Lofty is a soft word to use. Yuzna could very well be the most ambitious director working in “B” horror today. He took over the "Re-Animator"" series, and instead of regurgitating the same movie over and over again, he really tried to trump the original, and later his own sequel by going completely over the top, and perhaps farther than anyone could have seen coming. I appreciate Yuzna for it. I even like him for it. It's why I continue to watch movies like "Progeny" and "Rottweiler" in hopes that he will finally hit his stride, maybe slow down a bit and strike the right cord with horror fans, and finally reach his potential as one of the greats.
He continues to disappoint me with "Faust". The elements are there for a cool movie. A man makes a deal with the devil to get revenge on the people who killed his wife, only to be screwed by the powers bestowed to him, and finally seeks revenge on Mephistopheles himself; kind of like "Spawn" with a lot more nudity, sex, and violence. It at least sounds fun to some extent, doesn't it?
At times it is. Jeffrey Combs is always fun to watch, and we see a lot of him here. The special effects are, at times, far above standard for a film of its genre. And the story takes turns that I don't expect it to, with Isabel Brook doing things with her character that during the course of the film I didn't see as a possibility for her to pull off. So what exactly is the problem here?
There are a couple of technical errors in judgment that stand out. One is that Mark Frost is only good when he's overacting behind his Faust mask. Otherwise, he freaks out and cries quite unbearably, and is rather unwatchable. His costume looks stupid and rubber, when I'm supposed to believe that it is actually his flesh. But these are things that I can willingly overlook when the positives are what they are.
It's just that Brian Yuzna has a way, much like John Waters, to sap the fun out of his pictures with his directorial style. What should be engrossing just ends up being aesthetically displeasing. While seeing the ideas that Yuzna has depicted on film should be great (he has great ideas), I end up bored somehow and ultimately disappointed.
I say this, but I will continue to watch your movies Mr. Yuzna, and while you may never accomplish what you intend I will still hold out hope that you will work with someone that will level you out, and create that great “B” horror film you seemed destined to.