The rarely seen ‘shot on video’ horror’, 1995’s The Spirit Gallery is now available for the first time ever on DVD. Coming from John Strysik, a director on George Romero’s “Tales From the Darkside” and screenwriter of Stuart Gordon’s “Stuck” and “Deathbed”.
Rarely do I get excited about going back to the mid-90s of horror but the promise of love, lust and severe mutation was pretty intriguing.
The film stars Holly Riddle Zuniga as Gwendolyn Creed, a young women who is very, very religious. It’s one of two of her major obsessions, the other being the art-work of B.A. Catch (Jim Burkhart).
She admires him so much that she takes a job with his agent Gideon Haul (Leonard Parnell) in the hope that she will be able to meet him. What is it about Catch’s art that impresses her so much? Well, she being a god-fearing woman has come to believe his art is inspired by a higher power.
Doing everything she can to meet him, eventually Gideon gives her an offer. Be Catch’s model for his latest piece of work.
Initially thrilled by the idea, Gwendolyn finally gets to meet her hero and finds him to be a very difficult man to be around. However, the idea of being part of his work is way more important than his general unpleasantness so she agrees to be his model.
Unfortunately for her, being part of a Catch piece of art brings with it some very nasty side-effects. Leading to a finale that is quite simply mind-boggling, both in tone and how it plays out visually.
I though The Spirit Gallery was a decent flick but the ending alone knocks it up a few extra points. It’s a very bizarre movie, encapsulated by the dream-like nature of the events that occur. It’s a slow build of a movie, one that lays the groundwork for its impressive payoff. One that probably saw the majority of the budget spent on it.
Think Society but less comical and more disgusting. You best have a strong stomach for what The Spirit Gallery reveals. That alone makes it a worthwhile watch, even more so if you consider how little-known it is. However, it’s also got a semi-decent cast. Holly Riddle Zuniga is sweet if not a little unhinged and Jim Burkhart really plays his part with some gusto.
The Spirit Gallery is a lot of fun to watch and we can be glad the opportunity for many is there to finally see it.
The Spirit Gallery