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John’s Horror Corner: The Unnamable 2: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1992), the revenge of the bare-boobed Lovecraft demon.

November 17, 2018

MY CALL: Definitely just for major fans of the original, from which this sequel continues directly. Just don’t expect the depth, seriousness or thoughtfulness of Lovecraft as this is more campy than classic despite the numerous Lovecraftian references. MORE MOVIES LIKE The Unnamable 2: Well, first off, The Unnamable (1988). For more movie adaptations from Lovecraft’s writings, I’d recommend The Dunwich Horror (1970), Re-Animator (1985), The Resurrected (1991), Lurking Fear (1994) and Dagon (2001). And although not specifically of Lovecraftian origins, his influence is most palpable in From Beyond (1986), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), The Void (2016), The Shrine (2010) and Baskin (2015)—all of which are on the more gruesome side to varying degrees.

Part 1 SIDEBAR: Based on H. P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Unnamable,” The Unnamable (1988) begins in the 1800s when a screaming monstrous Alyda Winthrop (Maria Ford; The Haunting of Morella, Slumber Party Massacre III, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead) is locked away in a vault-like attic by her father, whom she brutally kills when offered a kindness. We know nothing of what she is or why she is monstrous.

Skip to present day (late 1980s) Massachusetts and a group of Miskatonic University students—one being a descendant of the cursed events past—spend a night in the house, some typical Night of the Demons-esque haunted house shenanigans ensue, and they eventually uncover more of the house’s history upon discovery of the Necronomicon.

Picking up immediately when The Unnamable (1988) ended, we find police and paramedics as Howard (Charles Klausmeyer; The Unnamable) is taken to the hospital. Crime scene investigators reviewing the gory remains compare the incident to “what happened in Dunwich” some years ago. Now obsessed with learning the origins of the ancient evil they had encountered, Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson; The Unnamable) must study the Necronomicon and return to solve the mystery.

Carter seeks help from the admonishing Chancellor Thayer (David Warner; In the Mouth of Madness, The Omen, The Company of Wolves) and occult expert Professor Warren (John Rhys-Davies; Waxwork, The Lord of the Rings trilogy). Carter and Warren explore the tunnels under the graveyard (from part 1), find writings in the language of Cthulhu, and free Alyda from the demon… resulting in one angry demon that wants its host back.

Lacking any of the mystique or horror cultivated in part 1, the creature (Julie Strain; Blood Gnome, Witchcraft IV, Heavy Metal 2000) features much facial latex work and a rubber bodysuit. Moreover, our monster now moves more like a hulking gargoyle with boobs than the sleek mysterious demon from part 1. When it knocks things over I’m reminded of the rigid motions of the Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) or Pumpkinhead (1988). The gore is barely adequate with an occasional claw plunging into a chest cavity, but I can only handle so many claw slashes before I get a bit bored the lack of variety.

This sequel just feels yet more like a B-movie than the already borderline B+ quality of the original. The monster’s boobs are much more prevalent, our hero is running around with a naked girl with limited speech ability and fairy tale long hair covering her delicate bits, and most of the movie is the monster’s pursuit of its original host Alyda. Fully embracing its badness, at one point the creature spreads its wings and “zip-lines” at its victim in the worst possible stunt of the movie.

Director Jean-Paul Ouellette (The Unnamable) did rather well with his first movie, but this sequel just doesn’t do it for me on its own. Sure, it’s entertaining B-movie fare and I enjoy seeing the story continued from part 1. It’s simply not enough for a recommendation.

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