THE UNNAMABLE (1988) Reviews and overview

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The Unnamable
, based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Unnamable”, is a 1988 American supernatural horror film about a group of university students that made the poor decision to stay overnight in a ‘haunted house’. Mark Kinsey Stephenson played the lead role, Randolph Carter (a well-known H.P. Lovecraft character), alongside Charles King. It was written, produced and directed by Jean-Paul Oullette.

On October 9, 2018, Unearthed Films unleashed The Unnamable on Blu-ray, from a 4K scan, in the USA. Bonus features include:

  • Audio Commentary with Charles Klausmeyer, Mark Stephenson, Laura Albert, Eben Ham, Camille Calvet, R. Christopher Biggs
  • Video Interviews with R. Christopher Biggs special makeup effects artist and makeup artist Camille Calvet
  • Video Interview with Mark Parra
  • Video Interview with actors Charles Klausmeyer and Mark Kinsey Stephenson
  • Video Interview with actor Eben Ham
  • Video Interview with actress Laura Albert
  • 4k Scan with colour correction and restoration from the original negative
  • Stereo, 5.1 and DTS Surround Sound

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Randolph Carter regales two of his university buddies, Howard and Joel,  with ghost stories. Randolph points out that they are sitting in the graveyard surrounding the haunted house of his tales. The story that Randolph had been telling them was of Joshua Winthrop and his demon daughter, Alyda Winthrop. Joel comes up with the idea to stay there overnight. Randolph and Howard go back to the university, leaving Joel to it.


Soon a group of students decides to go there, two young lads fresh from the university football team, Bruce Weeks and John Babcock, and a couple of girls that they want to score with, Wendy and Tanya. Alyda Winthrop, the creature, begins stalking the four youngsters in her home, planning to kill them as she killed her father…


The film was followed by 1993’s The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter which featured, alongside Mark Kinsey Stephenson and Charles Clausmeyer, John Rhys-Davies and David Warner.


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Although this was the only H.P. Lovecraft movie adaptation for John Rhys-Davies, for David Warner it was the first as he would appear in Brian Yuzna’s Necronomicon, starring Jeffrey Combs and Signy Coleman.


The Unnamable is an extremely charming film with Klausmeyer and Stephenson putting in good work in the lead roles.” Retro Slashers

“The film thieves H. P. Lovecraft’s short story title while writing a completely different narrative, and its narrative is one of the dullest to come out of the eighties. College kids dare themselves to spend a night in a haunted house. A monster eats most of them. Cue credits. The characters are not interesting, the ending makes no sense.” Horror Films 101


“Perhaps the single best thing about this film (and the subsequent sequel) is the lead performance of Mark Kinsey Stephenson as Randolph Carter. A recurring character that appeared in seven Lovecraft stories, Carter is pretty much a surrogate for the author himself. Stephenson, who somewhat resembles Lovecraft, plays Carter as kind of a nerdier version of Jeffrey Combs’ Herbert West. He has the same strain of dogged intensity, but without the arrogance or desire to kill.” Video Junkie

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