Inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, this horror anthology contains a high percentage of successful stories.
In 1932, Lovecraft (Jeffrey Combs) sneaks into the cellar of a religious library to get a look at the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. He reads three stories--from the past, the present, and the future...
In "The Drowned," Edward DeLapoer (Bruce Payne) takes possession of an inherited mansion where his great-uncle Jethro (Richard Lynch) once indulged in satanic rituals to bring his drowned wife and son back to life. Edward duplicates Jethro's rites to revive his deceased fiancee, Clara (Maria
Ford), but she returns as a zombie in thrall to a huge sea monster, and Edward is forced to dispatch the creature, losing Clara once more.
In "The Cold," reporter Dale (Dennis Christopher) interviews Amy Osterman (Bess Meyer), believing her mother, Emily, to be in league with a doctor who may be a serial killer. Emily was indeed involved with Dr. Madden (David Warner), who murdered for the spinal fluid he needed to prolong his own
life. The doctor is now dead, and Amy is in fact Emily, who now needs Dale's spinal fluid.
In "Whispers," cops Sarah (Signy Coleman) and Paul (Obba Babatunde) crash their car during a chase. Paul is dragged off. Following him into the bowels of a strange building, Sarah discovers a race of winged creatures that usurp human bodies, and she becomes their next victim. Back in the library,
a horrible monster attacks Lovecraft, who escapes with the Necronomicon as the librarian (Tony Azito) falls victim in his place.
Unlike many multi-story chillers, NECRONOMICON presents its most effective segment first. Following the fun introduction directed by Brian Yuzna (who previously produced the Lovecraft-inspired RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND, also starring Combs), Christophe Gans' "The Drowned" is a frightening,
fast-paced piece, drenched with eerie atmosphere. After this strong start, "The Cold" is a tepid letdown, especially disappointing as it was directed by Shusuke Kaneko, who brought real energy to the newfangled Japanese monster film GAMERA: THE GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE. Yuzna's "Whispers," though
thin on the story level, gets things back up to speed and rates high on the shock meter.
Lovecraft purists may object to the liberties taken with the author's stories, and certainly the emphasis on showy makeup effects is a far cry from the ambiguity and suggestiveness of Lovecraft's written horrors. But the parade of gruesome creations has been very well-executed by a large team of
artists, and for the most part, the directors orchestrate them for maximum effectiveness. (One of the most startling effects is one of the simplest: a squidlike mass suddenly bursting from the mouth of Jethro's son.) Although the whole film is technically top-notch, it sat on the shelf following
its 1993 production while producer Samuel Hadida rejected US deals he found financially unsatisfactory; after playing theatrically overseas, the movie finally debuted on video three years after its completion. (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: Inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft, this horror anthology contains a high percentage of successful stories. In 1932, Lovecraft (Jeffrey Combs) sneaks into the cellar of a religious library to get a look at the Necronomicon, the book of the dead. He re… (more)