The Unnamable Film Details
Overview: College students check out a haunted house where in the 1800’s an ugly monster called “the Unnamable” was trapped in a vault.
Tagline: There are things on God’s Earth that we can’t explain and we can’t describe.
Review: Among the names of horror authors there is one that has influenced so many, H.P. Lovecraft. While his works may not translate well for readers today they still inspire both writers and film makers today. Director Stuart Gordon has made several movies based on Lovecraft’s stories including RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND and DAGON. DIE MONSTER DIE, the 1965 Boris Karloff film was based on a Lovecraft story. And then there is THE UNNAMEABLE. One dark and stormy night in the late 18th century Joshua Winthrop, the owner of Winthrop house, attempts to hold back Alyda Winthrop, his daughter and a misshapen creature locked within the home’s walls. He succeeds but at the cost of his own life. We learn of this story as Randolph Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson) tells the tale to two college friends, Howard Damon (Charles Klausmeyer) and Joel Manton (Mark Parra). Unconvinced the story is true Joel has Carter show them the house where it took place. Challenged by Carter to stay in the house that night if he still doesn’t believe Joel takes him up on the offer. It doesn’t end well for him. When Joel doesn’t return the next day Howard tries to convince Carter that they go looking for him. But Carter is convinced that Joel is just playing a joke on them and waiting for them to enter the house. In the meantime Wendy Barnes (Laura Albert), a young coed Howard has the hots for, and her friend Tanya (Alexandra Durrell) who has the hots for Howard, are hit on by frat boys Bruce Weeks (Eben Ham) and John Babcock (Blane Wheatley). With the promise of helping them join a sorority they agree to meet the boys at the legendary Winthrop House that night. The foursome meet and enter the house and begin exploring the various floors. The girls are hoping to use the information they gather to pass the initiation the boys claim the sorority has in store for them. The guys are just hoping to score with the two girls. The socially conscious Wendy is more than willing to play along with whatever John wants. Tanya, on the other hand, isn’t playing into Bruce’s plans. It isn’t long before they discover the body of Howard and things take a turn for the worse. Howard, having finally convinced Carter to join him, heads for Winthrop House just in time to come to the aid of the others trapped there. While Carter reads through the various journals left behind by Joshua Winthrop the others are being decimated by the mysterious creature who still resides in the house. Just who will survive and who will be claimed by the creature is left to be seen. Made on a low budget and the film comes off remarkably good for a movie of this type. The creative forces behind the film did their best to convey the creepiness of the Lovecraftian atmosphere as well as some memorable characters. Had they been blessed with a bigger budget and more well-known stars this film could have led to a series of films featuring the pair up of Carter and Howard. As it stands it is still one of the better direct to video offerings to come from the 80s. Two things determine if a horror movie is worth going back to watch again though. The first is if it stand up to the test of time. This film does so and does it easily. With the exception of hairstyle and clothing this movie could be made again today and still present a viable story. The second item is the effects. Once more this one does better with practical effects than many CGI movies made today do. While watching I was surprised at how few effects there actually were. But the main effect that is the highlight of the film is that of the monster Alyda. The make-up work done on Alyda is stunning. As a fan of horror films I love it when a creature can be shown that exceeds my expectations. That is done here in spades. Alyda is both terrifying and something you want to see more of at the same time. But the film makers here wisely hold off on sharing glimpses of Alyda until near the end of the film. Even then we aren’t privy to long looks in spite of the fact that we may want to see more. When the film ended I found myself wanting to watch it a second time right then. I enjoyed it that much and it brought back memories of those 80s movies that lined the shelves of video stores. It was a time when creative risks were being taken by independent companies and film makers rather than by test marketing corporations. Thank goodness they are now available on disc. Thanks to Unearthed Films for the great job or this release. To start with the film is offered in a 4K Scan with color correction and restoration from the original negative. The extra are both good and bad though. They include an audio commentary track by Klausmeyer, Stephenson, Albert, Ham, effects artist Camille Calvet and make-up artists Christopher Biggs, a photo gallery and trailers for the film. There are also interviews with Klausmeyer & Stephenson, Ham, Albert, Parra and Biggs & Calvet. These interviews are the bad part of the extras though done via the internet with the sound quality ranging bad on one end and doable on the other. Still it’s nice to have access to them. All in all if you’re a fan of Lovecraft then this is a must have for your collection. The same holds true for horror fans. This is one that I know I’ll revisit in the future and my guess is that you will as well.
Duration: 87 min
Also known as: Безименният,Nienazwane,White Monster,L’innommable,H.P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable,The Unnamable,A Abominável Criatura,A megnevezhetetlen,Невыразимый ужас,La creatura,Bezimeni užas,Bezimeni uzas,Το Απερίγραπτο,O Inominável,El innombrable,El señor del mal,H.P. Lovecraft’s The White Monster,Donde duerme el horror,To aperigrapto,A Face do Diabo