The Runestone (1991)

directed by willard carroll
hyperion pictures/signature communications

The rare piece of schlock horror whose major problem may be too much ambition, this farcical saga of a Viking werewolf wreaking havoc in the Art world of Manhattan – while being tracked by not only a dogged police detective but an archaeologist – is often sidetracked by vignettes of Alexander Godunov grimly portraying some sort of watchmaker. These sketches may be dream sequences related to a teenage boy’s legacy, which may never materialize, but it’s hard to tell. See what I mean? Oh, and at a certain point I realized it was maybe supposed to be a comedy. This is never a good sign, when the filmmaker’s intentions are that unclear. Really, as the action continued to spiral further out there, I began to wonder if I had just missed some important tells in the beginning stages. That’s definitely possible, as it certainly wouldn’t be the first time, but it points to the clumsy nature of the flick’s construction, and circles back to that aforementioned problem of overreach.

why did i watch this movie?

I noticed that this blog is severely deficient in movies from the 1990s, and this is the first title I happened upon that seemed to fit the modus operandi around here.

should you watch this movie?

While it has its charms, it doesn’t deliver enough for even its straight-to-VHS realm.

highlight and low point

A bunch of sight gags and deliberately cheesy shots dominate the latter half of the picture, and the interplay between the police and the archaeologist and the artist and the teenager and … where was I going with this. (See what I mean?) Old hands Peter Riegert and Laurence Tierney do the standard cop shtick, and the burlesque of the Art scene is pretty tired.

rating from outer space: D+

yes, i laughed

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