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Don’t be fooled by the name; there is no Lovecraft in “Cthulhu Mansion” — only subpar acting and poor storytelling lie behind these walls.

Wannabe gangsters take a magician and his daughter hostage inside their mansion and unleash an evil entity. Let’s dig into 1992’s CTHULHU MANSION, directed by Juan Piquer Simón!

As I See It

“The Shadow Over Innsmouth” this is not.

The credits claim it was inspired by Lovecraft’s writings instead of an adaptation. The opening has a hint of Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride. I was digging Chandu and his magic show, but it was a short-lived romance.

The whole movie is impotent enough to be fit for TV. The acting is absolute shit, but the masks, makeup, and production design make up for it to some degree. Once we enter the creepy mansion, the beautiful lighting kills any creepy vibe that was building.

There is just nothing going on. We get treated to some cool makeup here and there, but there is no real established mythology. They would have been better served using Lovecraft’s dirty work.

I can’t tell if the hysteria over a negligible amount of cocaine really seemed like enough for the writers to warrant how ruthless and murderous the group is. None of them seem too tough besides wearing leather jackets and having names like Hawk.

The whole thing is a jumble. Straight-laced characters mixed in with hardened killers make no sense.

It’s hard to find much good outside of the makeup work.

Famous Faces

Frank Finlay (Chandu) played Fallada in Tobe Hooper’s space vampire flick Lifeforce.

Frank Braña (Felix) has a ton of spaghetti westerns on his resume, but he also starred in some cult genre films, including Slugs and Pieces.

Of Gratuitous Nature

Dropping some cocaine and switchblades into the laps of some teens hardly makes them a gang. A grade school student could have crafted some better villains.

Heartthrob

I really did like some of the makeup. Especially the one based on the anatomical dummy in the haunted ride we see in the opening.

Ripe for a Remake

There’s nothing original here except ineptitude.

Spawns

No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Vinegar Syndrome released a Blu-ray of Cthulhu Mansion with a documentary about director Juan Piquer Simón.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 1


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