Saturday, August 14, 2010

TADFF Review: The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu

You know that you are in for a fun night when men in zombie makeup are joining the ticket holders line and the audience receives cardboard "sea monster" masks to wear on their way into the theatre. Welcome to the Toronto After Dark Film Festival folks...and it's only the first night! As I mentioned in an earlier post, the opening featured was Henry Saine's debut film The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu.

The film is the tale of Jeff (Kyle Davis), a bored office worker whose life seems to be going nowhere fast. Upon arriving home one day Jeff discovers that he is the last living decent of the famous H.P. Lovecraft. To his astonishment, Jeff is put in charge of keeping an ancient relic out of the hands of the evil Star Spawn (Ethan Wilde). If Star Spawn succeeds in acquiring the relic, he will unleash the greatest evil the world has ever seen. In order to complete his quest , Jeff, along his comic book loving buddies Charlie (Devin McGinn) and Paul (Barak Hardley), must find the one person who may hold the key to defeating Star Spawn...the reclusive Captain Olaf (Gregg Lawrence).

Using a mix of comic book style flash animation and old-time prosthetics The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu aims to achieve a lot on a rather small budget. Instead of trying to honour H.P. Lovecraft with a true horror film, director Henry Saine and writer Devin McGinn smartly opt for the comedic route. This allows The Last Lovecraft to tackle H.P. Lovecraft without upsetting his dedicated fan base. The film's main goal is to entertain and nothing more, and on that level it succeeds. The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu is a fun romp that will have you laughing out loud on occasion. The film is not as consistently funny as it could have been. Partly due to the sloppiness of the script. Some scenes are left hanging, or are awkwardly insert, for no real reason at all. These moments probably would not have been as noticeable had the editing been much smoother. I understand that the cast and crew did the best they could with the funds available; but more attention to detail would have gone a long way. Also, while I enjoyed the acting work done by Devin McGinn and Barak Hardley, I was slightly disappointed with Klye Davis' performance. Davis never sold the typical loser-turned-hero character the way he should have. Kyle Davis did not show enough range in his delivery of lines and he did not sell the lines when he needed to most (i.e. the heroic moments). He let the supporting players steal the movie at every corner. I will say that the effects and the sea monsters makeup were quite good for this type of film. Especially when you consider how small the budget was for the whole production. The visuals really helped to keep the audience's attention throughout. The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu may not be a great film but, when all is said and done, it is a fun one. I just wish that the jokes had hit the mark more often than they actually did.

Grade: C

Stars in attendance: Director Henry Saine and actors Kyle Davis, Devin McGinn, Martin Starr, and Edmund Lupinski held a question and answer session after the screening.


  1. That looks absolutely terrible, although I'm sure its heart is in the right place, which must count for something.

  2. @edgar - There intentions were good but the end product is not something that I would say is a must see. The film had its moments though.


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