Story: Trevor (Andras Jones) and his girlfriend Faith (Beth Bates) love to explore the occult, so with an odd book in hand and a dark ritual in mind, the two take a walk on the supernatural side. But the ritual turns chaotic and control is lost, leading to a tragic conclusion. Years later, Trevor wakes up in a panic and discovers he has been in a coma and even worse, he has been convicted for the murder of Faith, who was killed in the ritual. He is now confined to a strange, even surreal mental health facility, alongside a host of colorful patients. In charge of the operation is Dr. Ek (Jeffrey Combs), an odd man with a sinister vibe and some wild ideas on mental health. Trevor tries to navigate his new surroundings, never sure what to trust or what is real, while also dealing with his own tortured mind. What is really going on at this bizarre facility and will Trevor ever find out the truth about his own past?
Entertainment Value: This is a wild one, a movie that makes you feel as crazy and confused as the characters in the mental asylum, but in a good way, of course. The Attic Expeditions layers in all kinds of weirdness and keeps you wondering what is really going on, as there is so much delusion, deception, and inexplicable chaos present here. The story can be on the convoluted side, but that’s part of the fun here and the “what the hell is happening” aspect is a highlight of The Attic Expedition, as the confusing vibe is a good time. I also love the visuals and production design, which bolster the off kilter vibes and provide some memorable set pieces to soak in. Perhaps my favorite part here is the cast of characters, which is loaded with offbeat and memorable folks. A wide scope of interesting characters pop up and even Alice Cooper turns up for a small role, which was a fun touch. Having all of the movie’s aspects combine to create this super off balance, but super fun atmosphere is a real credit to the filmmakers, as The Attic Expeditions certainly leaves an impression. If you appreciate trippy, creative cinema, then The Attic Expeditions is recommended.
The colorful characters I mentioned before are brought to life by a capable cast, with perhaps the standout role going to Jeffrey Combs. Of course, Combs is often able to steal the show, so it is no surprise he makes the most of he’s given to work with. He dials up his performance and goes over the top, but always knowing when to go for broke at just the right moments, to keep things off balance and making sure the chaos hits right. I am sure some will find it to be overly ham handed, but it is a blast to watch and I think it fits into the ensemble of performances quite well. Also memorable here is Seth Green, in a very wild turn that adds a lot of laughs to the movie. I am not a big fan of Green’s work usually, but he won me over here and really shines in the part. The cast also includes Ted Raimi, Beth Bates, Jerry Hauck, and Wendy Robie.
The Disc: Severin Films conjures up their usual terrific package for The Attic Expeditions, starting with a new 2k scan sourced from the original negative. The visuals are impressive, a clean, natural looking picture that shows great detail and depth. I was most taken back by the colors, which really shine and even pop off the screen at times. The rich colors enhance the entire movie, but a couple of scenes are very elevated thanks to the improved visual touches. I have to think fans will be thrilled here, as Severin has worked wonders with this cult classic. A new retrospective documentary is the crown jewel of the extras, about forty minutes of cast & crew memories and some interesting behind the scenes footage woven in. You can also check out new interviews with Alice and Jeffrey Combs, as well as an interview with director Jeremy Kasten.