Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Dig Two Graves" Southern Illinois Gothic and a Wonderful Movie

Image result for Dig Two Graves

I like good movies.  Therefore, this is not a traditional review.  Dig Two Graves is a gem:

Starring: Ted Levine, Samantha Isler, Danny Goldring, Troy Ruptash, Mark Lancaster, Dean Evans, Bradley Grant Smith, Kara Zediker, Ryan Kitley, Sauda Namir, Ann Sonneville, Mikush Lleshdedaj  
A supernatural thriller about the generational violence that plagues a small, backwoods town, set in the 1970s, Dig Two Graves asks “how far would you go to save those you love?” After 13-year-old Jacqueline Mather (Samantha Isler) loses her brother in a mysterious drowning accident she is soon visited by 3 moonshiners who offer to bring her brother back to life but at a grim cost. As the dark history of her grandfather, Sheriff Waterhouse (Ted Levine) is unearthed the true intentions of the moonshiners come to light. FaceBook

Last night, I was treated to a screen full of familiar sights and scenes from Southern Illinois: the great people of Illinois, Giant City State Park - great limestone canyons spiked with trees, deep mysterious quarries and most especially for me the school - grade school in Grand Chain, it chilled me.

Image result for Grand Chain Alternative Center in Grand Chain, Il.
The old Gresham Chicago Police District ( now Dudley Beauty College) at 85th & Green was about as cheery. It is in this Fritz Lang nightmare of a school that the young protagonist Jake comes to aid of the bullied target of doom.  No, spoiler this old boy.

Instead, I wish to recognize the high quality/low budget genius who commanded a crew of talented actors and masterful technicians -Hunter Adams.

His movie is a feast for the senses - all but the tongue. The snakes, coon, squirrel, otter and deer drying in the smoke filled cabin and caves of the mysterious strangers might be a bit for delicate appetites, but these flourishes spice the Gothic magic of Dig Two Graves.

The dialog is authentic to speech of real people and not Ryan Goslings, or Meryl Streeps.

What the actors bring to the script is magic - especially  Chicago veterans Ted Levine, Danny Goldring and the exquisite Kara Zediker, in the role of a woman who looses two children in 90 minutes of drama.

I am prejudiced, as I had the pleasure of teaching Ms. Zediker English and American Literature at Bishop McNamara High School and proudly watched her wonderful career.

Kara's expressive beauty captures the bone chilling nightmare of mother and daughter who outlives her children  and manages to capture a youthful resilience that will carry her family beyond its tragedies.

Young Samantha Isler reflects that feminine verdure of Kara Zediker's throughout the drama.

This drama is as dark as a winter afternoon in Cobden and Hunter Adams crafts natural and supernatural imagery that would shame Mary Shelley and Horace Walpole and get a sturdy tip of John Ford's Stetson.  Witness these scenes especially the lightning scene  right out of a John Ford Western.

Enjoy Illini Gothic.  See Dig Two Graves.

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