Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom is the second chapter of a three-part saga. Here, the child version of this seminal writer (voiced by Kiefer O’Reilly) has to deal with untold dangers from more than one dark world. Youths can be introduced to H.P. Lovecraft before he became the recluse and derisive adult.
This film is humourous at times. It’s also a safe product to teach young viewers the importance of never forgetting their elders, even when the world shuns them. When considering what the real-life figure was like, perhaps all he needed was more familial love.
After the events of the first film, he has to keep the three books from being put together to form the Necronomicon. He does not know of this tome’s secrets, but in what he learns — how to use magic — he has to use it to fight the minions mad Abdul (Jeffrey Combs) is sending after him! Although his father is committed to a sanitarium and his mother is possessed (and eventually kidnapped), this lad is proving to be able to take on the challenges from the mysterious city of R’yleh and other strange worlds which lays in this maddening multiverse.
This film is adapted from Bruce Brown’s work (original creator) which is published by Arcana Comics. The print edition (available on Amazon) is much more violent when compared to this cinematic version. The changes required to make this product accessible for youths does not distract. Even as I’m thumbing through my hardcover copy of the complete story while watching this film to find what writer and director Sean Patrick O’Reilly changed, general aspects of all three issues (when it was released as individual comics) are retained. He brings much-needed character development to Winfield Scott Lovecraft, the father. While none of this is true to the real life counterpart, to understand this individual offers to fans a hint at what could have influenced the boy to become the man with unsettling dreams.
Revisions are in store in Arcana Studios next film, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Revisions are in store in Arcana Studios next film, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom. The original comic book story had two companions helping the boy travel to this new world to rescue his family. With only his mother and aunts, life may seem easy. But after the events from Frozen Kingdom, he better look out! His father broke out of his asylum prison so both he and Constable Smith (who finds the boy without a home) can help. The gun-touting action and violence in this edition works, but in a product targeting a general audience to enjoy, it has to be changed.
“The guns and grenades being used in Undersea Kingdom were an immediate offside from numerous distributors,” revealed Sean O’Reilly, co-founder of Arcana Studios. “Losing that character [of Smith], and replacing him with a character that H.P. Lovecraft created in Dr. Henry Armitage, put us in a direction towards Miskatonic University. This then leads to building out the world that the author created.”
Both this studio and Shout! Factory announced the voice cast a few days ago, indicating that progress is on track for a Q4 direct-to-video release. Mark Hamill will be playing the role of the prestigious doctor. Best known as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, this talent can do more than swing a light saber in Star Wars. Also set to play a bigger role is Jeffrey Combs as King Abdul, the primary antagonist for this second film. When he kidnaps his mother and aunts, the young lad has to get Spot to help him travel to the Undersea Kingdom to rescue them. But he can not do it alone, and to see what O’Reilly has to alter in series creator, Bruce Brown’s work, will have followers curious.
Using the original graphic novel as reference, the monsters we will get to see include Shoggoths and Deep Ones. With luck, maybe a Mi-Go or two will help out.
If the movie Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (HPL&FK) has not crawled into your collection, perhaps the wait for all the movies that makes up this trilogy will be more worthwhile. Although I’m not chill with the wait, to see how the story introduced in Frozen Kingdom coalesce is what makes me interested. This computer-animated film is the first act to a grander story and it certainly feels like it. As for where the other two parts will go, Howie has a long journey ahead of him.
Last year, Shout! Factory announced obtaining the North American rights to Arcana Studios‘ upcoming movie. This comic book company has an entertainment subdivision to translate their printed products to cinema and this title is not their first. They produced The Clockwork Girl (2014, still awaiting a proper video release) and Pixies (2015).
Only the die-hard fans and film studies enthusiast will enjoy the extra content in the bonus disc that comes in this latest home video release of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed.
The underground world of Midian was very much alive within me many years ago, even before I discovered Clive Barker’s Cabel. I loved the narrative and it spoke to me as there were times I felt misunderstood. Life of an outcast as a nerd was never easy but I adapted. When the film Nightbreed appeared in 1990, I hoped some of the themes explored in the book would get translated over. Instead, what was presented was totally alien. This film was not Barker’s story and I wondered why. My favourite moments were either cut out or never written in.
As a rated R film, I hoped the way Boone connected to Baphomet would be represented but alas ….