The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993)

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Unnamable II picks up immediately after the events of the first movie. The police and paramedics take off with what remains of the Miskatonic students who were unfortunate enough to get trapped in the abandoned house. The only one left to their own devices is Randolph Carter, the student who managed to trap the demon creature below the earth. Carter wants to learn more about the incident and explore the underground tunnels surrounding the cursed house.

Carter coaxes one of the school’s professors to crawl around in the dirt with him and pretty soon they discover the monster is still alive. Using a contrived plot device, they manage to separate the demon from the woman it has possessed, but unfortunately for them, all that does it bring up a hell of a lot more problems than it solves.

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It also throws in a ghost, because a murderous demon wasn’t enough, I guess.

So the first Unnamable ended up being a little silly. Unnamable II ends up being silly too, but it’s more silly in a way that the viewer can tell that the creators realized what they were doing was silly and just decided to go for it. The situation is hokey-er, the effects are hokey-er, the scientific pseudo-science is hokey-er…It’s a movie that’s clearly not taking itself 100% seriously. As a result, the dialogue ends up reflecting this.

For instance, when Carter and the professor (the wonderful John Rhys-Davies) find the demon trapped in the tunnels below the cemetery, the professor comes up with an idea. The demon is surely self preservational. So maybe if they do something to convince it that the host’s body is in danger, the demon will leave. Decent theory, doc. How do you plan on doing this? Why, let’s put the demon into insulin shock! And, oh look, I just happen to have a vial of insulin and a syringe in my pocket. Is the thing diabetic? Who knows! Lets just stick the demon and hope for the best. It’s only after they do this that Carter finally brings up the obvious: “Is that a good idea?” To which Gimli replies, “Uh, actually…no.”

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Good job, dwarf. No wonder the elves don’t like you.

Surprisingly, their ridiculous experiment works and the demon flees the body, revealing a young Alyda Winthrop, the daughter of the fool who summoned the demon in the first place. This is the part of the film were the skin fans take notice, because Alyda spends a good chunk of the movie walking around stark naked, with strategically placed hair covering most of the important bits. I was actually really impressed with how long they pulled it off.

Anyway, Carter runs off with Alyda back to the school, because he’s interested in finding out what he can learn from a 300-year old woman, culminating in what I believe is the first and only time that I have watched two college men in a movie try to sneak a naked woman into their dorm for purely innocent, scientific reasons.

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Science!

From there, the movie turns into your typical monster flick, because, of course, the demon’s still around and it’s still mad as all hell. There’s people running, witty commentary, an unnecessarily long chase scene, an amusing scene where one of Carter’s friends tries to put clothes on Alyda, blood, guts

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More guts than I thought there’d be, quite honestly.

It’s pretty much what you would expect from a movie like this, incompetent cops and all. What makes it a bit more fun is that it’s just campy enough to be amusing without being too much. Some of the dialogue is corny, but it’s balanced out by sincerity. There’s some overacting, but it’s also mixed in with some straight arrows. There’s a conveniently covered, naked woman running around, but half of the characters are so pretentiously proper that they do their best to try to ignore it. The movie walks a fine line, but it does it well.

I think what helped the film, was that it moved the focus a bit away from the monster and its mystery (which had already been solved in the first installment) and focused more on the characters. Most of them fit into tropes, but at least they were amusing tropes. I think my favorite was Debbie, who spent the first half of the movie as the pretty, quiet unassuming deputy, and then immediately went into Rambo mode when shit hit the fan. I liked Debbie. Debbie should have gotten more screen time. Had she not been up against an unkillable demon, she might have done alright for herself.

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I’ll always remember you, Debbie, and your lack of anger management skills.

There’s was also this other guy I was fascinated by, but for completely different reasons. He looked like some sort of cross between Corey Feldman and Fabio’s little brother and every time he turned his head I couldn’t tell which one he resembled more. It was strangely hypnotic trying to figure it out.

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I called him Not-So-Fabio.

So Unnamable II ended up being a fun little romp. It’s intentionally ridiculous, mixing stuffy prep-school students with an unapologetically nude woman and a vengeful demon. None of the science it uses to explain what’s going on makes any sense, and they know it. But the practical effects are good and the monster’s design is still pretty tight. While the first movie was trying to more seriously pull of Lovecraft, this sequel just sort of goes off to do it’s own thing. It’s not the least bit frightening, but I don’t think it’s trying to be and since it’s related to Lovecraft I know that’s going to bug some people. It does have some other notable flaws as well. The soundtrack’s not the best, the editing could have used some more finesse and it suffers from early 90’s era special effects. The she-demon in question is also a little different than the first film. Her original portrayal was not only more sinister, but also more graceful, a surprising feat when considering the hooves. Here she just comes across as more of an unstoppable serial killer.

But even considering all that, I still found the movie pretty fun, flaws and all. It’s too bad it doesn’t look like it was received well. I may have enjoyed more adventures with Mr. Randolph Carter.

Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter is available on DVD.

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Michi

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