I just watched Cthulhu Mansion, which falls nicely into the category of ‘good bad movie’. The biggest dissappointment I had was that the entire movie had absolutely nothing to do with Cthulhu. Sure, the story was vaguely Lovecraftish, in a generic sort of way, but I’m dissappointed nonetheless. This movie was based on the Lovecraft mythos in the same way that the PC game Alone in the Dark was- barely. They didn’t even call the book the ‘Necronomicon’ for cripe’s sake, the cover (of the stapled paper pamphlet) was adorned with the simple title ‘CTHULHU’. Sounds catchy, right?
The movie opens to the backdrop of a Halloween Sounds CD playing as the opening credits roll, which gives you a remarkably good taste of things to come. The general plot is that a gang of murderous, lecherous druggies harrass a carnival magician (who has predictably dabbled in powers beyond his control in the typical Lovecraft manner), his lovely assistant daughter, and their mute houseboy. The house is your typical creepy mansion, complete with your typical ‘forbidden door that must not, under any circumstances whatsoever, ever, ever be opened, under penalty of really bad nasty things possibly including the end of the world’. Of course, whenever a door like that is featured, it’s a given that it will be opened as quickly as possible, whether it makes sense to open it or not. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have bothered writing it in at all now, would they?
As can be expected, hilarity ensues. Unfortunately, no elder gods make any appearances. The ‘horror’ is simply a mesh of generic ‘scary stuff’.
Other than that, the movie had ok effects (when you couldn’t see the strings), mediocre-bad acting (on average), and a ton of camp (but that’s what I was looking for). The biggest surprise was seeing that one of the main characters was played by William Shatner‘s daughter, Melanie. Amazingly, her acting was some of the best in the movie, and she looks just like Winona Ryder. So much so, in fact, that she could probably take over Winona‘s acting roles if she has any more, er…. police troubles in the near future.
Anyway, if you are looking for a good bad movie, this might be right up your alley. If you are looking for Lovecraft on the other hand, read a book!