[DVD Review] 'Lunatics: A Love Story' From Umbrella Entertainment

Admittedly, I hadn't heard of this one before. But I like going into movies blind. I wasn't prepared for the wackiness that ensued and I'm glad I wasn't.

The film opens up in a shady part of Los Angeles in a shady apartment complex. Poet Hank Stone (Ted Raimi) has isolated himself in his apartment for the last 6 months. He can't seem to leave due to his paranoia and hallucinations of sadistic doctors, rappers and spiders. Speaking of spiders, I was 100% in after the spiders started popping out of Hank Stone's actual brain. I'm a sucker for practical effects. Wish we used them more these days. However, I understand the appeal of CGI when the budget is tight.

Nancy (Deborah Foreman) seems to have gotten herself in a bind by wanting to help Hank. In a domino effect, she loses her boyfriend, becomes penurious on the pavement, and then gets herself in an unfavorable position with a local gang.

After a telephone glitch, Hank has a fortuitous phone conversation with Nancy. He means to call a "talk line" and ultimately patches through to a phone booth. A phone booth where Nancy awaits a call. After some harmless back and forth, Hank invites Nancy to his place. It is now they must decide how they're going to solve the current problems they both have found themselves in.

Writer/director Josh Becker partnered with producers Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi, and star Bruce Campbell to knock this bizarre tale of love out of the park. Ted Raimi, who is credited as Theodore (I don't know why I tell you that other than I thought it was funny), was true to form in his textbook Raimi zanyness portrayal of Hank Stone. Nancy, played by Deborah Foreman, was kinda the glue that kept things grounded. As she did in most her roles from the 80s to early 90s. She had such an endearing quality about her in the film. Much like she did in the classic film Lobster Man from Mars. Yes, I just cited the '89 classic, Lobster Man from Mars. And of course Bruce Campbell was the same amazing Bruce Campbell he always is. He's credited for playing Ray, the Mad Brain Surgeon, and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Unsung heroes of the crew are definitely composer, Joseph LoDuca, cinematographer, Jeffrey Dougherty, art director, Michele Poulik, special effects, Dale Jones, visual effects David Wogh, and the entire animation department. LoDuca's score adds a certain eccentric quality to the film. And totally works. Dougherty's cinematography successfully makes the film feel unorthodox in a most elite way. Which it should for this particular film. Art direction by Michele Poulik definitely gave a specific identity to the film. With her expertise it wasn't hard to transport myself to and feel apart of the environment. Which goes double for the visual effects lead by David Wogh and the entire animation department.

All these talented individuals made for the fun and wild ride that was Lunatics: A Love Story.

And a special thanks to Umbrella Entertainment for the re-release of the DVD. The picture quality was majestic. The original 2.0 Dolby audio was crisp. So, head over to Umbrella Entertainment's site, pay the $14.99, discover this early '90s gem from writer/director Josh Becker and producer Sam Raimi.


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