Movies inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s writing can sometimes be overwhelming and exhausting. Lovecraft’s central theme revolves around the idea of a vast, indifferent universe that could drive people insane. However, a few directors, like Stuart Gordon, have managed to infuse humor into Lovecraftian horror without losing the essence of cosmic terror. In Joe Lynch’s Suitable Flesh, he follows in Gordon’s footsteps, with the help of screenwriter Dennis Paoli, to create a horror-comedy experience. Unfortunately, impatient viewers may dismiss the film too early, missing out on the wild combination of violence, humor, and authentic cosmic terror that unfolds as the story progresses.
In Suitable Flesh, Heather Graham plays Elizabeth Derby, a psychiatrist who tries to provide rational explanations for the supernatural events she encounters. Even when she starts accepting the unexplainable, her colleagues insist on pathologizing her experiences. As Elizabeth’s latest patient, Asa, shares his anxieties, his explanations remain unclear, leaving Elizabeth to assume he suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Their relationship takes a twisted turn when Asa’s father, Ephraim, reveals his powers of body-swapping and targets Elizabeth as his next victim.
The film swiftly transitions between psychological thriller, slapstick violence, horror, and erotic thriller genres. While the tonal shifts may not always succeed, the final climax delivers a memorable conclusion reminiscent of classics like Re-Animator and From Beyond. Suitable Flesh is a rollercoaster of a movie that caters to Lovecraft enthusiasts who enjoy a mix of humor and horror without the depressing undertones.
Directed by Joe Lynch and written by Dennis Paoli, Suitable Flesh is a homage to Stuart Gordon’s legacy, and a must-see for fans of Lovecraft and Gordon’s work. The film is currently in theaters and available for rental or purchase on digital platforms such as Amazon and Vudu.