For anyone who admires collaboratives, common cause or kinky copulation, LovecraCked! The Movie is a compelling look into the subtext of increasingly rampant mocumentaries. The surface has a lot of jokes, but beneath the skin of “In Search of H.P. Lovecraft” lies many insights to the moral shallowness and ideological bankruptcy of modern life.
Like the wild and varied short stories of the apparent subject matter, the film works and oddly fails in the “cast of thousands” that populate the segments. The glue is the “investigative journalist” (Elias), who can’t get through an interview to save his life, but looks charming as his nipples are cavalierly stripped away: metaphorically baring the soul (the encores in the credits also have much to admire …). But this should come as no surprise from the same actor/filmmaker who brought self-flagellation to a Passion-of-the-Christ level (cross-reference below) in the marvellously depraved The Voice Inside, which is a special feature of the DVD.
In fact, this full-length production is a series of gothic/horrific/sadistic vignettes that have been overseen by Elias but individually crafted by other directors, writers and editors.
The squeamish may not appreciate a heart being ripped wholly out of a chest, a splattering baby stomp or a deliciously slimy adult rebirth (Peter Bramhill literally devours the part). Prudes may not cheer on an interrupted blow job (veteran Lloyd Kaufman seemed happy to go along with the, er, gag) or an uncomfortably hot, shaved-pube penetration scene with a female “Frankenstein’s Monster,” that pays homage to all terror tellers even as she explodes into a riot of red blood while wearing only the requisite high heels. The smoke after is one of many nice touches—bloody good sex indeed! But it’s easily, ah, topped, by extreme necrophilia where much more than the usual parts are enthusiastically enjoyed.
Skillfully crafted animated sequences (featuring ghosts of all persuasions) add yet more contrast to the necessarily black-and-white tales-from-the-crypt segments (The Thing on the Doorstep; the opening of Bugboy where wedding plans go incredibly off the rails). The music (again assembled from a variety of composers and performers) is generally as loud and punchy as the frenetic action. Quieter moments come from an oh-so-cheesy Hammond organ and fascinating tormenting-puppet dust-off-the-violin sequence that eerily creates for a very personal Danse Macabre. The reedy bass clarinet as it morphs into string bass and a bed of pizzicato, effectively underscoring the preparations for a decapitation in the so aptly titled “Chaos of the Flesh.”
With such an array of the hideous, hellish and hilarious (don’t miss the Stephen King “bitch” moment), Elias ensures that there will be something to savour no matter your tastes. Fine. We’ve revelled in this bombastic, often brilliantly executed buffet of the darker sides of life. Now it’s time for his courage and conviction to bring a fully rounded narrative to the screen and make us move and admire over the long haul rather than merely cherry pick from a barrage of loosely related thoughts and ideas.
Beyond The Voice Inside (where no one who lasts to the end will view a claw hammer quite the same way again), the DVD extras are notable for a truly fantastic fountain of youth (Stephen P. Taylor’s Masturbating Ghost) and a hair replacement technique that howls with hedonistic delight (Ana Torres-Alvarez’s A Matter of Hair). The “Blooper Reel” is more self-indulgent than actual miscues, but the Scott Joplin Rags make up for the loss of time. JWR