A few folks have asked me over the years if I would ever host a reviews section. I was initially reticent, as I'm always leery of trusting a reviewer's opinion myself; I'd almost always prefer to make my own decision about a product.
Just before our long hiatus, however, I was sent a review copy of an item, and I promised that, if I ever got the site up and running again, I would post a review. Desiring to honor that promise, and thinking that this could be a place for reviews not just by me, but by others, I decided to begin this new section. If you wish to submit your own review for something, or add a review of something I haven't looked at yet, please email me.
My Disclaimer: I have no intention of being unbiased in my reviews. Reviews, by their nature, are personal, arbitrary, and subjective. If you're not interested in my opinions of things, browse back to another section of the Webpage. ;)
Added January 18, 2009
LoveCracked! the Movie
I received this movie for free from the producers, and I'm very grateful to them. They were very polite and pleasant to deal with, offered me condolences on the passing of my father, and what not. I promised them that, if I ever started bloopWatch.org back up, I would review their movie. So, here goes...
The movie is an anthology piece, surrounded by a framing sequence of a journalist who is investigating Lovecraft's life. It's probably telling that this character is played by the same gentleman who produced and directed these segments. These scenes are meant to be funny, I suspect, but mostly, I found them dry and painful to watch. After the first few, I will confess to fast-forwarding over the rest, so I may have missed some gems. I will never know, as I will never watch this movie again.
The various segments that comprise the rest of the film are extremely uneven. Some are decent, but, true confession time...I watched this movie almost 3 years ago, so I really don't recall which ones are, and which are not. I do recall a softcore porn version of Re-Animator (Re-Penetrator...oy) as being one of thre most egregiously awful. But, hey, what do I know? I'm gay, and watching straight sex bores me. Maybe this segment would be amusing or titilating for other folks...but I find that unlikely.
There's barely a whiff of Lovecraft in this piece...it seems more like a cheap way to ensure they'd have a built-in niche audience. My overall advice? Don't bother. Save your time and money. I got my copy for free, and I still feel like I deserve a refund...of my time, perhaps.
A review of the LoveCracked! film on Amazon.com suggested that this movie would earn a lot of criticism from those who're too deadened by a diet of Hollywood blockbusters to know good indie cinema when they see it. I take the opposite view. Crap is crap, whatever the budget. I've seen many, many amateur (as in not produced by a big budget studio) films, many of them Lovecraftian in nature. It isn't enough to toss the "indie credit" shield in front of your piece and hope to be given some slack. I will give slack for low budget monsters, low-budget sets, and a lot of other things...but bad acting, bad script, and just plain bad project I will not tolerate.
In case you feel I'm being too harsh, and maybe I am, I did warn the film's produce that my review, when and if it did appear, would be overwhelmingly negative. He was okay with that. So there it is. If a film can inspire in me such vehement loathing 3 years after I last glanced at it, then I feel confident in being as negative as I am.
The Call of Cthulhu
Here is a case in point...yes, I'm still trying to get the taste of LoveCracked! out of my mouth...of a good independently produced film. The HPLHS has a lot of experience in theater, writing, and effects producing. This doesn't alter the fact that they're not backed by a big name studio to produce their films. Despite this fact, their version of The Call of Cthulhu may just be the best adaptation of an HPL story ever put on film.
In a move of great cleverness, they made the film silent and in black-and-white, using filters and other devices to really make the film look as though it were made in 1925, around the time Lovecraft's tory was written. This makes it a double triumph...it's not just a great Lovecraft film...it's a love letter to the films of that era. The acting, although silent, is still top notch. The adaptation is dead on. They even surprised me (pleasantly) during the point at which I most expected they'd cut corners...their Cthulhu isn't CG animated...and he does appear. Heck, someone even gets swallowed by an angle! Add to this a soundtrack that's menacing and atmospheric, some cunning cutting in of stick footage from the 20s, and direction and cinematography that really put this film head and shoulders above most almost all amateur Lovecraft films I've seen.
If you haven't seen this film yet, just buy it. If you're a fan of HPL's work (and if you're on this site, I'm guessing you are,) you will not regret the purchase.
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This website was developed and is maintained by Andrew "Aethan" French. Further development was aided and abetted by Mike "Bazil" Nichols of Biovore.com, but the site is still maintained by Andy. Any complaints, compliments, or comments should be sent to him.