Closely following the adaptation pattern of its predecessor, THE UNNAMABLE, this sequel shows in graphic detail and explains in exhaustive exposition what source author H.P. Lovecraft left to shadows and suggestion.
Escaping the old Winthrop mansion, where a horrible beast has killed their friends, college students Randolph Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson) and Eliot Damon Howard (Charles Klausmeyer) are greeted by paramedics and police, though local sheriff Hatch (Peter Breck) believes a wild animal was
responsible for the carnage. Howard is taken to the hospital, where he has visions of Joshua Winthrop, the 17th-century mansion's original owner, who warns him that the creature he spawned still lives and must be destroyed. Howard tells Carter, who can't convince the university's Chancellor Thayer
(David Warner) that a monster is lurking in the nearby house. But Professor Harley Warren (John Rhys-Davies) agrees to accompany Carter and the recovered Howard back to the place.
Exploring the mansion's catacombs while Howard waits outside, Carter and Warren discover the creature, trapped by vines under a magic spell. Surmising that the creature is in fact Winthrop's daughter, occupying the same physical space as the monster Winthrop raised, Warren injects it with
insulin and the creature's essence flees, leaving behind the beautiful, nude form of Winthrop's daughter, Alyda (Maria Ford). But the essence recombines into a new creature (Julie Strain) that kills Warren and a cop staked out nearby. Carter and Howard flee back to their dorm with Alyda, and
attempt unsuccessfully to keep her a secret from their friends, while she--still in a childlike state--takes a shine to Carter.
The monster, pursuing its human half, shows up at the dorm and slaughters several students. It kills the professor before Carter and Alyda's eyes, and chases them to the university library; Howard and Sheriff Hatch, now convinced of what's happening, follow with some cops. The creature kills the
sheriff and his officers, then corners Carter and Alyda in the rare book room. But Carter has found what he was looking for--the missing pages from Winthrop's book--and reads an incantation that kills the beast. As he comforts the stricken Alyda, however, she begins to revert to her true age and
is reduced to a skeleton.
From its lengthy alternate title, which combines the names of the two stories on which it is based, on down, THE UNNAMABLE II does everything in its power to evoke the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft. Writer-director-producer Jean-Paul Ouellette's script drops Lovecraftian names Miskatonic, Arkham,
Dunwich and Cthulhu, and the settings are largely confined to labyrinthine crypts and Gothic old buildings. There are echoes of other Lovecraft movies, too, particularly in Stephenson's mannered performance, which seems designed to recall the blinded-by-science obsessiveness of Jeffrey Combs in
the RE-ANIMATOR pictures. But overall, THE UNNAMABLE II is a conventional modern horror film; while Lovecraft's monsters were generally formless entities or terrors too horrible to describe (or even name), THE UNNAMABLE is explicit in every respect. The film's creature is a clearly seen demonic
entity, and no Lovecraft tale ever had a beautiful young woman running around naked for half the story, though Ford wrings some hints of pathos from her crudely conceived character.
On its own exploitation terms, the movie succeeds fairly well, though it's at least 10 minutes too long--all of which could be deleted from the opening half--and excessively talky. Not once, but three times, Warren and Carter explain out loud their plans to separate Alyda's human and monstrous
forms, only to wonder aloud whether it's a good idea. Although most of the characters are university students or professors, they display little common sense, and much ignorance. (Graphic violence, nudity.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: Closely following the adaptation pattern of its predecessor, THE UNNAMABLE, this sequel shows in graphic detail and explains in exhaustive exposition what source author H.P. Lovecraft left to shadows and suggestion. Escaping the old Winthrop mansion, wh… (more)