Lurking Fear – USA, 1994 – reviews


‘Infinite evil’

Lurking Fear is a 1994 American supernatural horror feature film, loosely based on the H. P. Lovecraft short story “The Lurking Fear”. It was produced by Charles Band’s Full Moon Entertainment and written and directed by C. Courtney Joyner (Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys; Prison); From a Whisper to a Scream).

The movie stars Blake Bailey (The Killer Eye), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser and sequels), Jon Finch (Frenzy; The Vampire Lovers), Jeffrey Combs (Would You Rather; Re-Animator), Allison Mackie, Paul Mantee (The Manitou; Day of the Animals), Vincent Schiavelli (Bone Chillers; Comedy of Horrors), Joseph Leavengood (Basket Case 2), Cristina Stoica, Luana Stoica, Adrian Pintea, Ilinca Goia, Michael Todd.


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Ex-con John Martense (Blake Adams) returns to his childhood home of Lefferts Corner after serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Martense visits family friend Knaggs (Vincent Schiavelli), a mortician who has been holding half of a map for him. The map leads to a graveyard where Martense’s father hid the money from his last heist.


Arriving at an abandoned church, Martense is confronted by Cathryn (Ashley Laurence), a young woman seeking revenge for the murder of her sister, and town doctor Doctor Haggis (Jeffrey Combs).


This group is quickly joined by a trio of criminals who are looking to find the money John’s father stole from them. What everyone is not aware of are the humanoid creatures lurking underneath the holy grounds…


Reviews [click links to read more]:

“As with many Full Moon films, Lurking Fear‘s trailer is better than the feature it promotes. That’s unfortunate because Joyner had a wonderful professional cast who, with a cleaned-up script and a hands-on producer, could have made the film a standout among [Lovecraft] adaptations.” Andrew Migliore and John Strysik, Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H. P. Lovecraft


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“… zippy little gem … The Morlock-looking creatures are nicely designed by Wayne Toth [House of 1000 Corpses; Wishmaster] and are a suitably nasty bunch, dragging any poor sod they can down into their subterranean abattoir.” Matty Budrewicz, UK Horror Scene


“With such a talented cast, a cool concept, and a fresh young director coming off a popular Trancers sequel, there’s no reason the final product should have been this lousy. I applaud Joyner’s effort to mix the horror, action, and crime film genres, but it just didn’t work. The end result is a somewhat boring creature feature, that apparently ruined C. Courtney Joyner’s taste for filmmaking.” The B-Movie Film Vault

Lurking Fear is pretty spot on and cohesive. The action choreography and stuntwork is top notch. The acting is way better than I expected and I’m impartial to strong female characters. The gore, my favorite aspect of the movie, was amazing and performed through the use of practical effects and that really brought me back to a better time.” Horror Society


“It’s no masterpiece, but it’s a nicely done flick made by people who clearly strove to produce a good movie. The acting is uniformly good and nicely naturalistic, the characters tend not to do stupid stuff just to advance the plot, the settings are, again, quite fetching, the film is fairly brutal in terms of killing likable characters, and the script is actually *gasp* fairly well thought out…” Ken Begg, Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension


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“There’s an equally impressive cast here, with Combs at his hammy best as the sozzled quack, Finch genuinely menacing as a Cockney gangster and Laurence convincing as a Lara Croft type Amazon. Unfortunately the script doesn’t give them anything more than generic dialogue, and that adjective sums up the film as a whole.” Eric Hillis, The Movie Waffler

Lurking Fear is loaded with graphic violence, monsters and gore, so fans of this fare will not be disappointed. And the cast is good…” John Stanley, Creature Features

“The gore is generally weak, but I must credit the effects team and director for making so many attempts to please the Fangoria fans out there. There are a lot of dead body, corpse and skeleton scenes in which these props are used for more than just background. They come with a few laughs. The creature make-up is similarly ho-hum. But they embrace it.” John Leavengood, Movies, Films and Flix

“The actors all seem game enough, but the characters are generally one-note … but as the story winds on, the people seem to have little function but to mark time when the creatures aren’t on screen. The monsters themselves are fairly well-executed but unmemorable…” TV Guide



Filming locations:

Buftea Studios, Bucharest, Romania

Image credits: The B-Movie Film Vault | The Movie Waffler

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