Necromancer – USA, 1988

‘When simple revenge is not enough’

Necromancer is a 1988 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Dusty Nelson (Tales from the Darkside TV series; Effects) from a screenplay written by William T. Naud [as Bill Naud] (Island of Blood aka Whodunit?). The Bonaire Films production stars Elizabeth Kaitan, John Tyler, Rhonda Dorton and Russ Tamblyn.

Plot:

Los Angeles: Julie (Elizabeth Kaitan), a good-natured blonde co-ed student, is attacked by a trio of sleazy rich kids, one night in the school auditorium. One of them, Paul (Stan Hurwitz), rapes her while the other two look on.

To keep her quiet, her assailants threaten to tell her boyfriend Eric (John Tyler) about her past affair with her older drama professor (Russ Tamblyn).

 

On the advice of her best female friend, Julie goes to see a medium (Lois Masten): a woman who’s a specialist in demonology.

Thus begins Julie’s introduction to the mysterious world of the occult as The Necromancer…

Reviews:

“There’s something for everyone—sacred satanic ceremonies, spray-painted pentagrams, dirt-cheap gore, ugly wallpaper, dudes’ butts […] It’s much smarter than it lets on. Necromancer makes pointed statements about rape and the struggles victims face—powerlessness, despair, shame, and the institutional and cultural systems that hold justice back.” Anna Choi, Bleeding Skull!

“This should be a simple revenge horror movie. Instead, it’s 88 minutes of stupidity. It’s not scary, it’s not gory, and there’s not enough nudity […] Don’t waste your money or your time watching Necromancer. The only true highlight of the film is the band, Strapper. They’ll turn you around!” Doomed Movethon

” …the movie has a straight-up bizarre structure, which delivers the expected revenge really early –maybe even before the halfway point– and then fumbles around trying to convince itself that the real conflict here is that Julie doesn’t want to have an awesome demon who cathartically murders the sleazy creeps in her life.” Mr. Subtlety, Letterboxd

” …although there were moves to take the subject of what to do if you’re raped seriously, these were scuppered by the demon plot which trivialised the issue. This should have been pretty heady stuff, but it’s difficult to get too engrossed when it frequently gets a bit silly…” Graeme Clark, The Spinning Image

“Kaitan’s voice deepens and distorts in Exorcist style; blood spurts up from bodies a la Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.; meanwhile, the premise is so silly and the main character so dumb that it’s difficult to care about her plight. Necromancer is both duller and gorier than it is frightening.” TV Guide

Russ Tamblyn as the sleazy drama teacher

Choice dialogue:

Julie: “To Hell with Shakespeare!”

Ernest: ” You’re too beautiful to die.”

Cast and characters:

  • Elizabeth Kaitan … Julie Johnson (as Elizabeth Cayton) – Hellroller; Nightwish; Friday the 13th Part VII: The New BloodSlave Girls from Beyond Infinity; Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2; Silent Madness
  • John Tyler … Eric Freiden
  • Rhonda Dorton … Freda Lurch
  • Stan Hurwitz … Paul DuShane
  • Edward A. Wright … Carl Caulder
  • Shawn Eisner … Allan
  • Russ Tamblyn … Charles DeLonge – The Haunting of Hill House TV series; Little Devils: The Birth; Bloody Monks; Dracula vs. Frankenstein; The War of the Gargantuas; The Haunting 1963
  • Lois Masten Ewing … Necromancer (as Lois Masten)
  • David Flynn … David
  • Lisa Randolph … Mary
  • Lisa Beth Wilson … Linda
  • Scott Harrison Scott Harrison … Romeo
  • Keith Burns … Gus
  • Carla Baron … Gail
  • Jimmy Williams … Lecherous Guard
  • Shannon McLeod … Edna
  • Pamela Bunte … 1st Girl
  • Kelly Ford … 2nd Girl
  • Kelly Turner … Girl in Gallery
  • Johnathan Jones … Boy #1
  • Waide Aaron Riddle … Ernest

Filming locations:

Pepperdine University – 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, California

Technical details:

88 minutes

Image credits: Video Collector

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