Curse of the Talisman (2001)

Annoying gargoyles irritate local populace

Dir. Colin Budds

Runtime: 92 minutes

Rating: 12

Starring: Jesse Spencer, Capkin Van Alphen, Sara Gleeson Tempany Deckert

This film, is, err, yeah… it’s err… put it this way – I like bad films that are that bad that they are actually OK. This does not make it into the “actually OK” section though.

Jeremy Campbell (Jesse Spencer – I think he was in TV’s “Neighbours”) is given a weird gargoyle statue and a random box of relics and rubbish which he decides to keep in the basement of his house. He uses some of the tat as a way of hooking up with Fiona (Sara Gleeson) and Miranda (Tempany Deckert, I think she was in TV’s “Home and Away”). Jeremy starts getting worried because weird stuff is happening, and he believes that the statue has come to life. Father Eccleston (Rob Mullinar), a Priest, arrives in town to check the statues. He confirms that they really contain a race of Gargoyles from the Middle Ages that were intend on destroying the world before they were imprisoned in their stone prison. Unfortunately for him and Jeremy, the gargoyle in the basement has escaped and is on a rampage through town.

Gargoyle comes to life and irritates town – Billy Kennedy from “Neighbours” (circa 1995) ties to stop it.

Summary in 180 characters or less

What can I say that is good about this then? Well, I’m sure it was entertaining for early teenage kids that are usually too scared to watch monster films.

All in all, though, there is not much good to write home about. The cast is laden with daytime TV faces that will be known to UK audiences of a certain age. If the actors weren’t from Australian soap opera, then they probably appeared on American daytime TV shows. Which seems to be about the level that this straight to TV film is aimed. It’s the kind of thing you can find on obscure cable channels at 1’o’clock in the afternoon because it fills a schedule spot without offending anyone. I’ve been unfortunate enough to run into this film twice; once in the early 2000’s while hungover at university; and again, recently because the title looked good, and I’d forgotten that I’d already seen it. I thought it was a Hammer Horror film with a title like “Curse of the Talisman” – and the summary said that a town was overrun with gargoyles – “overrun” it said… not being slightly annoyed by a single one that Billy from “Neighbours” thought was a hibernating bat at the start of the film!! Needless to say, my enjoyment did not increase the second time around.

The special effects are clumsy, and the plot is wishy-washy. There isn’t much focus on one thing or another – and for a film that tries to handle the supernatural, it is quick to run in the other direction and not actually discuss it. The acting isn’t much better and there are times where the actors fall out of the American accent they are trying to keep up (FTR if you want to hear one of the worst Yorkshire accents then you’ll love Father Eccleston!). I’m sure that the team behind this film had good intentions, but I don’t think many people involved will look back on this film with love; there are times when I felt embarrassed for the crew behind this from my armchair.

Please, if I tell anybody that I’m going to be watching this sometime soon, remind me I’ve seen it and I really didn’t enjoy it. I don’t want to say that this is big steaming pile of crap; I’m not saying that I could have done better because I haven’t; I’m just saying that this is a “no thank you” from me.


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