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This might be the only Lovecraft movie sequel to actually adapt a Lovecraft story ("The Statement of Randolph Carter," which actually preceded "The Unnamable") and is a superior sequel. Well, I think it is superior since I can't remember liking THE UNNAMABLE that much (outside of some nice make-up). Stephenson is an unusual lead, a very intense nerd totally focused on his task at hand. Klausmeyer, who inexplicably sees his character renamed from Howard Damon to Eliot Damon Howard, is good as well. Completely underutilized David Warner slipped in for one day to shoot a scene as the college chancellor and Rhys-Davies might have been there for a couple of days. The film offers lots of gore and, again, the creature design is pretty damn spiffy. The real star, however, is b-movie actress Maria Ford. This might actually be her strongest acting role as the displaced 17th century girl (and I'm not saying that because she spends 50% of her screen time nude). Sadly, I decided to look her up online and she has had some horrific plastic surgery in the ensuing years.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Unnameable 2 is loosely based on Lovecraft's "Unnameable" and the
"Statement of Randolph Carter". The film strays from the two stories
quite a bit, but it has tons of Cthulhu Mythos elements. Mark
Kinsey-Stevenson and John Rhys-Davies really propel this film. I think
their acting is top notch.
The blood quotient is very high in this film. And the gore effects are the good old fashioned kind! The film is fast paced unlike other horror movies that can put you out (such as the first Unnameable that had a slow middle). If you enjoy Lovecraft, gore, and good acting, this movie is right up your alley.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How do you make a sequel to a Lovecraft short story that ends without
any follow-on? Possible spoilers follow: You take an entirely different
Lovecraft short story and make it part of the second film. "Statement
of Randolph Carter," an entirely unrelated short story, was made an
element in this film. The character of Professor Warren was originally
a friend of Carter's who explored the underground tunnels using a
telephone set using wires. The basic outcome was the same, though.
The film is full of Lovecraftania and has good touches of humor in it. It falls to the edge of the Cthulhu Mythos, but is part of the Mythos. IMHO, it's a better film than the first, but requires the first really to appreciate it.
Evil never dies, it just keeps finding new ways to come back. That's
why we have so many sequels in the Horror genre, which is a blessing
and a curse. Sequels usually aren't as good as the originals, much less
better than them, but occasionally they surprise us. The first
'Unnamable' film didn't exactly break Box Office records, but became a
hit on video and eventually a sequel was born. The character of
Randolph Carter was a recurring character in H.P. Lovecraft's short
stories and even though he never wrote an official second part
involving the titular creature, this film is loosely based on 'The
Statement of Randolph Carter.' Not that the first film cried out for a
sequel, but the one we got is really quite good for what it is.
Pros: Once again the performances are solid, which includes all the newcomers. A different, but still very good score. Writer/director/producer Jean-Paul Ouellette again succeeds in making a suspenseful genre film. Moves at an energetic pace. Stellar make-up and creature effects. Doesn't take itself as seriously as the first and is sometimes pretty amusing. Though not atmospheric like part 1, there are still plenty of goosebump-inducing moments. Has a few good ideas.
Cons: More plot this time, but that's not saying much. Lacks the atmosphere and feeling of dread that hangs over the original.
Final thoughts: If you watch both 'Unnamable' flicks back to back you'll be in for quite a shock. Whereas the first one is more like a spooky, haunted house kind of movie this sequel takes the monster run amok approach. The bad news is that II isn't nearly as chilling as I, but that doesn't change the fact that it's really good of it's type. Apparently Ouellette had plans to make two more sequels, this time putting the characters of Carter and Howard in other Lovecraft inspired situations, but they never came to fruition. A shame, but at the least the series ended on a high note with this one.
My rating: 4/5
This movie was pretty good (Maria Ford being nude for over half an hour certainly helped!). It involved the Lovecraft Cthulu mythos, and they did a good job with them. I wish they identified what monster they were actually dealing with, but I guess the name wouldn't have worked then LOL. Peace.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Randolph Carter(Mark Kinsey Stephenson)decides to pursue the she-beast
which attacked and killed some of his college chums. Eliot(Charles
Klausmeyer), haunted by nightmares of the beast's hideous face,
survived the incident with nasty gashes on his chest and reluctantly
joins Carter in his search for it. Seeking guidance from an
authoritative figure he can trust and respect, Carter goes to Professor
Warren(John Rhys-Davies, a delightful presence)whose field of expertise
in in ancient history, among other things. On an expedition where the
beast was seen nearby, Carter, Eliot & Warren find the entrance to an
underground tunnel in an ancient graveyard which leads to the "prison"
of the she-beast, whose caught in a thicket of heavy sticks and
tree-branches. Having found the Necronomicon in Winthrope's home,
Carter and Warren discover that the she-beast is actually Winthrope's
beautiful daughter, Alyda(Maria Ford)"invaded" by the demonic spirit of
an evil winged creature. Warren concocts a successful plan to release
Alyda of the evil creature by using insulin tricking the monster into
believing that the human host was dying. The spirit fleeing Alyda, she
is awakened to a brand new world..but, the demonic winged creature,
with sharp fingernails that rip human flesh easily, wishes to retrieve
it's host and will kill anyone who stands in her way. After Warren
discovers too late that the creature has remained in the tunnel, Carter
and Eliot will attempt to find Alyda help(..she was kept in an attic
during her young life and only knows the "Cthulu" language taught to
her by pops)while staying one step ahead of danger. Unfortunately,
students of Miskatonic University and Arkham County's finest will not
be so lucky as the demonic winged creature goes on a killing spree
ripping the throats of everyone it comes in contact with. The creature
seems impervious to the bullets fired from guns as it pursues Alyda
with an intense will. What will Carter do to help keep Alyda safe from
harm? Can he stop the beast from "infiltrating" the body of Alyda once
Inspired by the works of Lovecraft, like a lot of horror films coming out in the late 80's and early 90's, "The Unnamable II" is more of a monster movie. The demonic creature's rampage is not as gory as I would've liked with a great many of the murders occurring off-screen. Too bad. But, substituting those potential thrills is Maria Ford practically naked under long hair(..which amazingly keeps her breasts hidden)for nearly the entire film, only wearing a gown when a female student pal of Carter's influences her into putting it on by disrobing. The love that strengthens between Carter and Alyda is rather sweet and Ford is adorable and convincing as a newborn pup introduced to a new world she's never known. The creature itself is none other than sex siren Julie Strain, unrecognizable under the scary make-up and costume. While there's little actual violence shown, you are treated to the creature's hand going through a man's chest. And, there is some fantastic make-up grue displaying ripped necks. Stephenson as the nerdy intellectual with craziness and chaos all around him, wisely plays his character completely straight, displaying a calm and reserve needed by the leader in charge of keeping Alyda from danger. David Warner is rather wasted in a cameo as Miskatonic University's Chancellor who warns Carter to not pursue the creature. Most of the other characters are fodder for the beast to destroy. Spirited direction from Jean-Paul Ouellette(..this is definitely an improvement over the first film which is more of a slasher flick), a nifty creature with cool wings, and a likable cast really enhance what could've just been yet another Lovecraft "adaptation" that missed the mark. The climax takes place in the Miskatonic library as Carter and Alyda have ran out of places to hide, discovering the missing pages of the Necronomicon within a secret room of books thanks to an air conditioning duct. The use of a wooden chair in battling the demonic creature when attempting to invade Alyda's body is kind of neat. Truth be told, though, my favorite scene would have to be when Alyda discovers a bed and is caressing her naked body throughout it..Ford's sensuality, even while portraying an innocent, is very present.
Much better than original. One of the better Lovecraft adaptations. Like "Cast a deadly spell" it decided to go the tongue in cheek route. Stephenson is an almost perfect Lovecraft hero, and Davies and Warner were perfect casting for this movie. Its truly remarkable for a Low budget b-movie. Lovecraft adaptations are always difficult because the monsters are supposed to be from an entirely different Geometry and they drive people insane because they cant cope with the violation of Known laws of nature. Older movies like the "dunwich Horror" tried making their monsters shining lights and stuff and failed. I short i would recommend both movies. while the first is clearly inferior it is sort of a necessary prequel.
Classic horror movie of the early 90's. This movie is actually one of
the movies that stand out in my memory back from the early 90's when I
watched it for the first time on VHS. I just had to purchase it on DVD
when I had the chance.
I loved the story and found it to be thrilling and good. It drew from the Lovecraft universe in a good way, and I was nailed to my chair throughout the entire movie (and it still does whenever I put it into the DVD player).
I have watched this movie maybe 5 or 6 times over the years, and never gotten tired of it. Of course, a certain amount of time have to pass before you put this one in the DVD player again.
When I watched this for the first time, I was fairly unfamiliar with John Rhys-Davies, but found his acting here to be believable and good. And this movie also introduced me to Maria Ford, which I must say is a plus for this movie.
The atmosphere of the movie is dark and brooding, which works well throughout the entire feature. Of course the effects are sort of bad in today's standards, but back then they were great. Especially for a fairly low budget movie. I liked the make-up on the creature, and were surprised to find out that it was Julie Strain underneath it.
If you like the work of Lovecraft and have a taste for the movies based on Lovecraft's work, then you should not let this movie pass you by. Even today, this movie is worth watching. Even though Jeffrey Combs is not in this Lovecraft-based movie, it is still providing good entertainment. It has a good, solid story, no real boring moments throughout the length of the movie, and I think it is a must have in any horror fan's DVD collection.
The competently low-budget sequel (which was made 5 years after the
original) sees the story continue where the first film finished off,
and director Jean-Paul Ouellette delivers a far better effort on this
Lovecraft outing than on the previous one. However while being rather
expansive, slicker and better paced, it was kind of laid-back on the
violence (which the first film wasn't afraid to bare) and jolting
thrills (which aren't as imposing). Some things happen off-screen, but
there a few twisted and ravaging acts caught. The slick tone seemed to
be aiming for pulpy fun in a fast-moving chase format than the
simmering atmospheric jolts in a confined setting, and for most part it
Returning characters Randolph Carter (exaggeratedly acted by Mark Kinsey Stephenson) and Eliot Damon Howard (a solid Charles Klausmeyer) make for a fruitful chemistry, as they must do battle again with the demon with no name. Along for the ride is John Rhys-Davies and Maria Ford who spends plenty of screen time in the nude under her flowing long hair is very convincing in her part. Julie Strain is the lucky one who gets suited up in the creatively effective make-up FX of the titular demon and David Warner also gets in the act, but with very little in the way to do.
This time around the story (with a consistently witty script) holds a little more substance and character to its framework (where modern science and ancient folklore come to terms) and explores the possibilities, than reverting to a simple stalk n' slash exercise. After the leaving the tunnels under the Winthrop house, this time the action mainly occurs in the illustrative backdrop of the University grounds. The openness of it didn't do much in the favor of holding suspense, but the atmosphere is glum and its straight-laced quirkiness lends well.
I accidentally rented Unnamable II tonight, thinking I was renting the
original for the first time in a few years. (The original was one of my
favorite Gothic horror films.) I was disappointed that I had grabbed the
wrong movie, but still enjoyed seeing this one.
With the possible exception of The Godfather II, sequels never match the originals & this one is no exception. Still, Oulette does a good job in leading us through this dash through campus, with the hideous she-demon behind us. The idea of the split demon-normal girl is intriguing and the lovely Maria Ford is convincing as the 300-year-old coed. Mark Kinsey Stephenson is again solid as the scholarly and fearless Randolph Carter. (Doesn't every college English Department have a senior bookworm like this?)
My only complaint-and this is one I might not have even thought of before returning to grad school-is that the professors are all Scooby Dooish `all-knowing' doctors. Professor Warren (John Rhys-Davies) apparently is an oral folklore specialist within the English Department unless he is possibly in sociology or some similar field. For him to have a passing knowledge of quantum physics is not unthinkable. For him to look at a mutilated body and tell claw marks from incisor marks is stretching it considerably. For a literature professor to be running around with a portable microbiology lab in his little black pouch, though, and setting up a microscope, etc., in a dank, dark cave and making glib pronouncements about the blood, however, is akin to no one suspecting `Old Hank' or whoever as being the Scooby Doo villain. Folks, as one who is around professors every day (and who hopes to BE a college history professor in a couple of years,) I can attest that the average English or history professor barely understands how to connect to the Internet or operate PowerPoint, let alone set up a mini-science lab in a dark cave in five minutes!
This one is okay, but I need to see the original again. Part of the reason I wanted to see the original tonight was so I COULD do an updated review. But that will come. People aren't exactly standing in line to do these two movies. Still, this one is definitely worth watching. Give it a chance!
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