Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Movie Review: Unnamable II

 The Unnamable II caught my attention for two reasons; it is based on a story by HP Lovecraft (as it turns out, actually 2 stories) and it features Julie Strain, a B-Scream actress who I am a fan of.  Julie is visually a 6' 1" goddess who was Penthouse's Pet of the Year in 1993, a frequent model of illustrator Olivia and other artists, as well as a star in several b-horror films and some porn.  Ms. Strain is often featured as a BDSM Dominatrix, but in this film much of her beauty is hidden under the demon-costume she wears throughout.

 Unnamable II is a sequel to Unnamable, and picks up right after where the first film left-off.  The police have arrived at the Winthrop House along with EMS.  Howard, wounded from his encounter with the unnamable demon, is being wheeled to an ambulance, and Tonya is in a police cruiser.  Randolph Carter, the protagonist of the film, has spirited away Joshua Winthrop's book of spells, which he gives to Howard for safe keeping.  Lovecraft's story, The Statement of Randolph Carter, actually was written by Lovecraft before Unnamable, but for this film the two tales are neatly woven together.

 Carter seeks out Professor Warren, who is sympathetic to Carter's interest in the occult.  They gather Howard and head to a tunnel wear they find the demon from the first film trapped in the roots of a tree.  Following up on a theory, they inject the demon with insulin, which causes it to go into a coma and transform into a beautiful (and fully nude) woman.  Carter and Warren free the woman from the roots.  The woman, Alyda Winthrop, was used by her father to summon the demon.  She is feral but also strongly attracted to Carter.

 Warren discovers in the tunnel some writing which he translates.  He thinks the writing has something to do with quantum physics, but also discovers that freeing the girl also released her demonic aspect... just before the demon kills him.  Now the demon is in pursuit of her human half, killing everyone that gets in her way.

 Maria Ford plays Alyda Winthrop, and spends most of the film completely nude while clinging to Carter, fighting with other women, or trying to get frisky.  She has to be coaxed into clothes, adding some humor to the film (which has several moments of levity).  Julie Strain's ponderous breasts are also a featured part of her demonic costume, so for those who want some nudity with their gore there is plenty. 

 The films is an excellent B-movie.  Its one flaw, which was intentionally ridiculous, is its 1920's academic stuffiness.  Carter and crew are almost unbelievably prim and proper, even with a beautiful nude girl who refuses to get dressed in their midst reflecting Lovecraft's social ideals even though the film is set in modern times.  The demon effects and gore are wonderful.  Unnamable II is a horror romp, more fun than frightening.  It is easily one of the better Lovecraft adaptations, and far superior to the first film.

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