Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Unnamable, The (1987)

...aka: H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable

Directed by:
Jean-Paul Ouellette

Director/writer/producer Ouellette was obviously trying to cash in on the H.P. Lovecraft craze started by Gordon's breakthrough hit RE-ANIMATOR, and while this doesn't come close to measuring up, it's still a mildly entertaining attempt in it's own rite. In a small New England town, budding horror author Randolph Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson) decides to investigate a local legend; a supposed "haunted" house, whose curse was sealed up centuries ago by a priest. He, along with a few other students; Howard (Charles "King"/Clausmeyer), Tanya (Alexandra Durrell), Wendy (Laura Albert) and a couple of others, from Miskatonic University, become trapped inside and must face off against nasty she-demon Aylda Winthrop (Katrin Alexandre), who is intent on killing off the intruders. The first half is a little too talky for my tastes (which wouldn't be a problem if the dialogue was any good, but it's not) and the acting's highly uneven, but it improves a bit as it goes along, has some gore (heart ripped out, arms ripped off, head twisted around, etc.) and the impressively-designed female monster is effectively saved for the very end. It was first released in R or unrated versions.
A direct-to-video sequel (THE UNNAMABLE II: THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLPH CARTER) arrived in 1992. It (also made by Ouellette) was actually an improvement, with a better script, some attempts to flesh out the Alyda character and better performances. Cast members Stephenson and Clausmeyer reprised their roles, Maria Ford played Alyda in human form while fellow Scream Queen Julie Strain played her in monster form and guest roles were played by John Rhys-Davies and David Warner.


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