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Movie Review: LovecraCked! The Movie

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Presented as an anthology of stories loosely tied together through vignettes featuring an investigative reporter researching the life and writings of horror/fantasy author H. P. Lovecraft, LovecraCked! The Movie is sometimes amusing, but often is too hard to follow or falls flat. There are some truly brilliant, wacky pieces throughout the movie, but not enough of them.

I’d tried to watch the movie twice before I finally got through it on the third attempt. Earlier, I figured the problem was me. I was distracted, too tired from work to concentrate, or really in the mood for something that was easy to get into. But I had the same problems the third time through. The movie is so disjointed in places that it’s almost like channel-surfing captured on DVD, although the stories all have to do with some aspect of Lovecraft, his work, or his Cthulhu Mythos so as not to be completely disjointed.

The stories featured on the DVD only pay passing homage to Lovecraft’s work. Key pieces and conceits were borrowed or cannibalized but the new stories didn’t really push into the deep thinking that lay behind those tales. Even though the movie is about Lovecraft, we don’t really get to know the author. There’s just not enough factual material in the presentation for someone unfamiliar with Lovecraft’s fiction to get the paradigm behind the pieces. There was no discussion as to why the writers, actors, and directors show the path they took to create their films.

The parts of the movie that really work are the ones that are over-the-top. I loved the investigative reporter shtick and would often laugh out loud at the actor’s antics. He had some really good stuff, and he was great with his expressions and dialogue delivery. He has a good sense of timing.

But there were several stories within the movie that just never connected, not with the rest of the movie and not with the audience. I often found myself scratching my head and wondering what it was I had just seen. Or why I was supposed to care.

Case in point was a story about the guy whose ex-lover sent him a marriage announcement. He grew angry with her and obsessed over what she was doing with her fiancé. So, somehow, he mutated into a Bugboy. He entered a cocoon and managed to metamorphose at the same time she happened to come by to check on him because she was worried about him. This section is shot in black and white, which is effective, but the prosthetic makeup is a complete joke. Plus you don’t really care about any of the characters.

Many of Lovecraft’s own stories were hard to understand, contained characters the reader could not identify with, and didn’t have real endings. Maybe this was a pastiche representing those kinds of stories. Unfortunately, I can’t confidently reach that decision based on my viewing.

A lot of people really liked Shaun of the Dead. I didn’t. I felt that movie had some highlights that were worth watching, but that it missed the boat on delivering a solid film experience. So maybe it’s just me. Maybe the audience that enjoyed that film will enjoy LovecraCked! The Movie. It’s watchable but just so very uneven that I believe it will depend on the individual as to whether or not it’s enjoyable. But it’s worth looking at to find out for yourself.

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