Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Brian Yuzna, Christophe Gans, Shusuke Kaneko
Producers: Brian Yuzna, Samuel Hadida
Writers: Brent Friedman, Christophe Gans, Kazunori Ito
Date Released: November 1993
Jeffrey Combs as H. P. Lovecraft
Tony Azito as Librarian
Brian Yuzna as Cabbie
Bruce Payne as Edward De Lapoer
Belinda Bauer as Nancy Gallmore
Richard Lynch as Jethro De Lapoer
Maria Ford as Clara
Peter Jasienski as Jethro’s son
Denice D. Lewis as Emma De Lapoer
David Warner as Dr. Madden
Bess Meyer as Emily Osterman
Millie Perkins as Lena
Dennis Christopher as Dale Porkel
Gary Graham as Sam
Curt Lowens as Mr. Hawkins
Signy Coleman as Sarah
Obba Babatundé as Paul
Don Calfa as Mr. Benedict
Judith Drake as Mrs. Benedict
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about H.P. Lovecraft going inside a library guarded by monks. He wanted to have access to the Necronomicon or book of the dead as a reference for his stories. After gaining illegal access, he begins to take notes while the safety booby traps unleash something evil. He was able to take notes for 3 stories. The first one was about performing a blood ritual from the book which brings back the dead only in the form of a sea monster. The second one was about a mysterious scientist trying to stop aging and death through the use of spinal fluid and extremely cold environment. The third one was about bat-like alien creatures wanting to reproduce using a brain and a womb. By then, the final booby trap was opened and a monster beneath the library tried to capture H.P. Lovecraft. He defeated it and the monk and got out of the library with the book.
This movie features 4 gruesome stories. The fact that this is based on Lovecraft stories makes it scary enough. The most horrific scenes include the shape-shifting sea monster tentacle, the melting of the scientist, the brainless policeman longing for affection while disintegrating, the bat aliens sucking bone marrow from chopped up body parts, and the monk squeezing through the bars and getting his face peeled off.
The Grave Review
The Library – This segment was anchor story where it was the beginning and ending of the movie. It’s amazing how they were able to use H.P. Lovecraft as the character which makes it more realistic. The ending where Lovecraft himself was able to battle evil and got hold of the book definitely calls for a sequel.
The Drowned – This segment was more melodramatic, tackling about death and guilt. The involvement of a sea monster with shape-shifting tentacles added to the horror of doing blood rituals from the necronomicon.
The Cold – This segment talks about defying death by following instructions from the necronomicon. Out of the 4 stories, this one is the most relatable and terrifying because it does not involve monsters.
Whispers – This is probably the best segment due to the significant amount of blood, body horror, and alien creatures, all while talking about the idea of an unborn child. There were a lot of twists and turns to the story especially the scene transitioning from cave, to hospital, and back to the cave.
As a whole, the actors were superb in their own short films within the movie. Even the camerawork were similar in ways that each story has random close-ups, showing even more terror. The prosthetics used in the body horror sequences such as the melting bodies were so gory that no computer graphics can ever duplicate.
Overall, this movie is recommended for Lovecraftian fans and those who are into monsters.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Necronomicon: Book of the Dead (1993) three out of five graves.
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