“LovecraCked!” follows the exploits of a bungling investigative journalist as he seeks to find the truth about the historical horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft. The journalist’s trials include being chased by a dog (not Lovecraft’s dog), felt up by a blonde-afro’ed reporter, and generally making an ass of himself. These antics make up the gel which keeps short films of the anthology together.
The shorts are made by a plethora of filmmakers, including Tomas Almgren, Brian Barnes, Brian Bernhard, Justin Powers and Jane Rose. Rose’s “The Statement of Randolph Carter” does a great job of setting the tone early. It provides a peek (and just that) into some of Lovecraft’s work, but maintains the distance that helps the film to be effective.
The second piece, “The Outsider” is brilliantly simplistic, with just a voice over and steady shots of an old courtyard. Just as the tone is established, up pops the bungling reporter again, reminding viewers that this film really is cracked.
Powers’ “History of the Lurkers” is a punked-up and crafty short, openly comedic and loud in all the right places. What the hell it has to do with Lovecraft, even Powers might not know, but it’s funny. Ashley Thorpe brings the film to a gory seriousness with his stop-frame bit, “Remains”. Almgren’s “Bugboy” could easily stand on its own as a short film. Look for the Swedish-born filmmaker and writer to put out some more material soon. That is followed by the very classy short, “Witch’s Spring” by Brian Barnes.
“Alecto” is the most disturbingly beautiful pieces in the film, where Slava relives the abuse he witnessed and delivered in that past. He is forced to live these events all to the backdrop of a melancholy violin piece that ties them together.
When all else fails, Doug Sakmann (Associate Producer on “Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger 4”) gives viewers a heaping dose of “Re-Penetrator”, which is comedic zombie porn. I’ll take a guess that this is how the Biff Juggernaut guys got Lloyd’s involvement.
Elias’ timing and overblown self-deprecating humor really keep the film on its comedic track. Just when things can get no weirder, Elias stops by the Troma studios for a conversation with Lloyd Kaufmann. Lloyd can, and does, turn anything into a plug for one of his films, which is what makes him who he is.
“LovecraCked!” is a roller-coaster, with a few minutes of seriousness and a ton of goofy antics. Elias is the star of the show, but definitely at cost to himself. Several shots from a briefcase, a water hose, and the other actors are just a few examples. Clearly, he and his team had a blast working on the film. Viewers will get plenty of entertainment at his expense, which I can assume will be exactly what he was shooting for with this project.
The cast in several of the shorts is very effective in their limited time. Stand-outs include Nicky Ladanowski in the BugBoy film, and both Gillian MacGregor and Tom Wontner in “Witch’s Spring”. Nick Ewans is rock-solid in “Alecto”.
The DVD (available for purchase now) includes a pretty thick stock of special features. The first is the award-winning short film, “The Voice Inside” from Biff Juggernaut. The second is the short, “Masturbating Ghost”, by Stephen P Taylor. Third is Ana Torres-Alvarez’s short, “A Matter of Hair”.
There is also a blooper reel, a trailer and music videos for the industrial band, Things Outside The Skin.
For more information on the film, the website is: http://www.biffjuggernaut.com/lovecrackedthemovie/main.htm
Links to all the filmmakers (aka Crackers) are included on the site, as well as press kits and more information on Elias and Biff Juggernaut.