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JOHN MARTENSE (Blake Bailey) has just been released from prison after serving five years for a crime he didn't commit. John wants to stay as far away from the wrong side of the law as he can ... but family ties won't let him. John gets a message to see SPECS (Vincent Schiavelli), an old friend and undertaker with a taste for larceny. Specs gives John a map of a cemetery where a corpse stuffed with a half a million dollars has been buried. John's father stole the money with his psychotic partner BENNETT (Jon Finch) but hid the body, leaving it as a family legacy for his son to dig up. John reluctantly takes off for Leffertt's Corners, a small town with a terrible secret. For years the Corners have been torn apart - the people devoured by a race of cannibalistic genetic freaks living in the tunnels below the cemetery. Thunderstorms bring the creatures out - to feed. John finds the cemetery next to an old church. He barely sets foot in the graveyard when he's stopped by CATHRYN (Ashley Rae Lauren), a beautiful girl with a .45 automatic in her hand. Cathryn's laced the cemetery with dynamite and armed herself to destroy the creatures' nest once and for all...and tonight John's in the way. Cathryn forces John into the church where DR. HAGGIS (Jeffrey Combs), FATHER POOLE (Paul Mantee) and BETH (Luana Stoica) ready themselves for bloody battle with the monsters. As a storm approaches, and Cathryn is about to blow up the nest, Bennett arrives with his goons to take the group hostage and reclaim the buried money. Can the two groups band together and overcome ""The Lurking Fear"" ... or will they be the next victims?
Top customer reviews
Really cheap sets and highly questionable acting raise a brow of doubt in the first 90 seconds of this movie. But don't worry, the writing is bad, too. So you'll get plenty of "oh, geez" laughs out of it. A lot of the scenes feel like they came out of some horror-themed soap opera--which doesn't speak well of the director of this laughable catastrophe.
The first scene sets an interesting tone. Two women and an infant are staying in some old church with monsters living between the under the floors. They know these monsters want to eat them, but they spend the night anyway and somehow are able to sleep...alone...with no one keeping watch. Low and behold, the consequence of this thoughtful plan was that someone got killed by some rubber-gloved monster-clawed arms reaching out from a vent in the wall.
You see, there are these Morlockian troglodytes living under a church and the nearby cemetery. They grunt and have grey skin and glazed white eyes as you would imagine any typical subterranean corpse-eating creature would appear.
The story brings together three sets of people with different motives to the church...
The first is John Martense, who is released from prison to meet crooked mortician Knaggs (Vincent Schiavelli; Ghost, Lord of Illusions). After a quick "how ya' doin'" John is already planning to commit a crime. He's going to recover some blood money that was buried with a body in the graveyard by the church. I know what you're thinking and the answer is yes: that church.
Then there's Bennett, Marlowe (Allison Mackie) and Pierce (Joe Leavengood; Trancers 2; Basket Case 2), three criminals that are after the same money.
Among others, Cathryn (Ashley Laurence; the Hellraiser series, Warlock III), Maria and an alcoholic physician Dr. Haggis (Jeffrey Combs; The Re-Animator, From Beyond) make up the third group. They seek to eliminate this race of subterranean humanoids of local legend--a legend which is mentioned, but never really explained.
The action scenes are quite bad, ranging from terrible pulled punches to awkward, hardly credible gun handling skills. The sound effects accompanying the punches remind me of the original arcade version of Street Fighter. The same goes for all of the altercations with the monsters. The most credible action was the cemetery mud wrestling brawl between Allison Mackie and Ashley Laurence in the pouring rain. Go figure. The male director gave all of his technical attention to a catfight hybrid between a wet t-shirt contest and women's mud wrestling.
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. They don't make you wait until the last 20 minutes of the movie to see it. You get to see it a lot. Which means they spent a lot of money on it and took some risks.
This story is evidently based on some work of H. P. Lovecraft. Other than a weak link between a human church and the creatures, I see no connection to Lovecraft. It definitely didn't "feel" Lovecraftian. To add to that, the story follows these three groups of people convening on this church. But we don't have much of a good explanation as to "why" the good guys are trying to eradicate these monsters.
Lovecraft fans shouldn't see this. It will just disappoint them. But bad horror fans are in for the standard laughs that come with genre. This movie takes itself very seriously, and that just adds to the fun.
The beings in "Lurking Fear" live under a graveyard and are ghouls. Besides eating the corpses, they come to the surface in an old church and attack the people in the nearby village. Jeffrey Combs and a remaining few people from the village, a drifter who used to live in the village, and a bunch of gangsters determined to retrieve gold buried in the cemetery.
Of course, they have to join together to fight the Lurkers who pick them off one by one until the drifter ends up in a surprise ending you won't see coming. Reasonably priced through Amazon as usual. This is one for you Lovecraft/Gordon fans.
That aside, there really isn't much they could have done to spiff up this Christmas dinner. The plot is basic: strand a group of people in one location and pick them off one by one. There's nothing new or original there. The action is scattered at best, they don't even take full advantage of the below-dwellers. The `suspense' couldn't kill anyone, being almost nonexistent. It's amazing how they took so long to say so little. None of the performers excelled, even stalwart actor of the overdone, Jeffrey Combs, seemed a little anemic here, not that he was given much to do. And that's the best way to describe this film; it didn't really try to accomplish anything of merit. Horror by rote. I wasn't impressed.