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May 2011

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

cast: Kyle Davis, Devin McGinn, Harry Karp, Barak Hardley, and Edmund Lupinski

director: Henry Saine

77 minutes (15) 2009
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Kaleidoscope DVD Region 2

RATING: 6/10
review by James A. Stewart



book reviews...

An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia

The Complete Lovecraft Filmography
The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

There are probably few authors in history with an ability to unite horror geeks with the same ease as H.P. Lovecraft. The dark world of the American genius' cult of Cthulhu is not so much brought to life as alluded to this horror-come-comedy and is so ridiculous at times it is perversely watchable.

The Last Lovecraft: Relic Of Cthulhu isn't a straight read across from Lovecraft's work, and certainly there are purists who would bemoan everything about this film based, mainly, on the fact that it is nothing more than a silly film which uses a famous author's name and ideas to basically goof about in a manner not too dissimilar to the cult zombie flick Shaun Of The Dead.

Kudos has to be given to the makers of The Last Lovecraft for turning out a pretty decent effort on a reported budget of $180,000 and a production timeline of just three weeks. The end product is a film that could have been made 30 years ago as this comes at you like a tribute to the horror comedies of the 1980s.

The premise is quite simple; the last living relative of Lovecraft has to stop the resurrection of Cthulhu by ensuring his minions can't put the two pieces of an ancient relic back together, thus freeing the angry god from his underwater tomb. Jeff is a reluctant hero and hasn't even heard of Lovecraft, but luckily he has two comicbook geeks to help him. Phew!

Jeff, Charlie and Paul set out on a mission to protect the relic from the beasts of Cthulhu and Starspawn, the latter of whom looks like a close cousin of Darth Maul, but with a rather strange taste in clothing. It's an adventure that takes them into the desert and into a literally explosive finale.

What keeps The Last Lovecraft afloat is its self-deprecating direction. It comes across as a nerd-fest. The humour is dark and twisted, but sometimes hilarious. Captain Olaf dead-panning about being 'fish-raped' made me laugh out loud; indeed, I had to rewind the movie to hear it again. The creepy motel guy who offers himself on a plate to the scared Jeff is comical as well. There are plenty of mirthful moments to keep the viewer chuckling away.

Despite the reported low budget the effects are laudable. In particular, the make-up and liberal use of pig's blood are well done. Of course, some of the monsters are a more than a bit fake looking, as befits the 1980s' pop art look, and the spawn could have done with being able to at least twitch its facial muscles. Where The Last Lovecraft does let itself down is in the gratuitous use of the word 'fuck' in the opening half-hour. Every sentence is peppered with it and it actually grates after a while, but seems to tone down as the film moves on.

There is talk of a sequel and it is clear writer, producer and star, Devin McGinn sees this as more than a one-time project given how it ended. The Last Lovecraft will not become a cult hit but it isn't as bad as I had feared it would be.



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