Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Lurking Fear

I finally got up the courage to dip into my super-cheap ’20 Horror Movies’ dvd collection. I picked The Lurking Fear because, hey, Lovecraft and Jeffrey Combs! Can’t miss, right?


I give a certain amount of leeway to a Full Moon Entertainment movie, but even by that standard this is pretty lackluster. The acting is wooden, the writing hack, cinematography workmanlike, and the production… well, some of it is okay – though the set design makes all the interiors look like rural Romania or something.

Very loosely based on the Lovecraft short story, the film follows ex-con John Martense as he is given a map showing the location of some money buried with a corpse. The graveyard is in his home town, which just so happens to be dealing with some sort of assault from underground creatures. Add a trio of criminals also looking for the money and watch things go haywire.

The producers have tried to leaven the cast with some decent character actors, but they only serve as a contrast to how crappy the rest of the actors are. Like finding a chocolate bar in a bowl of crap, it somehow makes it worse.
And while the interiors seem rustic Eastern European, the exteriors are all southern US desert, which makes the whole “the monsters only come out when there’s a storm” aspect seem particularly stupid. It rains a LOT in this desert, though.

Combs does the best he can with the thankless job of alcoholic town doctor, the late Vincent Schiavelli chews the scenery as a bent undertaker and… is that Ashley Laurence? Wasn’t she in Hellraiser? Wasn’t she MUCH BETTER in Hellraiser? In this she plays a sort of paramilitary badass, but is completely unbelievable. I kinda wanted the woman playing one of the criminals to kick her ass – she at least had a little personality.

The monster design was pretty good, if a bit static – just the jaws move on the face. Unfortunately, you only see one of them for most of the movie. It was hard to believe it could threaten a whole town and I started to think they just didn’t have the budget for more monsters (spent it all on gasoline for the explosions). Then they show us a whole nest of the things about 5 minutes from the end. Why they couldn’t have used a few more of them for the attacks, I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s was pretty terrible, even by Full Moon standards. And not ‘bad, but in a good way.’ It’s just… blah. Subpar, with little of interest and a lot of missed opportunities.

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