I expected “The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu” to be unwatchable. Anytime you see a DVD for $2.00, you can’t have high hopes. But, Lovecraft movies aren’t super-common, so I thought I’d give it a try, fully expecting to stop watching after five minutes.
I was very pleasantly surprised.
The movie stars Kyle Davis as Jeff Phillips, the last living relative of horror-writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Jeff and his friend Charlie (Devin McGinn, also the film’s writer) are entrusted by a secret society to protect an ancient relic that the Cult of Cthulhu is trying to steal to awaken the infamous Sea-Monster-God. Only Jeff has Lovecraft’s genetic ability to resist the telepathic powers of the Cultists, which drive all others who meet them insane.
If this premise sounds a little silly, well, it is. That’s because the movie is a horror/comedy, but I’d say it’s about 80% comedy, and 20% horror. And it works. It’s a very amusing little adventure, while still being reasonably faithful to the principles of Lovecraftian-ism.
The monster special effects are horribly cheap and hokey-looking, but it all works because (a) it’s a comedy and (b) Lovecraftian horror isn’t really about the monsters you see; it’s about the monsters you don’t see. Granted “Lovecraft” and “comedy” are two words you don’t often see together, but in this case, the two blend pretty well.
Is it a great movie? No, but it’s a lot of a fun for anybody who enjoys Lovecraft’s “Yog-Sothothery” but doesn’t take the “Mythos” too seriously. It’s the most successful blend of cosmic horror and comedy I’ve seen since the great “Fishmen” musical adaptation of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”.
The only other thing I’d add is that if you are offended by coarse language, you might want to steer clear. There is a lot of swearing, although it never felt forced or like “swearing for the sake of swearing”. There is also a fair amount of violence, what with the monsters eating people etc., but frankly, the effects are so silly it barely qualifies as violence in my book. Your mileage may vary.
I have found a few gems in the discount bin. I really have to get some Lovecraft.
In my opinion, many of the works derived from or inspired by Lovecraft are actually better than Lovecraft himself.