Lurking Fear (1994)

Lurking Fear (1994)
AKA H.P. Lovecraft’s Lurking Fear, Shocking Fear

Starring Jon Finch, Blake Adams, Ashley Laurence, Jeffrey Combs, Allison Mackie, Paul Mantee, Vincent Schiavelli, Joseph Leavengood, Michael Todd, Cristina Stoica, Luana Stoica, Adrian Pintea, Ilinca Goia

Directed by C. Courtney Joyner

Expectations: Moderate. If nothing else, Jeffrey Combs is in it.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Lurking Fear is yet another Full Moon film based upon an H.P. Lovecraft tale, but this is definitely one of the minor entries into that sub-genre. Ever since Stuart Gordon scored a major genre hit with Re-Animator, Full Moon has loved going back to the Lovecraft well and Lurking Fear shows them trying that schtick without Gordon’s involvement. It doesn’t work out near as well without him at the helm, but the film is definitely interesting enough to hold your attention.

The story starts off as a couple of separate tales that eventually intersect. The only problem is that once they do it kinda feels like each story’s characters have done a Purple Rose of Cairo and walked out of their movie and into another. I guess this is because the gangster story starts in the city, and the deserted town story feels distinctly removed from that setting. It creates a disjointed feel to the overall movie that even white-eyed, subterranean-dwelling mutants can’t fix. Although I do have to give them credit for creating characters distinct enough to feel like they come from their own worlds.

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Head of the Family (1996)

Head of the Family (1996)
AKA The Brain (Germany)

Starring Blake Adams, Jacqueline Lovell, Bob Schott, James Jones, Alexandria Quinn, Gordon Jennison Noice, Michael Citriniti, Vicki Skinner, Robert J. Ferrelli

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High. This one should be a load of fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Where do you start with a movie like Head of the Family? Something like this could only come from the twisted mind of Charles Band, so it’s interesting that he chose this movie out of many hundreds to use an alias on. I have a feeling he did this not to obscure the fact that he made it, but instead to trick people into watching it who might have been burned by the low-budget entrepreneur one too many times. The quality is definitely here, and even though it dips deeps into depraved territory and has about four too many sex scenes to be taken seriously, Head of the Family is actually pretty good.

Howard is a Grade-A asshole. He’s married to Loretta (played by the ever-gorgeous Jacqueline Lovell), but Loretta’s been gettin’ busy with restaurant owner Lance in the stock room. When Howard forces Lance to partner up with him in the restaurant business, the sneaky couple do their best to think of a way out of their plight. Killing Howard comes up, but that pesky “getting caught” thing is just so hard to get around. Enter the very odd Stackpool family who come to town every once in a while for supplies. One night while driving, Lance and Loretta come upon a makeshift roadblock set up to direct travelers directly to the Stackpool’s home. Lance notices a man being dragged inside, and the wheels in Lance’s mind start turning. Something’s fishy at the Stackpool place and he sets out to blackmail them into disposing of Howard’s body.

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The Killer Eye (1999)

Starring Jacqueline Lovell, Jonathan Norman, Nanette Bianchi, Costas Koromilas, Blake Adams, Ryan Van Steenis, Dave Oren Ward, Roland Martinez

Directed by David DeCoteau (as Richard Chasen)

Expectations: Low, I’ve heard this one is one of the poorest Full Moon films.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


The Killer Eye is the epitome of a trashy movie. It plays like a textbook example of film filler, with maybe a half hour of actual story and the rest of the film ballooned out into an 80-minute feature with consecutive, extended tentacle-fondling scenes. The only explanation is that every time there was an issue with the story or the film’s production, producer Charles Band must have answered with “Throw in another tentacle scene.” It kind of works for this movie though, because despite all of its shortcomings it remains entertaining overall. I suppose your mileage will vary depending on how much you like gigantic killer eyes peering out of vents and zapping people in the eyes though.

The film opens with a deliberate Re-Animator vibe, complete with an opening title sequence with medical diagrams and whimsical music like the far superior Stuart Gordon film of 1985. In The Killer Eye, a scientist hoping to prove the existence of the 8th dimension, tries out some chemicals in the eye of a street punk that should theoretically allow him to look through the doc’s microscope and into the 8th dimension. I didn’t see it coming, but get this– shit goes wrong and instead of only being able to see the 8th dimension, something is able to break thru into our world! Seriously, never woulda guessed that would happen! Anyway, the street punk’s eye grows to gigantic size (complete with long, dangling eye-stalk tentacles) and scuttles away into the air vents, which instantly makes me think of the eye rolling through the vents on the wheeled contraption that Klaus Kinski used to navigate the vents in Crawlspace. So far so good…

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