Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 13th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Various
Directors: Jamie Payne (Rough Magik), Bob Fugger (Terrible Old Man, From Beyond), Christian Matzke (Experiment 17, Experiment 18)
Cast: Paul Darrow, Gerrard McArthur, Tim Kirby, Justine Glenton,Michael Poole, Rene Delazio, Todd Sanderson, Rock Moran, Paul Abbott, Jordan Pratt Mike O’Donnell, Keith Anctil, Henry Bindbeutel, Justin Boss, James Colston, Dan Harrod, Rob Hoyt, Andrew Leman, Christian Matzke, Byron Nilsen, Rob Pellerin, Sarah Tarling, Rob Wilber
DVD released: January, 2008
Approximate running time: Rough Magik – 41 minutes / Terrible Old Man – 32 Minutes / From Beyond – 20 Minutes / Experiment 17 – 5 Minutes / Experiment 18 – 10 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (All Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English with English Subtitles, Dolby Digital Stereo German with English Subtitles (Experiment 18)
DVD Release: Lurker Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Rough Magik: The Night Scholars a group of gifted dreamers is reformed after a rise in activity by cult members who worship a denizen named Cthulhu.
Rough Magik is a pilot episode for a series that never materialized. The episode starts off with a bloody scene where a mother slaughters her two children for a god named Cthulhu. After this strong start the rest of the episode where a government agent named Mr. Moon gets info from a dreamer named Kenneth Reese Warren. This section tends to drag and the episode never really reaches the same level it had during the opening sequence.
Visually the look of Rough Magik is very satisfying with sets and locations looking first rate. The acting is very strong with the best performance coming from Gerrard McArthur who plays Kenneth Reese Warren one of the dreamers. The show’s theme song is catchy as it fits perfect with the subject matter at hand. Ultimately Rough Magik fails to live up to its promise with to much time devoted to things not Lovecraft.
Terrible Old Man: Three bank robbers on the run from the law decide to pull off one last heist when they come across a rich old man.
Director Bob Fugger does a solid job establishing story and characters. The acting in this one is surprisingly good all around with all performers hitting their marks. Once again Fugger follows the source material very closely with the only major difference being a modern look to the film than the more dilapidated scenery one expects from H.P. Lovecraft. Ultimately then end result is equal parts H.P. Lovecraft and 1980’s slasher film.
From Beyond: An unnamed narrator is summoned to the home of a scientist named Crawford Tillinghast who has created an electronic device that sends waves which stimulate the pineal gland thus allowing a person to things not normally visible.
Director Bob Fugger does a nearly flawless job follow the original source closely and the end result is a visually experience that falls in line with Lovecrafts original vision. I really enjoyed how the films shifts from black & white to color giving the scene with the electron device even more substance. Acting wise Jordan Pratt is wooden while Mike O’Donnell who plays Crawford Tillinghast is energetic and at times inspired as the mad scientist. Ultimately this is a superb H.P. Lovecraft adaption.
Experiment 17 & Experiment 18: These two shorts directed by Christian Matzke focus on the Third Reich in their final days and experiments they conducted via the Necronomicon. The two shorts use black & white photography to its fullest. Visually director Christian Matzke does a solid job trying to make these short’s look vintage in a documentary way. The performances are substandard throughout. Ultimately Experiment 17 & Experiment 18 are more occult based novelties then Lovecraft inspired cinematic gems.
Lurker Films presents all the films in their original aspect ratio. The transfers for each film look clean and detailed with natural looking flesh tones and robust colors though out.
All the films are presented in their native language English and German for Experiment 18. The audio for each film sounds full and free of any audio defects. Removable English subtitles have been included for most of the content on this DVD release.
Extras include a Audio commentary with writer/producer Stephen W. Parsons (Rough Magik), conceptual drawings and behind the scene photos (Rough Magik), interview with Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi (10 minutes), Cast & crew interviews – Terrible old Man (17 minutes) and a Eight page booklet. Just like previous films in the Lovecraft Collection this edition comes with a well of extra content which is highlighted by H.P. Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi’s interview. Overall another excellent release from Lurker Films that fan’s of H.P. Lovecraft will thoroughly enjoy.