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.
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).
Garry Chalk is one of those actors who created the voice of many of my favourite characters in animation in the 1990’s. As the voice of Turbo and Slash in Mainframe Entertainment’s Reboot and later Optimus Primal in Transformers: Beast Wars / Machines, I really liked how he put his all into those characters. Back then, the Internet was not available and I had to depend on keeping an eagle eye and sharp ear to the credits to recognize what he appeared in. Little did I know he had a vast and rewarding career in film, television and theatre before coming onto the animation scene.
When I spoke to him about his more recent work, especially in O. Corbin Saleken‘s Patterson’s Wager (which is getting screenings in upcoming film festivals around North America and is on VOD), this performer said, “I’m not one of those kinds of method actors who look for characters in other people. I develop what’s within me and who I am and put me in that situation. I know myself better than anyone else. There’s a whole emotional gambit to consider, but in every one of them, there’s a facet of what you’re going to make the character be. So the core essence of any character [I play] is me with a bunch of additional circumstances to shape my response.”