Body Bags (1993) – Movie review

body bags 1993 - pic 1

Body Bags (1993)

Directed by John Carpenter & Tobe Hooper

Stacy Keach
David Warner
Sheena Easton
Debbie Harry
Mark Hamill
Robert Carradine

BB is a great little horror anthology by John Carpenter where he plays the host, a corpse in the morgue that finds different bodies of interest, and introduces the stories through their misfortunes. It was made for Showtime as a TV series jump off thus it had budget restrictions that limited effects to blood and violence. It first aired in 1993. The series never got the green light but the film still lives on.

A woman, Anne, comes in for the midnight shift at a self serve gas station. All she has to do is take money, charge credit cards, turn on pumps and…survive the night. Her first customer creeps up to the window slow and zombie-like while her back is turned, then scares the crap out of her by banging on the glass. Well, that customer is none other than, Wes Craven, in a surprise cameo. The next customer (David Naughton, American Werewolf…) uses his body bags 1993 - postercredit card then leaves without it. When Anne runs out to catch him, she accidentally locks herself out. The solitude and isolation of the lonely station begins to unnerve her. We have a homeless man come by for a bathroom key, (George Buck Flower, a familiar player in Carpenter films) then another car with yet another Carpenter regular, Peter Jason. After he leaves the woman retrieves the Men’s Room key only to discover there’s someone in the garage bay. She enters the garage and finds the homeless man murdered. A maniacal killer attacks her and she fights back in classic Carpenter cat and mouse suspense style.

In the next story, Richard (Stacey Keach), is going bald and feels bad about it despite his girlfriend, Megan (Sheena Eastonshe was a famous 80s singer) saying it‘s alright. He’s doing the Trump sweep over and spray, and trying a hundred products that don’t work. He sees an add on TV and calls the company about hair implants that carry a strange caveat. David Warner is the company CEO and we have the lovely Debbie Harry playing a Nurse in this episode. His grows hair like you wouldn’t believe. But the hair doesn’t stop growing. Turns out it’s a living organism. There’s a really disgusting part where he finds some growing in his throat. This segment is an ugly lesson in vanity.

The last one has Mark Hamill, (yes the Star Wars Luke Skywalker guy) as a minor league baseball player, who gets an eye transplant and takes on the characteristics of the organ doner. Turns out the organ donor was a sadistic serial killer. He begins getting migraine headaches and having terrible visions. There are some shocking visions of the dead victims crawling out of the dirt in his yard. He starts treating his wife badly and acting violent. This epi has a great gruesome ending.

This is a great addition to the horror anthology legacy. The stories are simple but effective making it a good watch. The fact that it had a lower budget and two of the segments were based on urban legends makes it more gritty than Creepshow or the HBO Tales From the Crypt series. For that reason it feels more relevant to modern horror tastes. An added enjoyment was picking up on the cameos as they appeared in the film

body bags 1993 - pic 3 wes craven

Gritty, realistic style lets it stand up well to today’s horror flicks.
I give it 3.7 psycho slashers out of 5 on the blood soaked anthology of horror scale.


Fun Facts:

There’s also cameos in the film by Sam Raimi, Greg Nicotero, Roger Corman, Tom Arnold, Tobe Hooper, and John Agar.

In “The Gas Station” segment, look for the news report that tells of a dead body turning up in Haddonfield.

Clive Barker was asked to do a cameo but couldn’t make the shoot due to a conflicting schedule.

The Fog (1980) – movie review

the fog 1980 pic 5

The Fog (1980)

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill

Adrienne Barbeaumy top 10 1980s horror
Jamie Lee Curtis
Tom Atkins
Janet Leigh
Hal Holbrook

We all probably know what the story entails in The Fog, but to review it briefly, The town of Antonio Bay is cursed due to the founding father’s destruction of Captain Blake’s ship, the death of his people, and stealing his gold which is invested in the town.  On the 100th year anniversary, the spirits of Blake and his crew come back for revenge and to take back what is rightfully theirs, the crew’s gold which was melted and fashioned into a giant gold cross.

This is a great ghost story movie that begins with creepy poltergeist occurrences piercing a quiet night and builds to a crescendo of horrific The Fog dvd coverdeaths at the hands of the dead spirits. The mood and atmosphere are top notch in this film. Carpenter took a queue from the EC Horror Comics of the 50’s and fashioned it into a classic ghost tale of American Gothic Horror.

One of the creepiest scenes to me is the attack on the fishing boat, when the fishermen come up from below and see stoic figures standing in the fog on the bow of the ship.

The mystery of what these shadowy figures look like, the lack of details, makes it scarier then fully shown ghost images. Quite often the only thing in clear view are the hooks that these ghouls are holding in their shriveled hands. The whole sequence with Mrs. Kobritz, the babysitter at the house was tense, a prime example of Carpenter’s mastery of suspense.

Carpenter once again crafts a wonderful score for the film including the creepy main theme. You can hear it below in the video. I had purchased the film soundtrack and play it often during our Halloween activities.

What most people don’t realize about the film are the multitude of references and homage’s to other horror icons in it. I point out a few in the Fun Facts.

FOG, THE - Silver Ferox Design WEBFun Facts:

Tom Atkins’ character mentions Bodega Bay, which was the setting of The Birds (1963).

On the radio, a search for the lost fishing boat is mentioned – the radio voice names, Waitely Point and Arkham Reef as points being searched. Both are frequently used titles, (one a name, the other a place) in stories by H.P. Lovecraft.

Carpenter and Hill were inspired to write this after a trip to Stonehenge and seeing the ancient ruin shadowed in thick fog. Another strong influence on the story was The Trollenberg Terror (1958).

When water from the ships nameplate spills on the cassette deck at the radio station, the tape says, “like an albatross around the neck,” a quote from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

The coroner in the film is named Dr. Phibes, an obvious nod to the Vincent Price films, The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Dr. Phibes Returns.

The part of Father Malone was originally offered to Christopher Lee, but he was unable to clear his schedule for the shoot.

This film brought mother and daughter horror stars together in a film, Janet Leigh (Psycho) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween). Both owe much of their success to the popularity of the horror films they had stared in.

Carpenter’s Main Theme for The Fog:

This ‘Making of The Fog’ video is about a half hour long:

The Philadelphia Experiment – movie review – 1984 Blog-a-thon


This review is part of Forgotten Films Blog, 1984 Blog-A-Thon which is covering just about every film released in 1984. When deciding to participate, I looked over the list and chose to review, The Philadelphia Experiment. I hadn’t seen the movie in many years, but I remember liking it. This would give me the perfect opportunity to revisit this film.

philadelphia experiment -pic 4

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

Directed by Stewart Raffill
produced by John Carpenter

Michael Paré
Bobby Di Cicco
Nancy Allen
This sci-fi film concerns an urban legend about the US Navy experimenting with a cloaking device in 1943, and the mishap that arises from the ill-fated experiment. When the naval vessel, The USS Eldridge, goes completely invisible it actually travels in time. When it returned several minutes later, it is said that some of the crew members were fused into the bulkhead and deck of the ship itself. Some crew members came back inside-out and others experienced long term mental problems. It is also said, with a flash of light, the Eldridge was sighted in Northport Virginia, over 200 miles away from Philadelphia for those few minutes.

In the film, we follow two sailors, Dave and Jim, crew members on the Eldridge at the time of the experiment. They travel with the ship from 1943 and jump off in 1984, in a Nevada desert. They discover that the experiment was being revisited in 1984 and the new experiment interacted with philadelphia experiment -movie-posterthe original creating a vortex or wormhole between the two time periods.

The sailors are immediately being chased by the modern military. They hide out in a dinner where they meet Allison (Dave’s love interest for the film). Not able to drive a modern car, they get Allison to drive and flee the scene with them. The military attempts to end the experiment but the vortex keeps getting bigger, threatening to suck towns and whole cities into the space hole. Eventually, the military needs David’s help in closing the vortex and he is sent into the maelstrom where he will shut down the generator on the Eldridge, therefore severing the link.

I must say, I liked this film better when I first saw it in the 1984 than I like it now. The problem is that this film is book ended with two interesting and gratifying sequences, but the middle is bogged down with the budding romance of Dave and Allison. Some of the dialogue is hokey, but to be expected from a film that is 30 years old. There are a few time warp discoveries for the two men and Allison, but they are nothing mind blowing for a film about time travel. Considering this was released the same year as Terminator, I think they could have infused something more paradox.

I do like that Nancy Allen’s character is named Allison Hayes, an homage to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. The TV in the diner is showing Humanoids From the Deep which I reviewed just a few weeks ago. The TV in the Motel room plays part of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. We also see an Ad for a very early computer. The effects in the film are dated, even for 1984, but convey the story well enough. The biggest aspect in time travel discovery is the actual film itself. As the men from 1943 look strangely at Pay Telephones, Cars with Chrome Bumpers, and free-standing Arcade Games, I am reminded that my children would probably look at these items the same way today as our movie characters do in 1984.

Some of my disappointment with the film is that my memories got this mixed up with another film about the same subject matter, released around the same time called, The Final Countdown. TFC had better special-fx and because of that, I was waiting for scenes in The Philadelphia Experiment that never came.

All in all, it’s not a bad movie, perhaps just a little light on the sci-fi aspect for such a serious film subject.

I give it 3.3 wormholes out of 5 for vanishing vessels and valiant heroics.

My Top 10 Underrated horror films:

Ok, I’m recycling. I’m having an outpatient procedure (every day for two weeks) and have very little time so I hope you don’t mind if I recycle a few of my older posts.


My The Top 10 Underrated horror films:

In no particular order, here are my top 10 underrated horror flicks. This list is subject to change…

The Legend of Hell House (1973)
A great ghost story starring Roddy McDowell, which provides scientific explanations of the existence of ghosts, creepy mood, dark atmosphere and quite a bit of carnage and death! This is one of the first ghost/horror movies that scared me as a young lad, so I may be partial to this film. Would love to know what other people think.


The Entity (1981)
I watched this recently and was terrified for the woman within the first ten minutes of the film. The movie never lets up. Barbara Hershey, plays a fantastic role as the struggling single mom tormented by an evil spirit. I was surprised that the film had an affect on me so many years after I had first seen it.


The Amityville Horror II (1982)
IMO this film is scarier than the original, with strong characters played brilliantly (albeit melodramatically) by their respective actors. Follow the Defeo’s lives’ up until the time of the true-life murders. There is a ten-minute sequence, from the demon’s POV, where the evil presence travels from the cellar through the house. Creepy as hell.

The Night Flier (1997)

This quiet little film made for Showtime, from Stephen King’s story of the same name, became one of my favorite King adaptations. A successful yet jaded reporter, for a fringe tabloid newspaper, begins hunting a vampire, who has been landing his Cessna at small northern airports and leaving havoc in his wake. The reporter, played perfectly by, Miguel Ferrer, is a total A-hole, but you like him anyway.

Feast (2005)

This is one great horror-comedy. This film is funny and it contains plenty of hard hitting action, violence, original monsters and a strong R rating! Another lazy night in a Texas bar on the outskirts of Anytown, USA, turns into a war between humans and monsters as a horde of creatures move in from the desert, looking for some eats (humans) and to procreate – much like the usual barfly’s. These are some ugly looking creatures ! Did I mention, tons of gore?

Open Water (2003)

Based on a true story, filmed in a gritty, reality style, we follow a young couple on a scuba-diving expedition during their Jamaica vacation. The party boat mistakenly leaves them stranded in the deep Atlantic, with no sign of land anywhere. We follow this couple as they try to stay afloat and fight for survival against the elements.

The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

In the first scene, from the killers POV, we see the stalking and murder of a victim. It immediately reminded me of Halloween and I cursed the film as a blatant rip-off of Carpenter’s style – until I looked at the credits. The film was actually written by John Carpenter (but not directed by him). The Eyes of Laura Mars is a great white-knuckle thriller, worthy of mention in the same breath as Hitchcock and Brian DePalma films. Laura is plagued by visions of a serial killer’s murders as they happen in real-time.

Creep (2004)

A young lady is mistakenly locked in the London Underground – what we NY-ers would call the subway – and is stalked by a strange creature. As she desperately tries to find another way out, she discovers the humanoid’s lair, a long abandoned underground medical facility that had cruelly experimented on humans. It seems this Creep is going to do some surgical experiments of his own.

The Fourth Kind (2009)

A strong unease gripped me after seeing this film. I wasn‘t even all-that scared when I was watching it, but the movie wouldn’t let go of me; I kept thinking about it for days. Was it a demon disguising itself as an alien so it would be relevant in this modern day and age? Or was it an ancient alien still wielding strange powers upon a small northern town because it could isolate it’s victims? The film never really gives you an answer – I think that is what makes it unnerving.

Dagon (2001)

A cross between the very short-story, Dagon, and the infamous “Innsmouth” tale, this Lovecraft adaptation successfully captures the true fear, atmosphere and mood of Lovecraft terror. When a young couple’s yacht runs aground, they become stranded in a strange, backward town on the coast of Mediterranean Spain. The feeling of isolation and terror grow, as the strangely deformed townspeople close-in on the unwelcome intruders.

Honorable mention:

Pulse (2006)
Nobody seemed to like this film as much as I did. To me, it relays a plausible scientific theory: the expansion and amplification of once unknown frequencies will eventually lead us to discover something we should not, or, in this case, they will discover us. A proficient programmer/hacker in college is contacted by entities from the great beyond, only to discover they are the denizens of hell. In the end, this brooding, quiet film turns into an apocalyptic disaster as the film looks outward from this college community to the bigger picture. Wi-Fi is everywhere.

Let me know what you think of my picks. Post some of your favorite underrated horror flicks in the comments, films you think should’ve gotten more attention.

Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue – movie review – Documentary (2009)


A chronological history of horror from the beginning of film to today, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, Brian Yuzna, andnightmares cover Mick Harris, among others, attempt to explain America’s fascination with Horror. The Documentary delves into the mindset of each decade, the internal fears of the population brought about by external sociopolitical forces, and the films that were successful at these points in time. It touches upon all the iconic horror films from each era – the earliest silent films, the Universal Monster films, the 50s sci-fi horror, the politically charged films of the 60s and 70s, and the overblown excess of the 80s. Each director also relays nightmares-in-red-white-and-blue-john-carpenterpersonal stories about the first horror film they had seen and how it had affected them. Highlights include comments by George Romero about his Living Dead films and Roger Corman about working with Vincent Price and his early gothic films. One of the fun sequences is a montage of every sex scene from every Friday the 13th film, set to a hard rock song, in music video style. The song concludes with the horrific kill scenes of all the characters we’ve just gotten intimately familiar with.

Lance Henriksen narrates the film. It is based on a book of the same name by Joseph Maddrey. Well made, nicely paced, and interestingly told, a fine tribute to American Horror. Worth a watch for every horror fan.
george romero
George Romero

nightmares bride nightmares texas
nightmares sid haig nightmares exorcist

related articles:

Lovecraft – Fear of the Unknown – documentary

Boogeymen – the Killer Compilation

Now Showing, On the Big screen, One night only…

godzilla 1954 pic 3
If a Movie Theater near you decided to show a Classic Horror film on Halloween Night, what film would you want them to show?

Last year a theater near me decided to show an old classic on Halloween night – That Classic was John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy hit a few days prior and most of us had no power, including the theater. Don’t know if they are going to do that again this year because of the bad turn out from last year. But, I hope so!

Okay, so here’s the question, what movie would you like to see on the big screen?

To make it interesting, let’s make it a double feature.

To qualify as classic, the film has to be at least 25 years old. You can pick something that you have never seen in a theater or something you had seen in a theater when you were young and would like to capture that feeling again.

My picks are:

Gojira (1954)
Imagine seeing Big-G on the big screen with the sound systems they have in theaters today? They could even add a little reverb in the scenes when Godzilla attacks the city to get the theater walls rumbling.
godzilla 1954 pic 2 Godzilla 1954 pic 1

The Fog (1980)
Hopefully, in William Castle fashion, they would have a fog machine in the theater and every time the fog showed on screen, they would blow fog up the theater aisles, too!

So, what are your ‘Halloween night at the theater’ film picks?

Let me know in the comments…

Reader’s choices:

Brian from Hard Ticket to Home Video picks:
The Shining (1980) & Jaws 3 in 3D (1983)
the-shining-1 the_shining_02
jaws 3 in 3d pic 3 JAWS 3D sans logo


Eric from The IPC wants to see:
Friday the 13th (1980) and Friday the 13th part II
friday the 13th 1980 friday the 13th 1980 pic 1
friday-the-13th-part-2 fridaythe13th part 2 (1981)


Xenolicker picks Evil Dead 2

Wonderinggrace would like to see 13 Ghosts and The Exorcist
13 Ghosts pic 3
the exorcist pic 4


Fringevoid picks, Phantasm and Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chain Saw Massacre texas chainsaw massacre pic 2


BeerMovie wants An American Werewolf in London followed by A Nightmare on Elm Street
an-american-werewolf-in-london pic 2
freddy and nancy


Mark from Lasers, Monsters and Barbarians oh, my! picked a Universal classic, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and a lesser known Hammer film, Vampire Circus.

creature-black-lagoon pic 2 creature-from-the-black-lagoon-pic 1
vampire circus pic 2 vampire circus pic 3

Who’s next?

Lovecraft in film – the top Lovecraft stories in movies

The best H.P. Lovecraft adaptations and Lovecraft inspired films.

H.P. Lovecraft stories are often called un-filmable because of the way they are written; partly because of the grandiose descriptions of ancient cities and cultures, partly because most of his stories are told with multiple flashbacks and partly because much of his stories are the contemplation of ideas and concepts thought about by the main characters. But that doesn’t stop filmmakers from trying. Most Lovecraft stories adapted for film are re-written, quite often completely, leaving only the title, character names, and most basic concepts in their wake. However, there are some that get enough of the story and atmosphere right – making them true Cthulhu Mythos worthy.

Consideration is given for the following elements: The movie as an entertaining piece of cinema/film – the movie as an HP Lovecraft adaptation and how close the elements come to Lovecraft’s tales.

Here’s My Top 10:

dagon dvd Dagon (2001)
Directed by Stuart Gordon
Although Dagon was a very short tale with barely a plot, this adaptation seems to combine Dagon with Lovecraft’s “Innsmouth” tale. It is different from the original story(s) but, director, Stuart Gordon, successfully captured the true fear, atmosphere and mood of Lovecraft terror. When a young couple’s yacht runs aground, they become stranded in a strange, backward town on the coast of Mediterranean Spain. The feeling of isolation and terror grow, as the strangely deformed townspeople close-in on the unwelcome intruders. In this film Gordon left behind much of the campy comedic elements from earlier films, From Beyond and Re-Animator, which for this film, I think was effective. He learned how to creep you out without grossing you out and I think Lovecraft fans appreciated the more serious approach to his adaptation.

from-beyond coverFrom Beyond (1986)
Directed by Stuart Gordon – produced by Brian Yuzna
Two scientists build a resonator in experiments to stimulate a gland in the center of the brain called the Pineal Gland. The gland effects the wake/sleep and dream cycles of the human consciousness. Quite unexpectedly, when stimulated this gland enables them to see into another dimension. Strange creatures in this dimension drag the lead scientist, Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel), off into this strange world. Dr. Crawford Tillinghast, (Jeffrey Combs) struggles to continue the experiments as his pineal gland takes over his conscious mind and demands more stimulation from the resonator. A side effect of this stimulation causes intense sexual energy, mostly provided by Barbara Crompton as Dr. Katherine McMichaels. Dr. Pretorius comes back as a shape-shifting monster determined to swallow Katherine whole for the ultimate pleasurable experience. This is gory, grotesque, weird and bizarre, just what you would expect from a Gordon/Yuzna collaboration.

dreams pic 1Dreams in the Witch House – Masters of Horror (2005)
Directed by Stuart Gordon
This is the film adaptation to Lovecraft’s story of the same name set in modern times. For me, this was one of the creepiest episodes from the Masters of Horror series. A young student, Walter Gilman, attending the Miskatonic University discovers that his boarding room contains the exact angles to produce a dimensional doorway used by witches. A large rat frightens his young female neighbor, Frances. Gilman chases the rat away to save the young lady and her child but the rat comes back for him. The large rat is the witch’s elemental, and has a human face. It calls to Gilman in his dreams but soon Gilman can not distinguish dream from reality. The rat leads Gilman into the witches lair where the witch seduces him and exacts a particularly nasty deed that Gilman will have to answer for.

whisperer coverThe Whisperer in Darkness – HPLHS Films (2011)
Produced and directed by Branney and Leman
After the Vermont floods of 1927, Professor Albert Wilmarth of the Miskatonic University, begins to receive letters from Vermont farmer, Henry Akeley, who claims to have evidence of strange creatures and omnipresent rituals near his farm. When Wilmarth goes to investigate, he is witness to a plan for an ancient race to enter our world and destroy mankind in the process. This film is modeled after early horror films, such as, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Dracula. The crisp B&W Image is outstanding to fans of that golden age of horror films and all aspects; music, effects, script, are congruent to a film from that time period. It is also an outstanding Lovecraft adaptation using all the elements of the Lovecraft story and the settings are well anchored in the time period that the story had been told.

quatermass dvdQuatermass and the Pit (1968)
Directed by Roy Ward Baker –
Aka: Five Million Years to Earth
This fantastic film suggests that a great insectile race, on the verge of extinction, came to earth many years ago and left a machine that would help them revive their species through the actions of man’s own curiosity. A previous unknown race of intelligent beings similar to the Great Old Ones is definitively Lovecraft influenced. The film is a smart science-fiction mystery that unravels to the unique climax. This film is my favorite Quatermass film of the series.

mouth of madness coverIn the Mouth of Madness (1995)
Directed by John Carpenter
Sam Neil stars as John Trent, an insurance fraud investigator who is hired to find a missing horror author, Sutter Cane and deliver his final manuscript, In The Mouth of Madness. The reading of Cane’s books seem to have a negative affect on his readers, turning them into psychotic killers and believers in supernatural forces. Trent finds a clue in Cane’s book covers and believes that Cane is hiding out in an obscure New England town, Hobb’s End. There is no such town on the map but Trent and publishing exec., Linda, take a road trip to locate this mysterious town. Once they find Hobb’s End, the town’s people turn into slimy tentacled creatures and attack Trent, Linda, and each other. Although the film has some plot holes and pushes the limits of suspension-of-disbelief, I find it extremely creative and ambitious. Its cutting and jarring scenes mirror the psychosis that is befalling the characters in the film. It is not a Lovecraft story but the Cthulhu Mythos influence is quite evident.

night gallery coverThe Night Gallery – Season 2, episode: Pickman’s Model (1973)
This is one of the better episodes of Night Gallery in its short three season run on TV. An art teacher, Professor Pickman, at a Boston college is fired for his unnatural and violently disturbing work depicting creatures in, amongst other places, the local church grounds. One of his students, the lovely Miss Mavis Goldsmith, has taken a liking to the professor and joins him for lunch to express her adoration upon him. She is summarily rejected and the Professor departs in a huff, leaving behind his latest painting. With help from a friend, the young Miss Mavis deciphers what part of town is depicted in the painting and decides to pay Mr. Pickman a visit. He is unduly agitated by her appearance and begs her to leave. She lingers as he attends some disruption in his home and is then attacked by the strange rat-like creature depicted in the professor’s paintings.

Several other Night Gallery episodes featured Lovecraft stories or Lovecraft themes including: Professor Peabody’s Last Lecture, Cool Air, and Mrs. Lovecraft Sent Me.

necronomicon coverThe Necronomicon (1993)
Anthology includes three stories; The Drowned (based on Rats in the Walls), The Cold (based on Cool Air), and  Whispers (very loosely based on The Whisperer in Darkness). There is a a wrap-around story which features Jeffery Combs as H.P. Lovecraft, sneaking into a monastery library in order to read excerpts from The Necronomicon, thus revealing the stories. I like all three stories and all of them have some great special effects. The monster in the first segment, The Drowned is worth the price of admission! The Cold is probably closest to the Lovecraft tale it is adapted from, followed by The Drowned.

callofcthulhu coverThe Call of Cthulhu – HPLHS Films (2005)
Produced and directed by Branney and Leman
The 1st film by The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society is a nostalgic throwback to the silent era of filmmaking. If you have an appreciation for the black & white image and silent movies, Cthulhu is a silver screen gem of chromatic artistry and beauty. The music is a top-notch symphonic score, perfectly matched to the films imagery. The grainy, old style film seems to add a convincing realism to the story. The stars are aligning and Cthulhu is poised to cross the threshold from his world into ours. If you are a H.P. Lovecraft enthusiast you would definitely want to check this film out.

The-Unnamable-1988The Unnamable (1988)
Directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette
Some films I like for the plot and story, some films I like for the cast and great acting, and let’s face it, for some films, I’m just in it for the monster. This tale is one of a creature so disturbingly ugly, its horrible image has forever been fixed into the glass of the attic window where it lived in hiding. This adaptation offers some campy-ness in usual 1980‘s style but fails to reach the black comedy status of the Gordon/Yuzna films. The only thing that really saves this film from total failure is the horrifically-beautiful female monster. She is really a masterpiece of make-up effects – cloven hooves, gnarled teeth, sinister eyes, but definitively feminine. Acknowledgement to Katrin Alexandre for her portrayal of the creature: it is her awkward and creature-like movements that help bring this beast to life.


dagon pic8 dagon pic 2

From Beyond
from beyond pic 1 from_beyond pic 8

Dreams in the Witchhouse
dreams-in-the-witch-house pic4 dreams pic 3

Thw Whisperer in Darkness
whisperer pic 1 whisperer pic 3

Quatermass and the Pit
quatermass pic 2 Quatermass and the pit

In The Mouth of Madness
mouth of madness pic 2 mouth of madness pic 4

The Night Gallery – Pickman’s Model
night gallery pic 5 night-gallery-season-2-pickmans-model-hp-lovecraft-monster

The Necronomicon
necro3 necro2

The Call of Cthulhu
call cthulhu pic 5 callofcthulhu pic 8

The Unnamable
unnamable pic 5 unnamable pic 8


Honorable Mentions:

Evil Dead – Not a Lovecraft tale but uses the Necronomicon, a book often sited in Lovecraft tales. The film also refers to the evil entities in the woods as the Great Old Ones.

ReanimatorAlthough a great movie, it is far from the original Lovecraft tale of the same name. This is another gory, bizarre culmination from Gordon and Yuzna. At some points it could even be considered a black comedy or morbid humor.

The Dunwich Horror – This version captures the Lovecraft atmosphere but it’s a bit on the slow side. The mediocre acting and melodramatic music don’t help. 1960’s psychedelia, cultism, sexual platitudes, and isolationism.

The Trollenberg Terror – The creatures in this movie are definitely Lovecraft influenced with one eye, giant tentacles and high intelligence.

The Thing – John Carpenter stated that his version of the Thing, with its tentacles and Trans-morphing physical aspects were influenced by Lovecraft ideas.

Theater Bizarre – Mother of Toads segmentOne of six stories in this ambitious anthology. It deals with a witch-like woman insuring her strange offspring will thrive. Has a definitive Lovecraft feel.

Castle Freak – Although this is supposed to be Lovecraft inspired, I don’t really see a big connection. The story is very close to the Unnamable, only set in Europe. Decent film but just barely Lovecraftian.

Hellboy, Hellboy II– Although based on a comic, Guillermo Del Toro will profess that some of the creatures in these films are Lovecraft inspired.

Die Monster Die (1965) – Boris Karloff and Nick Adams star in this film which is loosely based upon the Lovecraft tale, The Colour Out of Space. The film is not bad but a bit on the slow side to make it into the Top 10.

evil dead 2pic3 TheDunwichHorror-Still1
Mother of Toads_theatre_bizarre Necronomicnom-cover-header-thumb-550x412-104343

This post has gotten so big, I decided to put more of the pics in a gallery, in a seperate post:
click here: Lovecraft Film Gallery

EvilDead book pic 2

Dishonorable Mentions:
None of the following 3  films seem to have redeeming values for the Lovecraft Fan.

Beyond The Walls of Sleep (2004)

Dark Heritage (1990)

The Shunned House (2004)

HP lovecraft collection - Pickman's Model box

Films I have not yet seen:

The Resurrected (1991)

The HP Lovecraft Collection – Lurker films
(several films – collection from the HP Lovecraft Film Festivals)

Pickman’s Muse (2010)

These two following Spanish films look awesome. Currently, they are only available in Region 2 format. I’m hoping some US distributor will rectify this and release these films for US dvd/blu-ray players (region 1) and with English subtitles.

La Herencia Valdemar (2010)

La Sombre Prohibida (2011)

Did I miss anything?
Let me know in a comment below…