cast: Elias, Chad Bernhard, Rich Casella, Anne Ganster, and Lloyd Kaufman
directors: Elias, Brian Barnes, and Brian Bernhard
87 minutes (n/r) 2006
Biff Juggernaut NTSC DVD Region 0 retail
reviewed by Gary McMahon
Cheesy titles and a terrible new wave theme tune set the scene as LovecraCked! The Movie starts in what at first seems like a mildly promising style. At this point I really wanted to like this film but as time passed I found it increasingly difficult to do so.
The film opens with a mock-documentary presenter whose every attempt to film a linking sequence is thwarted by various budgetary setbacks – a rubber bat, a paddling pool swamp, and other general tomfoolery. It is possible that this is meant to be a spoof documentary on the subject of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and his legacy, but much of what follows is mostly unintelligible in terms of an overall structure and, quite frankly, rather dull.
We are presented with nine segments, each one supposedly inspired by or based upon one of Lovecraft’s stories. I’d dispute that idea for a start; most of them just seem to have the title of one of the man’s tales tacked onto the start. Aiming at some kind of sub Troma style irreverence mixed with the occasional darker moment, the tone of the film is at best uneven. Troma does it so much better, and even manages to produce or acquire the rights to the odd good film. Or should that be a good odd film?
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The viewer is bombarded with scenes of bad actors spouting truncated dialogue, sprinkled with cheap effects, half-baked ideas and rank stupidity disguised as comedy. Odd imagery abounds: a man creating a nightmarish living painting, a spooky puppet playing the violin, a spongy cocoon pulsing against a wall, a brief but monstrous transformation, several forlorn voiceovers… there’s even an unbelievable porno segment titled ‘Re-penetrator’.
A couple of the short sections almost work – most notably Bug Boy, despite its rushed ending – but this simply isn’t enough to justify sitting through the whole thing. One wishes that the filmmakers had taken the project seriously but suspects that the reason they did not was because none of them possesses the talent to even try. Instead, what we have is clearly a sequence of random short (student) films jammed together to create a feature-length DVD. With imagination (and better short films) this might have worked. As it stands, the entire film is a mess: unfortunately, it is not a glorious one.
DVD extras include yet more short films and some on-set footage. If you really liked this movie, the DVD is probably a good buy. Otherwise, I can’t really recommend it to anyone other than the most ardent fans of truly bad trash cinema.