NECRONOMICON (1993) Reviews and overview

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Necronomicon is a 1993 American-French anthology horror film. It was directed by Brian Yuzna, Christophe Gans and Shusuke Kaneko from a screenplay by Brent V. Friedman, Christophe Gans, Kazunori Itō and Brian Yuzna.

The film is also known as H.P. Lovecraft’s: Necronomicon, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead and Necronomicon: To Hell and Back.

The three stories in the film are based on three H.P. Lovecraft short stories: The Drowned is loosely based on The Rats in the WallsThe Cold is based on Cool Air, and Whispers is based on The Whisperer in Darkness.


The movie stars Bruce Payne, Richard Lynch, Jeffrey Combs, Belinda Bauer and David Warner.

The Library:

H.P. Lovecraft (Jeffrey Combs) learns of a monastery where a copy of the Necronomicon is held. Requesting to read the Alchemical Encyclopedia Vol. III, Lovecraft steals a key from another monk and flees to the cellar where the Necronomicon is being held…

The Drowned:

Edward De LaPoer, a member of the De La Poer family, is tracked down in Sweden after inheriting an old, abandoned family hotel. He learns of his uncle’s tragic death. Upon a boat trip return to New England, a crash on the shore killed Jethro’s wife and son.

That night, an odd fish-man creature arrives and leaves behind an English translation of the Necronomicon. Using the book, Jethro brings his family back to life. However, they are revived as unholy monsters with green glowing eyes and tentacles in their mouths…


The Cold:

Reporter Dale Porkel is suspicious of a string of strange murders in Boston over the past several decades. Confronting a woman at a local apartment building, he is invited in only to find the entire place is very cold. The woman he has confronted claims to suffer a rare skin condition which has left her sensitive to heat and light. Demanding the truth, Dale is told the story of Emily Osterman’s arrival to Boston twenty years before…

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During a pursuit of a suspect known as “the Butcher”, two police officers, Paul and Sarah, argue over their failed relationship and the coming baby. The argument leads to a crash, flipping the cruiser upside down. Paul, having unbuckled his seatbelt in the argument, is knocked out and dragged off by an unseen person. Sarah unbuckles herself, breaks the window and exits the vehicle. Unable to call for backup, she follows a blood trail alone…



“… there are certainly a few Lovecraft adaptations that kick some rather serious ass; I would not call Necronomicon one of them. My feelings about Necronomicon overall are a bit lukewarm, but it is not a bad way to spend 90-ish minutes. Lightly recommended.” Goregirl’s Dungeon

“Overall, the film is kind of a failure. It doesn’t really work as a film, nor as an introduction to HPL.  From the slapstick sadism of Yuzna to the po-faced dullness of Kaneko, it pretty much loses its way before it even starts.  The only good segment is Gans’ and that is down to being more mythos-centric.” Fangirl Magazine

“Necronomicon: Despite the great cast, beasts included, the interstitial bits are the only highlights, as Combs as Lovecraft pores over a well-worn copy of the book after which the film is named.” Mike “McBeardo” McFadden, Heavy Metal Movies

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“Unfortunately, [Necronomicon] does not deliver on what should have been a great idea. In fact the film loses focus, speed, and atmosphere after the first segment, “The Drowned,” almost as though the production had run out of money and time.” Andrew Migliore and John Strysik, Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft

Choice dialogue:

Nancy Gallmore: “It’s too bad crabs can’t talk.”



Cast and characters:

  • 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
  • Vladimir Kulich as a villager
  • David Warner as Doctor 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

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