongue-in-cheek cheesiness of Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead 3.”

Fading of the Cries


An Eammon Films release of a Ratio Pictures production. (International sales: Aspect Film, London.) Produced by Karoline Kautz, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Brian A. Metcalf. Directed, written by Brian A. Metcalf.


Camera (color, widescreen), Brad Rushing; editor, Jeff Smith; music, Nathaniel Levisay. Reviewed on DVD, New York, July 5, 2011. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 93 MIN.


Brad Dourif, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Elaine Hendrix, Mackenzie Rosman, Hallee Hirsch, Jordan Matthews.

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