Lurking Fear (1994): 5 out of 10: Full Moon Pictures dips into the Lovecraft well to mine another short story. Somebody gave Jeffrey Combs bus fare, so he is here along with a collection of other actors ranging from Jon Finch (Frenzy) to Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser). Well, it might not be good, but at least it won’t be boring. (Forty minutes later) Oh good God will somebody just do something.
The Good: The open scene works well and is exciting. Don’t get used to that, however. There is some decent acting for this type of film. Allison Mackie in particular as the cruel femme fatale deserves her own entirely better film.
The Bad: Writer and first-time director C. Courtney Joyner has all the tools he needs to make a better film. He has an overall talented cast and a workable if well-worn plot. He needed to workshop this better. For example, his lead Blake Adams is his weakest character and honestly his weakest actor. There is no reason he needs to be the center of the action. (And for God’s sake don’t have him narrate.) Focusing on Ashley Lawrence’s Rambo or Finch’s mob boss would have done wonders.
Joyner gets all the players in place about a half hour into the film. It is a somewhat entertaining half an hour. Then he does nothing with them. They sit around and talk for at least twenty minutes with one group or another occasionally getting the upper hand. You might spend thirty minutes getting into Tokyo Bay, but you don’t leave him in hip-deep water sitting in the same bay for the next half an hour.
The Ugly: I am not sure what they were going for with the creatures. It is like a cross between the Crypt Keeper and the family in Mac and Me. They were fine when all you saw was arms and claws. Should have stayed that way.
In Conclusion: Lurking Fear is inoffensive, occasionally boring with bits of entertainment. It isn’t an unpleasant hour and a half, but it is imminently forgettable. An average movie for its genre.