• Call Girl Of Cthulhu



    Released by: Camp Motion Pictures
    Released on: September 15th, 2015.
    Director: Chris LaMartina
    Cast: David Phillip Carollo, Melissa O'Brien, Nicolette le Faye, David Gamble
    Year: 2014
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Chris LaMartina (who made the WNUF Halloween Special in addition to a few entries in the Traces Of Death series), the crowd funded Call Girl Of Cthulhu introduces us to a twenty-something underground artist/painter type named Carter Wilcox (David Phillip Carollo). He’s a bit on the reserved side, not quite the hit with the ladies he’d like to be, and he tells his roommate Erica Zaan (Nicolette le Faye) that the reason he’s still a virgin is that he’s saving himself for someone special.

    Shortly after, Carter meets a prostitute named Riley Whatley (Melissa O'Brien) cleaning up the contents of the bag she just spilled out onto the street. He helps her but she brushes him away – not before he finds a business card for the escort agency she works at though. He musters up the courage to call her over not for a booty call, but so that he can paint her. She’s charmed by this and soon enough they hit it off, even as all the while she’s still doing what she has to do to pay the bills. Meanwhile, a man named Sebastian Suydum (David Gamble) and his minions are slaughtering their way through the local hooker population looking for Riley. Why? Because they believe she has been chosen by the dark gods to usher in a new era of evil! Thankfully Professor Edna Curmen (Helenmary Ball) and her assistant Squid (Sabrina Taylor-Smith) are a step ahead of him. But soon enough, something happens to Riley and then it starts to spread… first to her clients and then to Erica’s boyfriend, a strip club DJ named Rick ‘The Dick’ Pickman (Alex Mendez). Will Carter be able to stop Suydum from unleashing eternal darkness before it’s too late – and more importantly than that, will he ever find true love and lose his virginity?!?

    Melding elements from some of Stuart Gordon’s Lovecraft focused work (From Beyond being a big one) with elements of early David Cronenberg’s body horror films, this is a pretty effective mix of horror and humor that simultaneously takes some interesting twists and turns while still delivering the requisite gore and trashy nudity you want from a movie like this. The effects, which are handled with plenty of good old fashioned practical style, tend to steal the scenes that they’re the focus of but that’s okay because they are remarkably well done and plenty gross too. This one stands as a testament to just how fun it can be to get messy in front of a camera when you take pixels out of the equation and replace them with rubber and goo!

    The acting is decent enough. Nobody here is going to get an Oscar but all of the key cast members do fine work with the material that they’ve been given. As comedy is a big part of what makes this movie what it is, you don’t want completely sour, straight laced, down and dark performances – you want fun characters who are maybe a little over the top and more entertaining than they are believable. That’s what we get. David Phillip Carollo’s lead character is the straight man. Carter is meek, mild and reserved and he’s played that way quite effectively, but it’s not so downplayed that you don’t like him. Nicolette le Faye as Erica at first seems like a mistake. Her character is, in the opening scenes, brash and obnoxious and incredibly unlikeable but the fact that she’s able to change your feelings on Erica by the time it’s done is a testament to her work. She kind of nails it, in hindsight. Melissa O'Brien is well cast as the sexy seductress who acts as the catalyst for the onslaught of mayhem that is the last half hour of the movie. She’s humanized nicely here in a few conversation scenes but once it’s time for her to change ‘from a caterpillar to a butterfly’ all bets are off. Throw in David Gamble, who plays the part of the Mitt Romney-esque Suydum perfectly, and Helenmary Ball and Sabrina Taylor-Smith as his rivals and this one shapes up nicely in terms of on camera talent. Alex Mendez is also pretty funny as ‘The Dick’ – a name that not surprisingly comes back to haunt him later in the movie. And hey, the lovely and talented Ruby Larocca shows up here at one point as well. Never a bad thing.

    As raunchy and goofy as it all is, the movie actually has some decent atmosphere here and there thanks to some excellent lighting and cinematography. Production values are way above average here compared to most low budget horror pictures and while the pacing is a little erratic in the first half the pay-off is more than worth it.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Call Girl Of Cthulhu hits Blu-ray in a very sharp, colorful AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. Shot digitally, there’s obviously no print damage (and hooray for the production team opting to NOTE go the ‘faux grindhouse’ way with the visuals here) and the picture is sharp and amazingly colorful. Detail is typically really solid here and black levels are nice too. There are no problems with edge enhancement to note while skin tones look nice and realistic. Yeah, for a movie made on a pretty modest budget, this one translates to the format really, really nicely.

    The only audio option for the feature is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, unfortunately no lossless option has been provided here. As it stands, for a DVD quality track there is nothing to complain about here. The dialogue stays clean, clear and properly balanced while the score and different soundtrack selections have a bit of noticeable depth to them. There’s some fun channel separation in some of the gooey, crazier scenes too. No alternate language options or subtitles are provided here.

    The extras start off with two audio commentary tracks, the first of which is with director Chris LaMartina and producer Jimmy George. These guys also co-wrote the movie together and they obviously get along quite well. They give a scene specific talk, covering everything from getting Night Birds on the soundtrack and in the opening credits to the artwork used in the movie to the casting to the effects and lots more. They also discuss the wraparound segments, the set dressing seen in the picture, the wardrobe and pretty much everything else. These guys just keep going – this is very fast paced and it covers a LOT of ground. The second track lets LaMartina chat with a few of the cast members who he directed in the movie – Melissa O’Brien, Nicolette Le Faye and David Phillip Carollo. This starts off with each cast member talking about how he/she got involved with the project, the sequence in which some of the scenes were shot and why, what it was like working on some of the more unorthodox scenes together and quite a bit more (including Ms. O’Brien talking about a bizarre cameo from the person who is going to officiate her wedding)

    Moving right along, we come to a twenty-minute long featurette called Lights! Camera! Tentacles! The Making Of Call Girl of Cthulhu. There’s some great behind the scenes footage in here that gives us a look at what it was like on set, as well as some pretty revealing clips that show off how the practical effects work that makes up such a big part of the movie’s ‘fun factor’ were handled. There are plenty of cast and crew interviews scattered about in here as well, it’s pretty interesting.

    The disc also includes The Dunwhich Whorers: The Outtakes of Cthulhu. As you could probably guess, this is a selection of flubs and outtakes captured on camera during the making of the movie and it clocks in at about seven minutes. Camp Motion Pictures has also provided all of the Call Girl of Cthulhu Kickstarter Videos that were made to help raise the funds that the team needed to complete the movie. Included in this section are The Call Girl Of Cthulhu Kick-Off Video, A Special Message From H.P. Lovecraft, My 5-Year Old Niece Explains Cthulhu, Cthulhu For President Commercial, and A Special Message from George Stover. These are all amusing little promotional videos that, if you haven’t seen them before, are worth checking out for a few good laughs.

    Rounding out the extras is a trailer for the feature, a nice selection of trailers for other Camp Motion Pictures releases, menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack, a DVD version of the movie with the same extras has also been included inside the Blu-ray case.

    The Final Word:

    Call Girl Of Cthulhu drags in a couple of spots but it’s otherwise a pretty awesome low budget mix of trashy gratuitous nudity, fantastic practical splatter effects and quirky characters. The fact that the story is actually a lot of fun and quite well told is an added bonus as well! The Blu-ray release from Camp Motion pictures has lossy audio but at least that lossy audio sounds good while the transfer is top notch and the extras are plentiful, interesting and add a lot of value to the release.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!