A journalist (Elias) is attempting to make a serious documentary about the famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but things aren't going very well. He was supposed to be reporting from a swamp, but all the budget will allow is a paddling pool in somebody's back garden, accompanied by a rubber bat on a fishing line. And then the rainstorm starts. The reporter then shows us a house that was not Lovecraft's and various animals that were not Lovecraft's until he is chased by a dog that was not Lovecraft's, ending up in somebody's front room where he is prevented from going any further by a 1970s reporter (Chad Bernhard). It's probably for the best that they show someone else's idea of Lovecraft's oeuvre...
The filmmakers behind LovecraCked! The Movie asked for various other filmmakers from around the world to contribute a suitably Lovecraftian horror short for this anthology work, and the results are predictably mixed, with hardly any capturing the spirit of the author. What you are offered instead is a selection of horror tales linked by the director Elias playing a bumbling journalist for comic relief, which makes a change form any Crypt Keeper type of character, but is only occasionally amusing. However, you'd better get used to these segments because they take up a greater proportion of the film than the shorts.
The first sees a couple of adventurers investigating a pit from which something terrible is rising, which is fair enough but over too fast to make much of an impression. Second, a humorous comparison between a punk guitarist who summons the spawn of evil and his "loser neighbour" which finishes just as it looks as it's about to go somewhere. The third effort is much more like it, however, as a painter conjures up a diabolical entity; this is shot by director Ashley Thorpe in stop motion which aims for an otherworldly eerieness that it goes some way to achieving - I'd say this was the most accomplished section.
Fourthly, a man who has been spurned by his ex-girlfriend wraps himself up in a cocoon, which owes more to Xtro than Lovecraft. Next, a story of a witch luring her own human sacrifice which appears to consider paganism on the same level as devil worship. Then, an obscure tale about a violinist haunted by a piece of music that drives him to kill; it strives for atmosphere but as with many of these efforts, being shot on video handicaps it - unless you're aiming for Blair Witch Project stylings, video isn't really atmospheric enough. A simple plot about a man trying to stop an axe killing in the woods has a predictable but fair twist to follow, then a soft porn spoof of Re-Animator seems to go on longer than it actually does. Lastly, a music video with an animated, singing Lovecraft brings things to a close. LovecraCked! is a mixed bag, but doesn't hang around on one idea for long enough to get dull: if only the films seemed more familiar with the author who they claim to pay tribute to.
[The DVD has a few additional short films if the ones in the main feature have left you gasping for more, and also music videos and a trailer.]