Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Lurking Fear (1994)
This is the third version of H.P. Lovecraft's classic short story I've seen so far, the other two is the underrated and almost brilliant Dan O'Bannon-penned Bleeders (aka Hemoglobin) and the very unauthorized Dark Heritage. None of them is perfect, but Bleeders comes closest to that wonderful dread we want to see in this story and also has the freakiest monsters of all the version + Rutger Hauer, which of course is a great asset. Here we have Lurking Fear, produced by Charles Band under his Full Moon-banner and shot in the exotic
. From the beginning this was a
project under Empire Pictures with Stuart Gordon at the helm, which probably
would have turned out a pretty good movie. Can't say that about this version,
but it's not completely worthless. land of Romania
The story is something with a drug affair gone wrong, some gangsters lead by a slumming Jon Finch (remember him from Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy? Great actor!) and involving Jeffrey Combs playing yet another doctor and the fine character actor Vincent Schiavelli in a smaller part. And yeah, the always talented Ashley Laurence honours us with a good part also. Anyway, they end up at a graveyard and there an underground mutant, an inbred, is lurking around killing them one by one!
Lurking Fear is told in a flat TV-movie style with more or less non-existent direction from C. Courtney Joyner. Some scenes is so badly shot that it's hard to understand why there wasn't a producer screaming somewhere in the background so the shot would turn out a little bit better. Compared to Bleeders this movie has very little atmosphere, except every time the cool monster shows up doing something, like lurking... or killing. And lurking some more. The effects isn't half-bad actually, the make-up effects and the monster suit looks cool and there's some fine explosions and fire stunts at the end. It's not totally un-bloody either, but far from as graphic as Bleeders (okay, I will stop comparing these two from now on!).
But I'm a sucker for underground inbreds - like The Descent for example. Pale, slimly, angry and aggressive monsters who just wants to eat and kill and eat some more. They're often quite scary and just the thought of something crawling around underneath me makes my hair stand up. Not that this monster is scary, but the face is cool and those big white eyes will follow you in your dreams. I like movies where you can see the monster properly and there's no shadows hiding this fella.
I have a feeling this could have been such a good movie with the right people behind the camera. The lack of love for the story and the flat cinematography is disappointing and it never really takes off. Most of the movie is just a bunch of people sitting inside a church talking with each other - and then someone wanders away or gets too near a window and 'napped by the monster and never seen again.
Okay, I wasn't bored. I'm one of those that rarely becomes bored by a movie, but I doubt I will watch it again. Lurking Fear is released on DVD in
to be uncut. Well worth buying for those who must see every adaption of
Lovecraft or for the few Charles Band-oholics out there. Like me. Germany