DVD Review: LURKING FEAR (1994)

PrintE-mail Written by Julian White

REVIEW: LURKING FEAR / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: C. COURTNEY JOYNER / SCREENPLAY: C. COURTNEY JOYNER / STARRING: ASHLEY LAURENCE, JEFFREY COMBS, JON FINCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Preceding From Dusk Till Dawn by two years, Lurking Fear (1994) performs a similar trick of starting out as a crime drama, then taking a sharp segue into the supernatural – only it does it on a budget and, you won't be surprised to hear, not nearly as well. For starters, it tips its hand with a prologue featuring a scary taloned claw trusting out of an air vent, so that's the big surprise ruined. Nor does it have Tarantino's dialogue, George Clooney's starry allure or Rodriguez's Tex-Mex-inflected visual flair (it tries, but it was shot on a shoe-string in Bucharest). What it does have, though, is a pretty neat idea with some imaginative touches, plus Jeffrey Combs and that chick from the Hellraiser films.

The story concerns an ex-con looking to collect some buried dosh left to him as a sort of legacy by his father, and in turn being pursued by a cockney mobster (Jon Finch sporting a dangly earring) and his goons. He gets to the hiding place, an old cemetery, only to find that a small group of diehards are encamped there attempting to ward off a mysterious subterranean threat... well, it's not that mysterious really, they're sitting on a nest of goggle-eyed, tunnel-dwelling goons who want to drain their blood to feed their babies!

Give this to someone like John Carpenter, and you'd have the basis for an enjoyably shlocky B-movie. Unfortunately, it's in the hands of one C. Courtney Joyner, a screenwriter for most of his career, and it's a shame he didn't pass it on to a more experienced helmsman, because he fails to make the most of some promising material and well-written characters parts. He has no luck getting decent performances from the less experienced cast members, and the action sequences and scare gags have a lumpy, under-rehearsed quality. In the event, the whole thing trundles along slightly awkwardly before being hastily wrapped up after an hour and a bit.

Still, the creature makeup is decent, as is Ashley Laurence, who – looking very buff and gym-toned – dons a singlet and combat trousers to play a Sarah Connor-type action heroine who's good with guns and dynamite. Jeffrey Combs also puts in a lively turn as a drunken doctor tending wounds between sips from a pocket flask the size of a 1980s mobile phone. And it's nice to catch a rare sighting of Jon Finch, a '70s actor who seemed to vanish later in his career almost as if he actually had been dragged into a hole. You might find the poor production values and leaden direction totally off-putting, but if you can get over that Lurking Fear has more than a few lurking merits.

Extras: The Making of Lurking Fear / Trailers


Suggested Articles:
In The Perfect Insider a programming genius is murdered in a locked room in her research base. Visit
Jamil Dehlavi’s Jinnah documents the trials and tribulations of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man
With a tagline reading ‘Lies eventually catch up’, Malcolm Deegan’s sole feature outing as wri
The success of Easy Rider in 1969 took everyone by surprise and after it, the big studios scrambled
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE PERFECT INSIDER - COMPLETE SEASON COLLECTION 03 December 2016

JINNAH (1998) 02 December 2016

FRACTIONAL 02 December 2016

THE HIRED HAND (1971) 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 4 02 December 2016

IRONSIDE SEASON 3 02 December 2016

STAR TREK: THE RODDENBERRY VAULT 02 December 2016

GHOST IN THE NOONDAY SUN 29 November 2016

AKIRA: THE COLLECTOR’S EDITION 29 November 2016

ASTERIX: THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS 29 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
...