As I’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, I absolutely love Lovecraft’s work. The man was a genius far beyond his time. But what you might not know is that I’m a big fan of director Albert Pyun’s work as well. I’ve liked his films since the 80s, and he just keeps getting better over the years. So imagine my surprise when I discovered he had tackled one of Lovecraft’s short stories! I didn’t realize he was the man behind this film until the credits started rolling. But Pyun does Lovecraft great justice with this adaptation; it is a low-budget but well made feature that Lovecraft fans should enjoy.
If you are not familiar with H.P. LOVECRAFT’S COOL AIR, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:
Struggling screenwriter Charlie Baxter sets out to write his long-blocked “great American screenplay” when he suffers a heart attack and his mysterious upstairs neighbor Doctor Shockner comes to his rescue. The doctor persuades Baxter to stay until he recovers fully, and introduces him to a nightmarish world of insane experiments and murder. Baxter knows something must be done to stop the evil that resides in the room at the top of the stairs.
The story for this film may sound simple, and in reality, it is; but the complexities involved with the characters extend much deeper than the plot synopsis can relay. As a result, this movie is actually more character-driven than anything, but that is certainly not a bad thing. If anything, it helps add to the tension.
H.P. LOVECRAFT’S COOL AIR is written very well, thanks to the fascinating pen of Cynthia Curnan. The inner dialogue that we get to hear from the main character, Charlie Baxter, is insightful and somewhat prophetic. It is this dialogue that helps to set the stage for what is to come, and it is also what helps us understand who Charlie really is.
And speaking of the main character, Baxter is portrayed by one of my favorite (albeit obscure) actors, Morgan Weisser. Weisser is probably best known for his stint on the short lived and untimely canceled TV show SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND, but his scope of work varies and covers a broad range of genres. Weisser is excellent in this role and I am glad to see him onscreen once again.
My sole complaint about H.P. LOVECRAFT’S COOL AIR is that there minimal special effects, and those we get to see are not very well done. They are CG effects, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but some of them are misplaced (for example, they are on an actor’s face and when she moves, they don’t). This is a minor complaint, as I know the film had a small budget, but it is definitely noteworthy.
Still, H.P. LOVECRAFT’S COOL AIR is a win for me and I recommend giving it a look. Director Albert Pyun still entertains me on many levels, and I always look forward to seeing what he’ll do next. Give this film a chance, and I think you’ll be pleased. The DVD hits store shelves tomorrow.