Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu and From Slacker to Hero: A Movie Review

Director: Henry Saine

Writer: Devin McGinn

Silently released to DVD on Feb 15th in North America (and soon to come on April 4 in the UK) is The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu. This horror-comedy is a welcome change, when compared to previous attempts at re-igniting popular culture’s fascination with H.P. Lovecraft's seminal works.

If there’s ever a definitive appropriate nod of approval, it's found in the opening slate that sets the tone for this film: The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.

With this release are the usual extras. There is a director’s commentary, an extended scene and a gallery of on-set photos to enjoy. The commentary on the extended scene provides some insight to why one version was used over another and with this scene are storyboards. They replace scenes of potential carnage, if the budget allowed it. Had this production found some additional investors, the practical effects would have made for some interesting on-screen splatter. Instead, when considering how much has been done in the other departments, the final product is a fair trade-off.

The creature-effects are very impressive. The team involved in creating the Deep Ones, Starspawn and even the Suckerfish were enjoyable to watch, as they shamble and sloth about. If any sanity was lost, it is not where the story is going.

The plot is inspired from modern-age horror comics, like The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor and Hellboy. A strange relic has been uncovered, chaos will soon reign over the Earth and Lovecraft has one remaining survivor of his bloodline to set things right. Charlie Phillips (Devin McGinn) doesn’t even know about his bloodline and he is introduced as a slacker. Working at a dead end job does not help his life any and it is only with his buddy Jeff (Kyle Davis), that both aspire to be a comic book writer/artist team.

This theme also leads up towards an animated sequence that steals the show. It summarizes the world H.P. Lovecraft has created. As Cthulhu waits in the sunken world of R'lyeh, his minions awaken to lay rampage upon the world. Charlie and Jeff have to enlist the help of an uber-nerd Paul (Barak Hardley) just to start saving the world.

As this newly formed team have to find out how to prevent Cthulhu from awakening, what they encounter is wrought with more than just simple dangers. This time, there is some slapstick camaraderie as they run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

When the team finally figures out where to go, there is a wonderful performance from Gregg Lawrence as Captain Olaf to greet them. He gives new meaning to the concept of that ol mangy sea captain. That is the fun part of the film; it is dangerous to sail the ocean blue where there are vicious sea creatures sleeping below. Some will chase after these mariners and where Olaf went was deep inland. He'd probably go climbing up a mountain to escape madness too, but that’s being saved for a possible sequel.

Only time will tell of that. In the meantime, there are still fans from another cult film that are waiting for Bubba Nosferatu to arrive.

Overall: 7 out of 10.

The fan page for the film is here, but this site is not updated regularly:

The Last Lovecraft on Facebook

Available at Amazon, as of February 15th:

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