Movie Review: 'The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu'


You have to feel bad for the indie filmmakers who still feel compelled to create a horror/comedy hybrid. This generally dismal sub-genre has a few worthwhile titles, like the wonderful Shaun of the Dead, the admirably twisted Slither, and the simple-yet-slick Zombieland, but generally (and perhaps doubly so where indie flicks are concerned) we get misshapen clunkers that offer limp jokes that ruin the scary stuff, and/or sub-par horror that doesn't mesh with the comedy material. (Fine, other good examples include I Sell the Dead, Cabin Fever, Scream, and the upcoming Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.)

If the previous paragraph makes it sound like I'm about to wind up and punch the horror/comedy The Last Lovecraft square in the jaws, guess what? I'm not! That's not to say that the broad and obvious, but still frequently witty, flick is as good as the movies mentioned above, but I see lots of half-hearted indie-level horror/comedy amalgams, and this one's got more in the plus column than in the minus. It's an amiable and scrappy flick about two unlikely, well, jerks who inherit a terrifying responsibility: they must protect an ancient relic from the icky Cthulhu monsters, and a road trip is also involved.

Silly and slight, to be sure, but also well-paced, colorfully presented, and presided over by a pair of leads (Kyle Davis and screenwriter Devin McGinn) who are fun to watch, even if they're not all that adorable. Also along for the ride is a dorky fat guy (Barak Hardley) who warrants inclusion in the lunacy, simply because he's funny. Even as The Last Lovecraft struggles with a few slow spots, the actors do a fine job of offering us nerdly anti-heroes that are, if not all that memorable, certainly amusing enough to spend 80-some minutes with. Funny little moments by Richard Riehle, Martin Starr, and Gregg Lawrence also help quite a bit.

On the horror side of things, we have some solid make-up effects and an obvious affection for intermittent gore, and that certainly helps -- but The Last Lovecraft is most assuredly a farce first and a monster movie second. Provided you can enjoy an indie flick with a few rough spots, and you're not a hardcore Lovecraft purist who loves to freak out at little details, The Last Lovecraft probably deserves a spot on your Netflix queue -- but only after you've seen all the other flicks I've mentioned in this review.