Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Call of Cthulhu the Silent Movie

Two years ago at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival there was a lot of buzz in the air about a new independent film titled The Call of Cthulhu based on the original 1926 Lovecraft story. This weird horror tale has often been called unfilmable. Usually, the alien god’s name, Cthulhu, gets sprinkled into crappy to mediocre films for flavor but any serious depiction of him or the story he exists in was notably absent. Fans of Lovecraft’s style of horror have lamented the lack of good adaptations of his work and have had settle for merely Lovecraft inspired shows. Well, with the release of The Call of Cthulhu Film in 2005 a tipping point was reached and a threshold passed. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society (HPLHS), a media company dedicated adapting his works, presented their two-year effort. I found the project both entertaining and faithful.

What made the unfilmable story filmable was the HPLHS’s conceit of making a silent picture. Here the cast and crew would recreate The Call of Cthulhu as if it had been produced when the original story came out in the 1920s. This was a masterstroke of inspiration in my opinion. The black and white film approach solved many technical problems while evoking the time and space of the short story. Also, Lovecraft’s words didn’t become underwhelming with the delivery by actors but are enhanced with the use of text on the screen. Many places and effects needed in The Call of Cthulhu are created using models and film trickery of the silent era which makes the viewing much more authentic. A few folks have expressed disappointment with the monster Cthulhu in the film but I rather liked his depiction. To me, he looked like a representation of what makes him so awful, plus some bloated CG effect wouldn’t have worked either. In this case representational is better than realistic… how could somebody make Cthulhu, look realistic anyway.

At that film fest in October 2005, I vowed to pick up a copy of the film someday. Well, at the Emerald City Comic Con I did. I watched it again with much joy (and fright). If you are a Lovecraft fan this is the real deal. The Call of Chtulhu finally achieves the desire for a good movie adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s work.

Here’s the Trailer:



The Moody Minstrel said...


That's definitely something to watch late at night by candlelight while sipping something truly vile.

ladybug said...

Hey Moody, I've got an authentic recipe for absinthe (with cute labels to put on your newly bottled spirits-from Ready Made magazine).

I got a preview of the trailer and it Cuhl! We should have our own Lovecraft festival, and invite Seymour and Dean (and whoever else enjoys that stuff).

With the addition of a possible MST3K fest in the makings, we better get plannin'!

Overdroid said...

Isn't Tori Spelling in this?

Cthulhu F'tagn!

Ia! Ia! Shub Niggurath!

Dean Wormer said...

I would be up for a Cthulhu festival as long as you show the GOOD stuff.

Can't see From Beyond again even though Barbara Crampton is hot.

And MSTK3 Festival already has the kids excited.

Swinebread said...

Moody Yes a great late night flick… I think you’d like it very much.

LB Yeah that would be great. I just know you would enjoy this one. You might like Dagon too. I have to buy other DVDs to get more shows.

OD Ouch… No Tori Spelling is not in this you rat bastard! That’s a movie called Cthulhu that came out in 2006 they just used the big guy’s name cause it sounded cool. see my post: http://atomicromance.blogspot.com/search/label/Tori%20Spelling Grrrrr J

Klaatu barada nikto

dean Make sure you plan for the Film Fest in Oct. But yes you need to watch this movie.

As for MST3K, anything to keep the kids happy.