Horror buffs will be psyched about this release of a 2018-made feature with a stellar pedigree, although the end result is a bit of pup. It plays out on various levels of meta, like a movie that wants you to think it’s secretly deep and resonant beneath all the pulpy trappings; but there isn’t actually all that much really there. It really is just genre tosh, albeit punchily made and crisply assembled by British director Julian Richards, best known for his early shocker The Last Horror Movie.
Scream queen Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond and the superbly titled Chopping Mall) stars as Lena O’Neill, an actor with a faded reputation hoping to make a big comeback with a part in a forthcoming Peter Bogdanovich movie. (Of course, he pops up at the end playing himself here, as you would expect given how much flattery the script heaps on him throughout.) But Lena’s craft has been cramped by an emotional blockage caused by the lingering memory of her baby girl, who died during childbirth 16 years ago.
It just so happens that that infant was reanimated, like Frankenstein’s monster, by an electric shock while she lay in the morgue with a toe tag on. Adopted by a necrophiliac morgue attendant (Chaz Bono) who kept her imprisoned at home in the room next to his mummified mother, she has grown up now into a heron-necked teenager (Kayleigh Gilbert) with electric-kinetic powers and a murderous determination to find her mother.
Various other performers with longstanding horror movie reputations (Michael Pare, Rae Dawn Chong) fill out the cast and sleepily mouth the hackneyed dialogue with all the enthusiasm of customers ordering into a drive-thru restaurant microphone. Maybe that’s meant to be meta as well.
• Reborn is available on digital platforms from 4 May.