Apart from a couple names, the title, and an association with the paranormal, The Lurking Fear is a 1994 film that shares little with the H.P. Lovecraft story from whence came its title. This tale of a ghoul-assailed town from director C. Courtney Joyner and finally released on Blu-ray by Full Moon Features is a relic from the ‘90s, with all the hallmarks from the era, but does it have the fangs to dig in and keep you watching?
Fresh from jail, John Martense is eager to leave behind the family legacy of crime. However, after a visit to an old family friend with a map, he’s convinced to break one final law and move on. All he must do is dig up a grave in an old graveyard to find a fortune buried by his father.
What he doesn’t know is that the treasure he seeks is also being sought by a former associate of his father who will stop at nothing to get it. What neither of them know is that the graveyard is Ground Zero in a battle between good and evil being waged by a woman with a grudge against eldritch forces and beings.
The Lurking Fear is a showcase of tropes from two decades past, preserved like degenerate rites to an old deity of terror. Everything from the fashion to the writing to the special effects is dated artefacts from an era when high-waisted jeans and bad hair were envogue. I’m quite positive I saw this movie at some point in my childhood on TNT late on a Friday night. It’s that kind of movie.
However, for all its flaws, it’s still a fun movie to watch. There are a lot of bad fighting sequences against a badly costumed creature from eerie depths whose origin is never quite explained. Explosions fill the ebon night against the backdrop of an ancient, decrepit church. Lovecraftian darling Jeffrey Combs even makes an appearance as a slightly mad, perpetually drunk doctor helping in the fight against the forces of evil.
It’s campy early-‘90s horror at its most distilled essence. Get some popcorn, put it on, order a pizza, and enjoy The Lurking Fear.