You figure a pro like Adam Green would remember rule number one about film making: Never star in your own movie. Green isn’t exactly Woody Allen, and doesn’t take his advice opting instead for a starring role in a movie that’s thick with smug nods and pats on the back from Green to Green. I don’t mind a little self indulgence from filmmakers, but “Digging up the Marrow” focuses on a guy who’s barely in to his film career and wants to convince the world he has a hardcore rabid fan base. He advertises it as such.
There are montages of Green at conventions, taking photos with fans, and all it does is reveal that Green barely has enough narrative for ninety minutes let alone an hour. There’s only so much of it I can take before “Digging Up the Marrow” eventually loses me in a haze of winks and Adam Green celebrating Adam Green. One thing is for sure, Adam Green is no actor, and he seems to acknowledge that by breaking the fourth wall, allowing the film to play like a mock documentary. He doesn’t have to stick to the script and seems to improvise quite weakly at times.
Ray Wise hams it up big time, completely chewing the scenery while Green is left in the dust as a smart ass version of himself. He snickers, winks at the camera, and smiles so much. “Digging Up the Marrow” would be a fine experiment but it just feels lazy, and almost like Green isn’t even trying for any kind of worthwhile terrifying movie. It’s all a lot of easy jump scares, and palaver that’s supposed to count as tension and suspense. Wise’s mugging becomes comical, making the film an uneven mess. Is it horror, comedy, or horror comedy? Is it satire? Is it purposely monotonous?
We get it. Green knows a lot of horror heavyweights, and he has a lot of confidence in his team. At one point a (really good, I admit) jump scare reveals a glimpse of a monster, and Green shouts “If that’s make up, that’s damn good make up!” Yes, we get it, Ariescope are good at what they do. “Digging up the Marrow” almost feels like a commercial at times with Green just touting every single project a billion times over, placing the story in the back burner more often than not. “Digging up the Marrow” could have been a nice twist on “Nightbreed,” but in the end it’s painfully self indulgent, brutally self congratulatory, and we can only hope Green has gotten it out of his system so he can go back to making movies like “Frozen” again.