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I am a fan of Lovecraft, in particular his writings. Films based off his works, though often entertaining, often replace the dread present in Lovecraft's work with gore, and humor. Not a bad thing, but when they try to present themselves as faithful to the original source material, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The new film “Lovecracked” would more than likely have Lovecraft, a man who himself was not impressed in the slightest by films, spinning in his grave. It, like all previous adaptations does not carry much of the “Lovecraftian Atmosphere” present in his stories, but unlike many other adaptations, is succeeds in being a highly entertaining and enjoyable romp through the themes present in the Masters work.
“Lovecracked” is not so much a cohesive movie as much as it is a collection of skits from various film makers. The Skits range from humorous to being pretty bloody creepy. The films rap around contains a bumbling investigator reporter who is attempting to do an exposé on Lovecraft. The humor here, and in many of the short films is silly and random, not unlike the great “Monty Python”. For the most part, the humor works. Any fans of Horror Comedy with a taste of the absurd will find much to like in these short films.
The other treat in “Lovecracked” is that some of its horror shorts prove to be among the best Lovecraft inspired pieces I have seen. Shorts like “Alecto”, “Remain” and “Bugboy” stand out as being great examples of bizarre horror cinema done right. The music video short of “And This Was a Good Day” is both funny and unsettling with an inventive animation style reminiscent of Terry Gilliam. Not all is golden in this set. "Chaos of Flesh" is a pretty cool short but is hurt by its similarity the “Masters of Horror” episode Jennifer. At only a couple of minutes, it ends up feeling exactly like an abbreviated version of aforementioned Jennifer. The “Re-Penetrator", as one might gather from the title is a soft porn version of the Re-Animator. Not a bad thing for those looking for zombie T&A but nothing truly remarkable about it either. Is it funny? In a very absurd way, but it also is a little too gratuitous for its own good. “The Statement of Randolph Carter” is one of rare “Lovecracked” moments where the short is reminiscent of a Lovecraft story. Horror segment “Witches Spring” starts off with some promise, but falls flat do to its predictable and uninventive plot twist. Comedy Segment 'History of the Lurkers' has some pretty funny parts, but ultimately ends up being the weakest in the collection, mainly because it was just too long for its own good.
Despite some of the shorts being less than stellar, “Lovecracked!” manages to succeed in the most important category. It’s goddamn entertaining. Will it appeal to everyone? No. Diehard Lovecraft fans who feel Stewart Gordon is the Anti-Christ need not apply here. Sure, it’s not the Lovecraft movie the fanatics have been screaming for (Sorry guys, but don’t hold your breath for that one), but it is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Lets be honest Lovecraft Fanatics. Believe it or not I am amongst your ranks, but I have given up the hope of the great Lovecraftian film we all want. Why? Because I really doubt it would work. Lovecraft succeeds in using the gaps in the readers imagination, something which films normally refuse to do. I actually liked "Lovecracked" much better than “Dagon”, despite the fact that "Dagon" followed the tale of "Shadow over Innsmouth" fairly closely. "Lovecracked" is fun, where as "Dagon" was just dreary. Most of the horror shorts in “Lovecracked” don’t focus on specific stories; instead they focus on Lovecraft's themes, such as insanity and horrors beyond human comprehension. Things that make you starch your head and say WTF? In these bizarre moments, and often in its humor, that “Lovecracked” succeeds. It also comes with some decent extras, including several bonus shorts that are all worth watching.
"Lovecracked!" is the type of movie you sit down with your friends, knock back a few beers, laugh and get a little creeped out by. Its not high art, nor is it the ultimate Lovecraft movie. It is a fun movie, and even though not all of the shorts are excellent, they all work on some level. Even "'History of the Lurkers" had me laughing at times. Fans of Lovecraft with a sense of humor and an open mind should check this out. Same goes for horror fans that are looking for something a little different. Overall I would give this a Squim recommendation, and 3 1/2 Cans. It’s a good watch people.
Added: Sunday, September 17, 2006
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