Director: Stuart Gordon (2001)
Starring: Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono
No, I haven't spelled 'dragon' wrong. A sizeable portion of Lovecraft here, with vinegar and extra tentacles. Stuart Gordon's Dagon is supposedly based on the HP Lovecraft short story of the same name, despite having (some of) the (vague) plot of The Shadow Over Innsmouth instead. Gordon has picked the best bits of the two stories and made them his own. Dagon is the best Lovecraft adaptation I've seen since Gordon's own Re-Animator. And Dagon manages to be good despite the fact it has mermaids in it.
The Little Mermaid this is not, unless they cut all the singing out of this version. Paul (Godden) and Barbara (Morono) are holidaying on their friends' yacht when they encounter a rather ghastly storm. The boat crashes on the rocks and one of their friends becomes trapped under a bed or something. Paul and Barbara take a life raft to shore and look for help in a little Spanish village. The villagers though, aren't quite right. They have gills, for one thing. And webbed fingers, for another. Barbara is promptly kidnapped by the villagers and Paul goes on the run, with only a local tramp (Rabal) for company. What he encounters is a lot of tentacles, a mermaid and some really smelly hotel bedrooms. Seriously, what Paul finds could surely give The Hotel Inspector a run for her money.
The story is silly and the effects are a bit pants, but Dagon is a great movie for Lovecraft enthusiasts, Stuart Gordon fans and casual horror fans alike. It's no Re-Animator, but Gordon is on fine form here. I particularly enjoyed the messy ending and some of the slimier fish monster designs. There's something distinctly fishy about this HP Lovecraft adaptation, but I like it, all the same.