Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Horror of H.P. Lovecraft

Director(s) - Tomas Almgren, Brian Barnes, Brian Bernhard, Chad Bernhard, Elias, Grady Granros, Justin Powers, Jane Rose, Simon Ruben, Doug Sakmann, and Ashley Thorpe
Starring - Elias (Phobia), Chad Bernhard (Tales from the Crapper), and Rich Casella
Release Date - 2006
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "The truth is out there...we're just not sure where"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Every horror fan has that author that they love.  Most are fans of the undisputed king of horror, Stephen King, while others are fans of Dean Kootz, Edgar Allen Poe, and Clive Barker.  Growing up I was a huge R.L. Stine fan but things quickly shifted once I hit college and found a book on H.P. Lovecraft in the school library.  His stories were maddening to say the least and they completely consumed me.  I don't know how many classes I skipped to sit in my room reading while listening to Johnny Cash.  Since then I have been on a quest to read all his stories, extended stories by modern authors, and fan fiction.  I also want to watch all his film adaptations.  Recently Wild Eye Releases released the anthology film The Horror of H.P. Lovecraft on DVD and were kind enough to send a review copy my way.  The film was original released in 2006 under the title LoveCracked and featured a segment directed by Doug Sakmann called Re-Penetrator that was meant to be released by hardcore porn outfit Burning Angel.  Sadly, that segment did not make this release but you can read my review of that here.  Thanks, once again, for letting me check out another one of your releases.
     This anthology film follows a journalist (Elias) who has been hired to host a documentary on the late Howard Phillips Lovecraft.  The host is then sent into the world of the unknown while he investigates Lovecraft and why he wrote the stories he did.  This investigation leads him to different people of different backgrounds.  One is a huge Stephen King fan, another is Troma president and director of The Toxic Avenger, Lloyd Kaufman.

     I enjoy a good anthology flick.  Hell, I love em. I grew up on Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt so I am no stranger to the horror anthology.  What I truly enjoy about an anthology is how they are held together.  A good anthology has a wrap around story that ties all the segments together.  Creepshow had the comic angle and Tales from the Crypt had the mysterious man in the hood telling tales.  The Horror of H.P. Lovecraft had a great approach with the always funny journalist searching for answers to why H.P. Lovecraft wrote the stories that he did but failed to make it feel like a good wrap around story.  The acting in this one varies from tale to tale.  The wrap around segment was easily my favorite with Elias delivering a pretty funny performance.  The remainder of the segments jump from decent at best to indie best that showed no experience.  The stories for this one range from fun and solid adaptations to very loosely based on Lovecraft tales.  The film starts out pretty strong with some funny segments that flirt with the line of horror noir but the film starts to slow down and the stories start to lose quality.  I also was not feeling the way the film was edited.  The wrap around segment was great to get the stories out there but they just randomly started playing immediately after small segments of the journalist.  There was no introduction nor explanation as to what we were about to see.  Some editing and a little better writing for the wrap around segment would have made this film complete.   Finally, the film has a death here and there that was bloody and gory but that is not the point of this film.  Though the few kills we get were graphic with decent practical effects, the point of the film is to tell a story with great atmosphere.  The film starts out that way but the film loses that vibe around halfway through.  Overall, The Horror of H.P. Lovecraft is a fun anthology that makes light of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  The film has some comedy and light gore but does seem to forget the essence of what makes Lovecraft a force among horror fiction. I can safely recommend this flick.

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