HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE FROZEN KINGDOM
- RELEASE DATE: Available September 27th on Blu-ray/DVD combo (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
- WRITTEN BY: Sean Patrick O’Reilly
- DIRECTED BY: Sean Patrick O’Reilly
- STARRING: Ron Perlman, Christopher Plummer, Jane Curtin, Kiefer O’Reilly
HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE FROZEN KINGDOM, a fictionalized account of the youth of legendary horror scribe H.P. Lovecraft attempts to do the impossible; namely take elements of Lovecraft’s vast and rich mythos…a mythos populated with indescribable horrors, eldritch Gods, and never ending insanity, and make it palatable for a family audience. I really have no idea how this is going to shake out, my creeps…
Our story starts (appropriately enough for those up on their ol’ H.P.) with young Howard visiting his lunatic father (a dead ringer for gothic author Edgar Allen Poe) in Arkham sanitarium, where the elder Lovecraft warns his son of the dangers of the legendary evil tome, The Necronomicon. Before long his well-meaning mother gives Howard the tome, with which he inadvertently summons a portal to a frozen world called R’lyeh. Upon arrival in that dread land, Howard rescues and befriends a lummox of a Cthulhu clone (or is he…dum, dum, DUM!) who he names Spot. The duo strike out across the ice and snow and soon are charged with retrieving a second magic book (guarded by a Shoggoth no less) by the ruler of R’lyeh Algid Bunk, who desires her land to be free of its icy curse at any price. Will Howard ever find his way out of this strange land and return to Providence, Rhode Island?
HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE FROZEN KINGDOM is a charming flick (have I ever typed that phrase in any review previous??) that comes across in style like Tim Burton directing a Rankin Bass stop-motion animated feature (even though this flick is computer rendered). Filled with equal parts heart and non-stop references to Lovecraft’s work (and a few other geeky pop-culture nods); this film is a great way to share your passion for the mythos with your lil’ ghouls who are too young to work through flowery gothic prose loaded with apocalyptic scenarios (and a few other unfortunate unsavory things). The story is surprisingly upbeat and moves at a good clip, the voice acting is solid (and features genre greats such as Ron Perlman and Doug Bradley), and the score gives things an appropriately epic feel.
On the opposite of things; the animation isn’t the best you’ve ever seen (and it sure as hell isn’t the worst either…by a long shot). Some of the backgrounds are a bit sparse (not really helped by the snowy setting necessary for the story), and the character movement can be a bit “off”; though the strength of a lot of the character design offsets these flaws for the most part.
As for extras on this release; things are on the light side; there’s a commentary with writer/director Sean Patrick O’Reilly, a (very) brief featurette on the film’s production, and a trailer.
I definitely recommend HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE FROZEN KINGDOM; it’s a monster filled good time of a flick that you can share with those too young to read Lovecraft’s written work; and would make a good addition to a collection that also contains MAD MONSTER PARTY or HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA.