I couldn’t find anything worth watching on Netflix right now, so I decided to enter the Amazon Prime Dungeon to see if there was something funky going on down there that I was missing. If this movie is an example of the Amazon Brand of Quality then I’d have to say, “Hell no.” I will literally watch anything with Lovecraft or Cthulhu in it, and since this movie’s got both of them right there in the title, how bad could it possibly be? I will let you hear all about it.
The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of the Cthulhu (2009)
Man, was I was suckered in by the title. I love horror comedies maybe more than I love Cthulhu, so I felt wide-eyed optimism going into this steaming pile of movie. This movie is made by idiots who heard about “this groovy dude, Lovecraft and his crazy stories about monsters and stuff,” but they have no clue of what makes the stories scary, compelling, or worth re-telling. Instead, we get the worst failings of both Cthulhu and horror comedies, namely shrill characters shouting at each other in place of jokes and un-scary scenes of “horror” shot in a flat, boring style.
We start off with some druids in the Egyptian desert looking for buried relics, as they tend to do. The Druids seem to believe that when you’re looking for ancient evil artifacts, make sure to wear your black robes in case anybody might notice you digging. They promptly find an evil mask that drips blue liquid and shoots lightning.
Then smash cut to two random meatheads on a boat, drinking beer. They get eaten by an unseen monster. I’ll give a suggestion on how to shoot a scene of terror: it doesn’t involve a low angle up a dude’s cargo shorts-clad ass as he climbs a ladder. Then the obnoxious yokel is sucked up the ladder and some obviously fake innards are plunked down. Why do all of these super low-budget movies have the same effect of someone lazily dropping rubber entrails down as a signifier of getting eaten by a monster? That’s just one example of the sloppy film-making on display here.
Then there’s some pretty good animated opening credits with lots of tentacles and beasties. Watching it, I sadly knew this was going to be the best part of the movie.
Then off to the obligatory Miskatonic University scene where a Professor tells his class there are monsters deep in the ocean. We then cut to some idiots working at some sort of start-up company with a squirrel mascot. These are our protagonists, mostly horny and interchangeable imbeciles. Well, one guy is more interested in his collection of Cthulhu action figures than sex. Now we know we’ve abandoned Lovecraft Land because there are women in revealing outfits and sex jokes. Actually, that’s it for all the female characters with dialogue in the movie, so don’t expect a sexy romp of any kind.
Now the subtitles helpfully explain that we’re at the “Cult of Cthulhu Lair.” I think that’s a joke. Not really into subtlety or tension, huh guys? The secret lair looks like a shabby laundry room, so no points for the lazy set designs either.
All the druids are hanging out, and then a dude with a rubber monster mask, some computer tentacles, and a heavy metal t-shirt kills one of the druids by shoving a tendril in his ear, and then shouts at the other druids in a bad movie echo-y Demon voice about who the leader is.
The Miskatonic Professor dude randomly shows up at the two goofs’ apartment to inform one of them that he’s the last in the Lovecraft bloodline. This is absolute crap as Lovecraft had no siblings and died childless. Why do you need to drag Lovecraft into this just to tell your crappy story, filmmakers? Also, this bloodline thing is irrelevant to the rest of the movie.
Now we get a comic book animation explaining the ancient battle between Cthulhu and the Shuggoths. This stuff is mostly just hinted at through shadows and fog in the books, and you have to piece it together while reading through the bulk of Lovecraft. Seriously, people, things are not frightening when you explain them in bland detail and show pictures of Cthulhu clubbing monsters with a decapitated triceratops skull. That is idiotic. So you get the entire deep and mysterious Cthulhu mythos boiled down into an animated short. Why is any of this necessary? What are the odds none of this crap has anything to do with the rest of the movie? It doesn’t.
Then as an example of the scintillating writing, the Cthulhu Druids just randomly show up at the goofballs’ apartment as well. The secret “Lair of the Cthulhu Cult” must be in Burbank because they got to town awfully quick from the last scene.
Imagine my pain when Martin Starr, the great comedic talent from Freaks and Geeks and Silicon Valley, shows up in an aggressively annoying role. The only explanation for his appearance is that he was free that weekend or someone had salacious photos or something.
Then right on cue, some bikini girls show up to get attacked by Deep Ones, or rather the crappy movie rubber monster version of Deep Ones. Man, do I hate this movie. And then our heroes go on a long, pointless road trip with a bearded, fat guy in a too small t-shirt that makes up the second half of the film. I will leave you with the eternal question of why does a movie featuring ambulatory fish men mostly take place in the desert?
This movie has every hallmark of terrible, low-budget horror and comedy. There’s wacky banter shouted at each other, unfunny, oddball characters, and laugh-free jokes. All of this would be dire in a standard low-budget movie, but the fact that the filmmakers felt either a monetary or intellectual desire to do a Cthulhu story that was completely extraneous and a total desecration of everything that is thrilling and interesting about the Cthulhu mythos is unforgivable. Do not be tempted to open this tome, only bad things will happen.