After, yet again, not spending quite enough time deciding what this weeks theme would be and I fell back on an old favorite and went with watching a few more H.P.Lovecraft adaptations. The one’s I ended up going with were obscure and quirky but not at all bad. Another point of interest is these are two of Lovecraft’s works that don’t appear to fit in the Mythos setting.
The first on my list was the nearly direct to video film, The Resurrected. A modern day adaptation of Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, It tells the story of a detective hired by a client to investigate the strange behavior of her husband, Charles Dexter Ward. It turns out that Mr. Ward’s behavior is very strange indeed, Involving wild animals, strange smells, copious demand for fresh meat and the resurrection of dead ancestors.
This is an interesting film that mostly does a good job of updating the material as best they can. I confess I like it because of it’s portrait of the backroads of Rhode Island in fall. (What can I say, I’m a sucker for films that open up with establishing shots of my home town.) And there were pretty good performances from everybody, especially Chris Sarandon as Charles Dexter Ward and his ancestor. The film had pretty good creature effects.
In the end what dragged the film down for me was how it was dependent on people being idiots (possibly a side effect of avoiding correcting for period) I mean, not getting into the question of why didn’t they investigate the catacombs bellow Ward’s house after the police raided, but when they finally did would it kill them to make sure the batteries in their flashlight (yes they only had the one and a lantern that was easily extinguished for the near dark monster scene) was fresh and have backups?
My next film is the first entry from the The H.P. Lovecraft Collection as one of the entries from the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival,Cool Air directed by and starring Bryan Moore.
An adaptation of Lovecraft’s short story of the same name, it’s the story of a writer, played by Moore (unnamed in the story but for the movie is made into one of Lovecraft’s regular protagonists, Randolph Carter) who after moving into a boarding house meets and befriends the mysterious Doctor Muñoz played by Jack Donner who’s health is dependent on a strange refrigeration unit. It inevitably breaks down and the Muñoz melts to death and that’s mostly it…. Okay, that was bit curt it’s actually a nice little character piece and parable of human will, that could easily be done as a play. Donner’s Performance as the doctor is excellent. My biggest problem with it was my tendency to get distracted by how dependent on being a period piece a film is. If this story took place today there would be nothing magical about a good air conditioning or refrigeration units or for that matter it’s easy to get large quantities of ice on short notice… In fact you’d think that the doctor would have some suppliers on speed dial in case of such emergencies, and we know that because in a modern setting the doctor would have a phone!