Adam Green starts working on a documentary about monster/creature artwork. Out of the blue, a man suddenly contacts him and claims he has proof of the existence of monsters. This man’s name is William Dekker, and he is a retired detective who is convinced that there’s underground monsters in a place he calls “The Marrow”. Green sees this as an opportunity to refocus his documentary into the story of Dekker and his efforts to expose these so-called underground monsters. They set up cameras in the woods nearby the hole where Dekker claims the monsters sometimes come out from, but Green and his crew are not sure whether this man is just setting up an elaborate hoax, or if he is just batshit crazy…or, maybe, if he’s actually telling the truth.
Digging Up the Marrow is a mockumentary-style horror film directed by Adam Green (yes, the same name as the protagonist, he is actually playing himself). The concept behind the movie is inspired by a fan mail sent to him by a guy named Alex Pardee. Later, Green met Pardee at a convention, where he shared his concept story which was about an artist that got commissioned to paint so-called real monsters. While the movie is made in pure mockumentary-style, the filmmakers actually decided to use a famous actor in the role as the crazy monster hunter Dekker, as they didn’t want the movie to come off as an attempted hoax. Thus, Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, 24, Robocop, etc.) was cast for the role. This does, of course, take away from the feeling of being “genuine” (which is usually what mockumentaries aim for), but Wise does a great job with portraying the slightly unbalanced monster hunter.
As for the effects used in the film, they’re actually pretty decent. Most of the effects used in the film were practical, based off of Pardee’s designs. The team had a bit of trouble when creating fully working animatronics though, due to Pardee’s designs being a tad bit too surreal…however, Green said he wanted to use designs that were unique, rather than doing something generic which the viewers had already seen many times before. And of course, it’s always fun seeing some dude playing a monster while dressed up in a full rubber costume!
So overall, Digging Up the Marrow is an easy watch and enjoyable enough. It is not a fast-paced creature feature flick, which should be obvious with the choice of filming it as a faux documentary, and there are more than a few dull moments. Still, it’s imaginative and compelling enough to entertain.
Director: Adam Green
Country & year: USA, 2014
Actors: Ray Wise, Adam Green, Will Barratt, Josh Ethier, Rileah Vanderbilt, Kane Hodder, Sarah Elbert, Tom Holland, Mick Garris, Alex Pardee, Jimmy McCarthy, Nic Henley, Caitlyn Brisbin, Robert Pendergraft