The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993)
The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993)

Genre: Horror Running Time: 1 hr. 44 min.

Release Date: March 10th, 1993 MPAA Rating: R

Director: Jean-Paul Ouellette Actors: Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Charles Klausmeyer, Maria Ford, John Rhys-Davies, Julie Strain, Peter Breck, David Warner

 


 

E

liot Howard (Charles Klausmeyer) and Tanya Heller (Alexandra Durrell) have been horribly injured by a bloodthirsty beast and are being taken to the Arkham hospital. Four other university students were massacred (events depicted in the first film) at the Winthrop house, forcing the investigating officers to collect dispersed body parts – destruction surely caused by mere wild dogs, or so they believe. Just before Howard is whisked away, he speaks briefly with friend Randolph Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson), who comments on the tombstone of Joshua Winthrop and the tunnels under the graveyard that likely house the disappeared creature.

In the hospital, Howard has a vision of Winthrop’s elderly ghost, who warns of the 300 year-old “unnamable” monstrosity that was previously summoned from the Necronomicon. It has merged with the body of Winthrop’s daughter Alyda (Maria Ford) through the use of interdimensionary quantum physics. Carter visits associate Professor Harley Warren (John Rhys-Davies), who agrees to help locate the creature, and the two pick up Howard on their way to a spot in the woods near Winthrop’s house. Carter and Warren descend into the underground tunnels, while Howard stands guard – knowing that a police car is camped not too far away. When they hear screams coming from deep within the earth, they ponder whether or not to move onward. But scholarly vanity triumphs over common sense and they continue their dusty decline, even pushing past fresh corpses that the demon has recently feasted upon. When they finally locate the fiend, trapped between massive tree roots, they begin to study its blood makeup and hypothesize injecting insulin into its body to cause the hellion to separate from Alyda’s body – instead of killing it as they almost certainly should have done from the start.

Based on two different H.P. Lovecraft short stories, “The Unnamable” and “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” this sequel to the previous filmic adaptation (from 1988) blends the plots together for a better-paced feature. It’s not nearly as intelligent as it aspires to be, however, being inundated with lots of uncertainty in vocalized scientific theorizing, despite including jargon about quantum mechanics/physics, ancient Arabic texts, biochemistry, the language of Cthulhu, and matter simultaneously occupying the same space. Ultimately, it’s a rather silly B-grade horror thriller.

Hilariously, the explorers are more concerned with missed opportunities to gather photographic evidence of the monster than establishing its whereabouts, its capabilities, or its obvious murderousness. They’re not even terribly perturbed about the young woman they must hasten about the campus. “Oh my god, that’s a naked woman!” exclaims Howard when Alyda is introduced. She proceeds to continually wriggle out of the clothing Carter tries to put on her and spends most of her screentime fully nude (though visible nudity is obscured for the sake of filming). Plus, her role is momentarily used for extremely ineffectual romancing.

The music is dramatic and resounding (and oddly playful here and there), heralding equally impactful chills. But electrifying events don’t arrive frequently enough (if at all), waiting until about halfway through the movie before the gargoyle starts slaughtering random characters. By then, most of the action is unintentionally funny – worsened by Howard’s frequent comic relief. The towering “unnamable” thing is played by six-foot model Julie Strain, adorned in prosthetics and makeup that possess feline and bovine characteristics – and stiff, rubbery wings. And the lighting is appropriately sinister, while the sets make for alternatingly claustrophobic and immense locales for picking off the dwindling survivors (though the sound effects are noticeably pitiful). In the end, the fighting, escaping, and devising of a rushed solution for extirpating the evil spirit just aren’t wholly exciting – nor do they make much sense.

– Mike Massie

  • 3/10