During a drug deal at a carnival, a hoodlum named Hawk (Brad Fisher) kills the drug dealer and steals his coke.  The police find the body and begin searching the area.  Hawk and his gang, Billy (Paul Birchard), Candy (Kaethe Cherney), Eva (Melanie Shatner) and Eva’s brother Chris (Luis Fernando Alves), need to find a way to get out of the carnival grounds without being caught.  Chris hotwires a car but gets shot by a cop.  With a wounded Chris in tow, the gang takes off and ends up in the tent of a magician named Chandu (Frank Finlay).

Chandu has a magic act.  After the tragic death of his wife in one of his acts, the old magician only performs occasionally.  At the carnival he is performing with his daughter, Lisa (Marcia Layton) and a mute assistant, Felix (Frank Brana).  After the act is done, the trio begins to leave but is kidnapped by Hawk and his gang.  Knowing that the police have set up roadblocks all around the area, Hawk insists that Chandu take them to his house to hide out until the coast is clear.

Once they get to the mansion the gang takes over the house and make themselves at home while terrorizing Chandu, Lisa and Felix.  The mansion the gang takes refuge in happens to be cursed by an evil presence that has become part of the house.  A presence that, once invoked, releases the evil that was locked away in the basement of the mansion.

“Cthulhu Mansion” AKA “Black Magic Mansion” AKA “La Manson de los Cthulhu” was released in 1992 and was directed by Juan Piquer Simon.  It is a Spanish horror movie.

The film is supposed to be based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft but there is very little Lovecraft here.  The name Cthulhu is bandied about but there isn’t a tentacle in sight.  The film got trashed by a lot of people for a lot of reasons.  I actually enjoyed it, but I’ve seen so many bad movies that this one was good enough to keep me entertained. 

I understand that the acting was a little sketchy in places and that dialogue was far from refined, but I liked the horror aspects and the various ways that people were disposed of.  (One person was eaten by a refrigerator.)  Considering that this is a Spanish movie and not an American big budget thing, it’s not half bad.  If you take the movie for what it is, your basic horror movie, instead of a Lovecraft offering, then you might enjoy it more.

Melanie Shatner is William Shatner’s daughter.   Marcia Layton has a duo role as Lisa and her mother Lenore.    

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