“Necronomicon: Book of the Dead”
Movie 24: 31-Days of Horror Challenge 2017
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H.P. Lovecraft visits an old library maintained by monks who guard a locked room containing the Necronomicon. Lovecraft steals the keys to the room, sneaks in and begins copying stories.
I absolutely love these Yuzna/Combs collaborations based on Lovecraft stories. In a time where Lovecraft’s monsters may be given more life through spectacular CGI and 3D effects, the practical effects used in this, and others of this oeuvre, may seem cheesy, but I think they hold up fantastically well. The cinematography and set design are beautiful, the music is haunting, and there is no shortage of talent among the cast and crew.
In this anthology film, Jeffrey Combs is Howard P. Lovecraft in the wrap around story, with Tony Azito and Juan Fernandez as the librarian monks. Once Lovecraft gains access to the Necronomicon, the audiences is treated to 3 shorts inspired by Lovecraft’s work. Each segment has strong characters with which the audience can connect, even if it isn’t necessarily the main character of the bit. In part 1 we get Bruce Payne, as Edward DeLapoer, the heir to a dilapidated mansion on the sea, and Richard Lynch, as his ancestor, Jethro DeLapoer, both of whom try to resurrect the loves of their lives with horrific results. In part 2, the audience is treated to David Warner as Dr. Madden, both the sort of hero/mad scientist. Part 3 gives the audience their best villains with Don Calma and Judith Drake as Mr. and Mrs. Benedict, the mysterious couple who live in the abandoned warehouse where the police officer chases a serial killer.
This is a film that I believe is worth watching again. It’s not for everyone, but pretty much, if you like other Brian Yuzna and/or Jeffrey Combs films, you will likely enjoy this too.