1988 / Director. John Carl Buechler.
Review by Justine Ryan. (Contains mild spoilers)
Cellar Dweller is a fun B grade horror film in the style of EC comics, directed by John Carl Buechler (TROLL and FRIDAY THE 13th PART VII: THE NEW BLOOD), written by Kit Du Bois (CHILD’S PLAY’S Don Mancini using a pseudonym), with special creature effects by Buechler himself.
The film begins with Colin Childress (Re-Animator’s Jeffrey Combs), creator of the comic book Cellar Dweller, who is given license through a book of spells that whatever he draws in his comic strip will bring to life the murderous beast with an unquenchable thirst for blood: “He who has wisdom, wonders not of the beast, for nothing in hell lives without man’s consent. Woe unto you that gives the beast form. To contemplate evil is to ask evil home”.
Cut to 30 years later, a cartoonist and Cellar Dweller devotee Whitney Taylor (Debrah Mullowney), has been accepted as a resident at an art academy which was also Colin Childress’ house before his death. As the film progresses we discover that Childress was Whitney’s hero as a child, and she now wants to create a new comic book in the tradition of Cellar Dweller.
Though it seems Whitney is doomed to repeat history , as she finds the book of spells and once again the creature of Cellar Dweller is unleashed in every comic strip she puts ink to paper. In the last frame the creature proclaims: “Wherever there is imagination….I will dwell!”
Cellar Dweller was released for the first time on region 1 DVD on 29 October 2013, along with THE DUNGEONMASTER, CONTAMINATION 7 and CATACOMBS as part of Scream Factory’s All Night Horror Marathon series: Volume Two. It will also see a region 2 DVD release on 5 May 2014. Any fan of the horror genre should give this flick a whirl. It’s light on blood and gore but is a fun little ride throughout its 77 minute running time. I shelve this under one of the better titles to come from Empire Pictures. Now is as good a time as any to rediscover this!