While seated in a graveyard, weird fiction writer Randolph Carter (Mark Kinsey Stephenson} regales a pair of his fellow Miskatonic University students - Howard Damon (Charles King) and Joel Manton (Mark Parra) - with stories of a nearby supposedly haunted house... that once contained a murderous demonic entity.
Poo-pooing Carter's story as nonsense, level-headed science major Joel dares them all to spend a night in the house, but the other two aren't having any of it.
However, when Joel fails to materialise the following day, Howard gets worried, even though Carter reckons their friend is pranking them.
Unbeknownst to them, a pair of moronic frat bros - Bruce Weeks (Eben Ham) and John Babcock (Blane Wheatley) - have lured a couple of girls - Wendy Barnes (Laura Albert) and Tanya Heller (Alexandra Durrell) - to the 'haunted house' on a spurious pretext.
When Howard learns that Joel's family are concerned he didn't come home for the weekend, he stirs Carter into action and the two go to search the house.
Soon, all these unsuspecting souls are trapped inside the house with the flesh-eating creature, Alyda (Katrin Alexandre), who is really the unnatural spawn of the last resident of the property, the 18th Century warlock Joshua Winthrop (Delbert Spain).
After Winthrop was found torn asunder in the house, the religious authorities demanded the property be boarded up and never entered again.
A fact that was clearly forgotten in the following centuries, although it's still quite amazing that no one broke into the easily accessible old building in the intervening time.
H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnameable is pure 1980s pulp that probably would have Lovecraft spinning in his grave with its random female nudity and high gore quotient.
Written, directed, and produced by Jean-Paul Ouellette, it's otherwise a pretty decent adaptation and liberal expansion of the Lovecraft short story of the same name, even sticking to the main character names, but adding in enough Mythos Easter Eggs to choke a horse.
Towards the climax, Carter starts chanting a spell that's pretty much just a string of names and phrases associated with the writings of HPL.
That said, the core 'investigative' team of Carter and Damon make a solid Sherlock Holmes/Sheldon Cooper and Dr Watson/Leonard Hofstadter pairing that sees Carter spending most of the latter half of the movie researching in Winthrop's surprisingly still well-stocked library (there is, of course, a copy of Necronomicon just lying around) then weaving the necessary spells to restrain Alyda.
He leaves the physical stuff - and maiden rescuing - to his more gung-ho colleague.
It's almost as if they're a pair of player-characters in a Call of Cthulhu scenario.
I know I saw H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnameable back in the day. It's quite possibly one I reviewed for my VHS column in the paper, but it clearly had no lasting impact on me as I didn't recognise a single moment from this 87 minute movie.
I'd actually forgotten that I even owned a two-disc DVD set of this and its sequel, The Unnameable Returns, until Tim reviewed it as part of his own October Horror Movie Challenge earlier in the month.
Although I own this set, I definitely haven't actually watched the sequel, so, all being well, that'll be next on my dance card.
FILMS WATCHED: 20
NEW TO ME: 15