Nightmares in the Screen Trade: Lukas’ Child (1993)

Dave catches up with actor Mark Richardson to dish the dirt on the strange Robert Alden May, the enigmatic creator of this grimy ’90s horror.

Coming out in the UK on the fabled if flawed Dead of Night imprint (a kind of DVD-era version of Vipco), LUKAS’ CHILD is a real oddity, even when mingling alongside label peers like Chopping Mall (1986), Offerings (1989) and Popcorn (1991). It was the brainchild of the mysterious Robert Alden May, who not only wrote the script but also played the lead role of wheelchair-bound wacko Lukas Armand and handled production design as well. However, despite his dexterity on-set, his co-stars were less than enamoured by the toothless crackerjack.

“Robert was weird as fuck!” remembers Mark Richardson, who was cast as Lukas’ other non-titular, non-monster child, Jason.

May certainly creates the aura of an enigma in the film – think Vincent Price without the ability, which is something Richardson concedes was apparent on the set:

“He told folks that he wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! He had missing teeth too, and the FX guys had to make some for him. Robert also had a weird boy toy who hung around him and really gave me the creeps.”

Directed by former Troma journeyman Eric Louzil, the ramshackle plot centres around a diabolical plan by May’s crazed horror movie director, who lures young women in for auditions, only to then offer them as sacrifices to his ‘child’ – a weird (but surprisingly effective) winged demon who’s hidden away in the depths of the studio.

“We shot most of the film in a warehouse in Whittier, California. It was like working in the circus,” chuckles Richardson. “You’d make the props, build the sets, and act out different characters! Eric was the leader though. He was like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now (1979)”.

Although you’re clutching at straws to summon even a modicum of praise for Lukas’ Child, with its am-dram performances and jarring narrative, you can’t help but feel a pang of affection towards the fact it simply exists in all its eccentric glory.

Also known as ‘Night of the Beast’.

USA ● 1993 ● Horror ● 92mins

Robert Alden May, Gene Le Brock, Mark Richardson ● Dir. Eric Louzil Wri. Eric Louzil (screenplay), Robert Alden May (story)

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