Monday, November 16, 2009


So, turn out my little Halloween-prank earned me some bad karma, so I have found myself computer-less for a while following Halloween. The problem gets its fix, but before I know it, the exam season is upon me. Oh well. I was going to review Antichrist, but that's a freaking huge job, and I don't have all that much mental stamania left nowadays, so instead, I figured I could let y'all in on my most recent positive horror movie experience.

Lemme tell you about Lovecraft, or rather, I did earlier, but I might not have told you why there's few Lovecraft-inspired movies. The short version is, of course, that Lovecraft's forte is the unmentionable and unimaginable horrors that live in old and dark places of both the world and the universe. Needless to say, the unimaginable does not translate to the silver screen all that well. About at the time you break out the concept art, you look back on what you've created so far and realize it's not as much Lovecraft any more as just your average monster flick with, depending on how faithful you are to the source material, varying degrees of racism.

So, how does one make a good Lovecraft movies? Being parts insane, parts dedicated and 100% a fan does help. That's the guys at the HPL Historical Society for ya. The movie in question is a filmification of Lovecraft's most famous short story, Call of Cthulhu. The story about one trying to uncover just who this Cthulhu creature is, and the unfortunate consequences of seeking out his seabound home.

This movie is interesting for several reasons. For one, it's produced in 2005, and it's a silent film. How often do you see that? For the most part, it's a fairly good faux-retro effect, but the framerate is higher than one would expect from that era. Of course, without the higher framerate, one of my favorite effects would have less impact. You see, portraying good old Cthulhu is harder than it strictly speaking should be to show a giant, winged, squid-faced humanoid. It takes a little to make people really believe this guy will end the earth if given half a chance, and a little more to make people realize that anyone who looks at him directly gibberingly mad.

The people at HPLHS went a rather untraditional route in that respect, stop-motion animation. Sure, stop-motion looks uncanny, but I never attributed that special kind of lovecraft madness to it. It makes sense though, if one assumes that the Great Old Ones, like Cthulhu, has an otherworldly side to them that doesn't fit with the human idea of three (four really) dimensional reality. Like if a hypothetical two-dimensional creature saw a three-dimensional being move, would probably see it move as in 2D, because that was all it could fathom, and you can bet it'd look odd, so therefore, the stop-motion jerkyness fits ole' squidface like a glove.

If there's anything negative to say about this movie, it is that their attempts at mimicking the ocean is rather poor. Of course, a sparkly blanket and some fog works better than nothing, but it is noticeable. So, short post, check it out.


Christoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christoffer said...

So, I just stumbled upon your blog, and since I really should be working on my term paper, I decided to leave a lil' comment right here.

I also didn't actually read your blog post 'cause I genuinly don't have the time. I did notice you mentioned Lovecraft, so I thought I'd just sum up the contents of every single Lovecraft story ever.

Here goes:
"Okay, so there's this thing, right? And it scares the fuck outa me. Genuinly extremlely amazingly scary, right? In fact, it's so pants-wettingly horrifying that I can't even describe it. Thats' right. No way to describe it. Not even gonna try. Can't be done. So that's my story. Oh, and also, there was some geometry that didn't make sense at all. All Non-Euclidean and that, you know? Can't describe that either, obviusly. But take my word for it, it would freak you out. So yeah, the end I guess. Or is it?! Haha, no, just kiddin', y'all. This is the end of the story. I'm just gonna start on my next one right away. It's gonna be about, I dunno, like a black goat of the woods with a thousand young, or something crazy like that. Man, I am totally not high as a kite right now."

So, that's HP. Lovecraft. But do you know what the really sad thing is? I have now written more words about a racist, poor mans Edgar Allan Poe then I have about my actual paper. Oh well. At least my BFF alcohol will make the shame go away.
Or will it!?