(2006) Zero stars
Or as I like to call it, Beyond the Wall of Ass. Oh criminy was this movie horrible. Bad in that way that offers no knife-glint of redemption, nothing at all to justify the 80 minutes spent slogging mercilessly towards the credits.
Lovecraft's short story is a modest tale of a hillbilly named Joe Slater who kills his family in a trance and is sent to a nearby asylum. There he meets a young doctor (our narrator) who on the eve of Joe's death uncovers the simple man's secret: that his true identity is a boundless celestial being that he only becomes when he's dreaming, and his human frame can't stand the mental or physical strain. You see William Sanderson above (good old J. F. Sebastian from Blade Runner), playing the hapless incarcerated hill-man.
Working off that same premise, this "movie" proceeds straight down the crapper with a stale batch of hackneyed ideas presented with just the right mix of amateurishness and pretension to make you want to strangle it. How can I strangle this movie? I still want to know.
It's hard to pick what to hate first. There's the dinner-theater skill level of the actors, most of which is displayed by yelling stupid lines at each other. Is there anything worse than watching a bad actor do "contemptuously angry," all puffed up with paper-thin indignation? Were it actual dinner theater, you'd chuck your roll at these fools so you could eat in silence.
Then there's the extraneous elements added to the story to up the horror, like our narrator character having a female inmate strapped to a chair in the basement, so he can stick needles in her exposed brain. I got torked when the characters kept calling her "a fine specimen" although she's pretty plain looking -- that's how bad these actors are, you actually want to pick fights with them because they're so stupid. It's the opposite of being entertained.
And my least favorite thing of all, a sequence of flash-pop images that get spooled out again and again, over and over and over. This kind of music video shtick is the final go-to for the crap, talentless flimmaker. You know what I'm talking about, in the space of three seconds, you see: A close-up b&w shot of J.F. Sebastian in a field, some sped-up footage of some kids playing ring-around-a-rosy, a close-up of the cheapo mad intern's brain-needle device, the kids again, this time tinted red, J. F. cradling a bloody skull, some clouds in time-lapse, etc. etc. et fucking cetera. It makes Jay Sherman's student film look like Lawrence of Arabia. 100%, high-octane suck.
I knew I'd be risking this when I fished around for Lovecraft movies: talent-free fan films that weren't worth the scraps from its craft service table, which it probably didn't even have. I still wasn't expecting to endure this. If nothing else convinces you, know that I've never rated a movie less than one star. Avoid like you would a furious, wall-eyed cat dipped in toxic waste.