ⓘ Resurrection (1999 film)

Resurrection (1999 film)

ⓘ Resurrection (1999 film)

Resurrection is a 1999 American-Canadian horror thriller film directed by Russell Mulcahy and starring Christopher Lambert, Leland Orser and Robert Joy. David Cronenberg appears in a cameo as a priest. Lambert co-wrote the story for the film with Brad Mirman, who also wrote the screenplay.

The film was theatrically released in most of Europe, Asia and Australia, but went straight to DVD in the US. It was also occasionally aired/streamed on television.


1. Plot summary

Detective John Prudhomme, a Cajun transferred to Chicago, and his partner Hollinsworth are assigned to investigate the savage murder of a man whose left arm has been sawed off and taken. A message, "He Is Coming", is found written in lambs blood on the victims window. After another victim is discovered with a missing right arm, the detectives realize they are dealing with a serial killer.

The third victim to be found has had his head removed. After studying the roman numerals found carved into the victims by the killer, Prudhomme realizes that when combined with the victims names Matthew and Peter and James, these numerals are citing Bible verses related to the resurrection of Jesus. Prudhomme theorizes that the killer plans to use the body parts he has taken to reconstruct the "Body of Christ" in time for Easter. This explains why each victim is 33 years old Jesus was 33 at his death and why the killer is ensuring that the victims are conscious when he kills them Christ was conscious when he suffered. An FBI profiler named Wingate arrives and offers additional insights into the killers mental state.

Armed with this new information, Prudhomme and Hollinsworth are able to predict the killers next target. When they interrupt the killing and give chase, Hollinsworth is tasered by the killer and dropped off a building, critically damaging his leg, which must be amputated. The amputated leg is later stolen by the killer. The killer leaves a message for Prudhomme, chiding him for interfering with the last killing and saying that for penance, Prudhommes wife Sara must die. Prudhomme rushes home to find a mutilated corpse, but it is revealed to be Saras visiting sister, and Sara herself is safe.

With Hollinsworth hospitalized and unable to help him, Prudhomme turns to detectives Scholfield and Moltz, with whom he has had a contentious relationship, for help. The team finds a fifth victim in a slaughter house, missing his leg, meaning that the killer needs only a torso to complete his work. Scholfield discovers an FBI record of a similar murder several years earlier in Tennessee-- Prudhomme is irate that they did not get these FBI records from Wingate, who had promised to send all the FBIs information. When Prudhomme goes to the FBIs office, he finds Wingate, who is a different man than the apparent profiler his team has been working with. Knowing that the fake Wingate is the killer, Prudhomme and his team lay a trap and arrest the impostor for impersonating a police officer. The impostors name is Demus, and he mocks the police because they cannot connect him to any murder. The judge for the case sets bond at only $20.000, which Demus pays. Although officers shadow the released Demus to the Chicago Union Station, in the restroom Demus escapes by changing clothes and crawling under the stalls.

Prudhommes team is able to connect Demuss fingerprints to the earlier murder in Tennessee, meaning they can now arrest him for murder if they find him. They discover that he had been in a mental institution for several years, only having been released two months ago. Meanwhile, Demus kills his sixth victim, taking the torso. Prudhomme theorizes that Demus may be hiding somewhere they already looked, and in the house of the first victim, they find the gruesome remains of his victims, arranged on a cross like a crucified Christ. Looking over Demuss notes and materials there, Prudhomme realizes that to complete his work, the killer plans to take the heart of a baby born from a woman named Mary on Easter, which is the following day. Moltz identifies a newly born baby from a Mary, and they rush to that hospital, where they find Demus with the baby. Moltz is wounded and Prudhomme chases Demus to the rooftop. He shoots Demus and catches the baby. Demus falls from the rooftop to his death.

Some time later, Prudhomme visits a recovering Hollinsworth, who is learning to walk on a prosthetic leg and promises to return to the job better than ever.


2. Cast

  • Michael Olah as Michael Prudhomme
  • Chaz Thorne as David Elkins
  • Leland Orser as Det. Andrew Hollinsworth
  • Peter MacNeill as Captain Whippley
  • Christopher Lambert as John Prudhomme
  • Jonathan Potts as Detective Moltz
  • Jayne Eastwood as Dolores Koontz
  • David Cronenberg as Father Rousell
  • Robert Joy as Gerald Demus
  • Philip Williams as Detective Rousch
  • Barbara Tyson as Sara Prudhomme
  • David Ferry as Mr. Breslauer
  • Rick Fox as Scholfield
  • Darren Enkin as John Ordway

3. Production

Some of the film was shot in Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana, but most of it was filmed in Toronto, Canada.

According to director Russell Mulcahys DVD commentary Resurrection was originally rated NC-17, which is why several scenes of violence and gore, like the leg cutting scene, were excised to achieve an R rating. The "Uncut version" of the film was never released and is presumed lost to this day.


4. Release

Resurrection was released in the fall of 1999 on cable television in the United States. In other countries such as France, Spain and Switzerland, it was shown in theatres. In France it was a modest success, with nearly 400.000 film admissions. The film was quite popular in Spain, with 1.198.684 admissions.


4.1. Release Critical reception

Critical reception for the film has been mixed. Marc Bernardin of Entertainment Weekly called the film "woefully derivative" but "well-crafted."

John Fallon of Arrow in the Head called it "a taut, clever thriller, directed with kinetic style and energy" and "one of the more entertaining serial killer movies on the block." Fallon added, "If you can get past the similarities with Seven, you will surely enjoy this razor sharp, nasty flick." Chuck OLeary of said the film is "a blatant rip-off of Seven, but pretty scary and unsettling in its own right."

Carlo Cavagna of About Film called Resurrection "an entertaining movie," remarking that "the cinematography is quite good by any standard, and the writing is decent enough to keep you interested." Cavagna felt that the plot was "by-the-numbers," but added that it a new twist on the killers motivation."

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