Spooky Movie Festival 2014: “Call Girl of Cthulhu” reviewed

on October 10 | in COMMENTARY, MOVIE REVIEWS | by | with No Comments

Directed by Chris LaMartina/Starring David Phillip Carollo, Nicolette le Faye, Sabrina Taylor-Smith and Dave Gamble/Horror-comedy/93 minutes/Not rated


Well, the title kind of says it all. But for all its ambition as a schlocky drive-in exploitation flick/homage to author H.P. Lovecraft, “Call Girl of Cthulhu” only periodically amuses on the level to which it aspires. Feeling protracted even at a reasonable 93 minutes, the story follows virgin Carter (David Phillip Carollo), an artist who gets all googly-eyed for call girl Riley (Melissa O’Brien). Despite his sexual repression, Carter still wants to wait for “the one”; unfortunately, a cult led by evil Sebastian (Dave Gamble), who’s playing matchmaker for the amorphous deity of the title, has the same idea.

CALLGIRLOFCTHULHUREVFor audiences who’ll catch all of the Lovecraft references (a can of aerosol called “Cool Air”, for example) and/or people with a soft spot for Troma movies (one scene with a giant, um, appendage, is especially reminiscent of “Nuke ‘Em High”), there’ll be plenty of bloody gratification. For the rest of you, it might just look like someone blowing up gallon after gallon of bright red paint in a latex factory that happens to be located adjacent to a strip club. The story rolls along like a sketch comedy routine in hell, as Sebastian and his crew of octopus-faced drones play process-of-elimination in the hooker community in search of the girl with right birthmark on her butt, and an unlikely team of demon fighters (Helenmary Ball and Sabrina Taylor-Smith) show up to thwart his plans by swiping the Necronomicon (the ancient book that is required to seal the unholy union).

Meanwhile, young Carter, not yet knowing of the supernatural goings-on that are turning the escorts in his town into zombies, laments his unrequited love with Riley, as it becomes apparent that roommate Erica (Nicolette le Faye), who’s just dumped scuzzy boyfriend Rick “The Dick” (Alex Mendez), has been harboring feelings for him. It’s like “Some Kind of Wonderful” if it took being locked up in a dog kennel, hacking through legions of vaguely demonic prostitutes and jousting with Jabba the Hutt for the characters to figure out they’re in love.

I’ll say this: Baltimore director Chris LaMartina, who co-wrote the film with Jimmy George (“President’s Day”) has a vision, and it belongs somewhere among the midnight movies of the ’80s and ’90s that attracted scream queens like Linea Quigley. In that vein, “Call Girl of Cthulhu” will be a fun, campy romp for some, but an absolute chore for others. Thankfully, David Phillip Carollo is well-suited for the screen on his first time out, bringing an innocent likability to a character whose demeanor would have been fitting for the lead in a TV show like “Raising Hope”. Aside from that performance and lines like “She really turns heads” cross-cut with a client having his neck broken by the object of Carter’s affection, this tongue-through-cheek horror/comedy isn’t much more than a twist on Lovecraft’s story with a few clever nods, a non-stop supply of prosthetic limbs, at least one death-by-dildo, and errant blood spray that often seems to be coming out of nowhere. Oh, and one chick with monster boobs. Literally.

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