Friday, November 2, 2012

Lurking Fear (1994)

Seen: On dvd on our projector set-up.

You guys have probably ascertained that I will always, always check out a movie if it's got Jeffrey Combs, and Lurking Fear was no exception- especially since it's a Full Moon Horror! Gotta get me some more of those. Anyway, here's yet another example of Combs hanging out in a super loosely-adapted version of a Lovecraft story that I haven't read (lol I've only read Re-Animator and that's ALL I'LL EVER NEED). There's this town where freaky creatures rise up from the graveyard every night and try to eat the townspeople, who for SOME reason insist on living there, even though this happens LITERALLY. EVERY. NIGHT. A roguish criminal recently released from prison heads to this awful place to dig up some family treasure, followed by some jerkier criminals who also want the treasure. Eventually everyone gets trapped in a tiny church, trying not to get eaten by undead monsters or killed by asshole thieves. And there's like a mystery? Or something? And Vincent Schiavelli for five minutes?

Sooooo yeah this movie isn't all that great but daaaaaamn it is entertaining. The production values are expectedly low budget, though the creature design is pretty good. The story is all over the place, attempting to combine elements of survival horror with a crime/mystery plot, and not succeeding on either level. Admittedly I wasn't really paying attention to the criminal treasure plot, because I was SO DISTRACTED by the main dude's ridiculously 90s hair/outfit/general character type. I also became convinced that he was secretly Sawyer from Lost, and that in fact this movie was secretly the basis for Lost? These are the theories. Anyway, the best part is the cast. You've got Ashley Laurence from Hellraiser as a dynamite-toting badass who proves to be almost as useful as she looks. And there's Allison Mackie as a slightly sociopathic, but really not so bad villain who's well-dressed and pretty badass herself. The ladies have a mudfight at one point, and it's hilariously out of place. Jeffrey Combs leads the way despite having only a supporting role as an alcoholic doctor. He does this amazing thing where at any given moment he is either puffing on a cigarette or taking a swig out of his flask, and seemingly sometimes both simultaneously. It's a fun, self-aware performance aided by the addition of a beard and terrible haircut, and I loved it.

Lurking Fear doesn't really make any sense narratively, and I forgot most of it after I watched it, but it was engaging enough in a goofy way while it was playing out its 76 minutes, so no regrets. And I really did like the creature effects, and the big explosion at the end where allllll of the money went.

3/5

Pair This Movie With: Well personally I could go for another look at Doctor Mordrid, which shares a studio, screenwriter, and of course, Combs. Ooooor for more Lovecraftian Combs that's a bit off the beaten path, give From Beyond a try! It's kind of like a sexier, gooier Re-Animator.

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