When I was a bookseller by profession, it was impossible to escape the influence of the writer H.P. Lovecraft. While I'd read many of his works, I had not really formed an attachment, aside from a certain fondness for the enthusiasts. I liked the Chaosium game, and the plush Cthulhus and the like. I even held a certain shlocky affection for the various attempts at translating the stories from prose to movie.
My friend Kelli, on the other hand, did not like any of it; she is a horror aficionado, but really doesn't hold the myriad parts of Lovecraftia in any esteem or respect. When she emailed me, enthusing about The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, I was amazed, and eager to experience the film for myself.
The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu was made in 2009, and is rightly billed as a horror-comedy. The film was directed by Henry Saine, written by Devin McGinn (who also portrays one of the main protagonists). It premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival, and was released thereafter on DVD.
The plot . . . well, the plot isn't particularly ground-breaking. There is an artifact that the Chosen Ones and Cthulhu cultists want to regain so that they can raise and release Cthulhu, and only the last descendant of the bloodline of Lovecraft stands in their way.
I am over-simplifying, but not by orders of magnitude, and really, the plot is incidental. The execution makes this such an entertaining movie to watch.
The acting isn't particularly bad, but it's not particularly good, either. It certainly reaches a level such that it doesn't detract from the film.
Where this movie shines is in the dialogue and plot details (neither of which am I going to spoil here). Clearly, the screenwriter has plenty of affection for the Lovecraftian source material even as he gently teases and mocks some of the its absurdities of both the material and those who obsess over its minutia.
This isn't great horror, but rather more like a cross between "The Dunwich Horror" and a Kevin Smith movie, with plenty of Easter eggs for the sharp-eyed Lovecraftian fan who doesn't take it so seriously they can't laugh at it, and perhaps themselves, just a little.