Thursday, June 16, 2005
Genre stalwart Stuart (RE-ANIMATOR) Gordon has lined up the leads for his MASTERS OF HORROR segment THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE, scripted by Dennis Paoli from the H.P. Lovecraft story. Jeffrey Combs will indeed be playing Mazurewicz, “The hero’s bizarre neighbor,” Gordon tells Fango. Ezra Godden, who starred in Gordon’s DAGON, joins Combs as the film’s protagonist, the obsessed student Walter Gilman.
“THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE has always been one of my favorite Lovecraft stories,” the director notes. “The image of a witch showing up in your bedroom in the middle of the night and dragging you out of bed and forcing you to murder babies is a nightmare that’s hard to get out of your head. And while most witches have black cats for their familiars, Keziah Mason’s is Lovecraft’s most memorable monster: Brown Jenkin, the rat with a human face. Besides Jeff and Ezra, I’ve got some babies and rats to cast.”
'Perhaps one needs to have suffered a great deal in order to appreciate Lovecraft ... ' Jacques Bergier
Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new, realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don't care to know any more. Humanity, such as it is, inspires only an attenuated curiosity in us. All those prodigiously refined notations, situations, anecdotes ... All they do, once a book has been set aside, is reinforce the slight revulsion that is already adequately nourished by any one of our 'real life' days.
Now, here is Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937): 'I am so beastly tired of mankind and the world that nothing can interest me unless it contains a couple of murders on each page or deals with the horrors unnameable and unaccountable that leer down from the external universes.' We need a supreme antidote against all forms of realism.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
HP Lovecraft, Circa 2005
Maelstrom Productions, a Seattle production company, has completed the principal photography for its adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep. The final cut of the horror movie, titled Strange Aeons: The Thing on the Doorstep and shot on location in Washington state (the home of Ted Bundy, and the Green River Killer), is expected in the fall.
“The locations we used sprawled all over Washington state, from a mental institution to a college campus, to a mansion that was more than 10,000 square feet,” Director Eric Morgret told us. “And a graveyard... every horror movie needs a graveyard.”
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Much as it might suit my obscure and inhuman agenda to sling a brickbat in the direction of McSweeney’s, The Believer and the entire gasbag citadel of Eggers-ville, in the case of Michel Houellebecq’s H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, I must toss a bouquet. Because in translating and reprinting this 1991 monograph on the horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, Believer Books has done something excellent, granting us access to a real one-off, an exotic collision of sensibilities. Houellebecq, post-human French novelist, recipient of prizes, connoisseur of addiction and erotic malaise, meets Lovecraft, the gigantically prissy New Englander who couldn’t leave his imagination alone.
Hawaiian-born filmmaker Albert (THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER) Pyun is working on a film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s tale “Cool Air,” and gave Fango the scoop on the project. “We’re shooting now in Los Angeles and will wrap this Friday,” Pyun tells us. “Robert Ladesich is the producer, and a new screenwriter, Cynthia Curnan, adapted the short story. Morgan [SPACE: ABOVE AND BEYOND] Weisser stars. My company, Filmwerks, will supervise distribution via Chris Davis International, and we hope to have it ready for release by October, just in time for Halloween!”"
After waiting years for Cthulhu video games, now there are two on the horizon. Call of Cthulhu: Destiny’s End is a survival horror game with a unique take on single and co-op play. While horror games - and particularly survival horror games - have repeatedly drawn on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos for the monsters and settings in games like Eternal Darkness and Alone in the Dark, Destiny’s End operates fully within the Lovecraft’s world view for the first time.
Besides writing, though, he has returned to his distinctive cartooning style.
He's been working on a series of biographical stories--'Hip History Theatre Presents Wee Hour Comix'--and gave us permission to print this particular installment, about iconic and tragically short-lived 'cosmic horror' writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), who's best known for stories like 'The Call of Cthulhu,' 'The Mountains of Madness,' and 'The Shadow Out of Time.' Not to mention inspiring later movies like the late Karloff classic, Die, Monster, Die.
Smith feels an affinity for Lovecraft, and dug up this unexpected Knoxville connection to the Northeastern author. Who knew that Lovecraft ever walked our dirty streets? It's a story that hasn't even made it into Secret History. But then again, maybe Lovecraft visiting Knoxville, future home of Roger Smith, is not that surprising after all.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
'Out of Mind' casts an entertaining eye on the work of American writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), one of the early 20th century's masters of gothic-horror literature. The film offers an encounter with Lovecraft and enters into his world. Engaging in a kind of game around the writer, the film playfully winks at many of the themes characteristic of his work: the occult, cursed books, monstrous creatures, and the world of dreams. Out of Mind draws its inspiration from Lovecraft's actual personal correspondence and many of his stories, carrying the viewer through a labyrinth 'beyond the wall of sleep.'
The H.P. Lovecraft Collection Volume 3: Out of Mind DVD includes:
• “Out of Mind: The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft” television feature film
• Two audio commentary tracks by writer/director Raymond Saint-Jean, actor Christopher Heyerdahl, and cinematographer Serge Ladouceur.
• John Strysik's award winning student short film “The Music of Erich Zann” with both Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 audio options.
• Aaron Vanek’s student short films “The Outsider” and “My Necronomicon”.
• Interviews with the crew of “The Music of Erich Zann”
• The third part of the continuing interview with the foremost Lovecraft scholar in the world, S. T. Joshi.
• Bonus trailers of upcoming films including “Call of Cthulhu”
The H.P. Lovecraft Collection Volume 3: Out of Mind DVD will be available through retail at a suggested price of US$21.95. The DVD is not rated but a rating of PG-13 is suggested. Total running time of the DVD is over 120 minutes."
“Strange Aeons: The Thing on the Doorstep” is a dark tale centered around Dan Upton, a Miskatonic University professor of primitive religions played by J.D. Lloyd, his teaching assistant Edward Derby played by Erick Robertson, and his mysterious, new student, Asenath Waite, played by Angela Grillo. The feature production is a tale of wizards, shallow graves and magic of the blackest kind around a campus whose halls have echoed for many years with the footsteps of some of society’s most vile trespassers.
“Adapting Lovecraft for the screen is a huge challenge,” admits screenwriter K.L. Young, “but I think fans will find it a faithful, if updated adaptation.” Both Morgret and Young have hinted that the Strange Aeons title may be a banner for future Lovecraft adaptations.
The project is hip-deep in post-production, and a final cut is expected by early fall 2005. Morgret said Maelstrom’s post-production sound team is currently seeking a computer effects person to finalize some of the scenes.
Maelstrom Productions has also released a DVD of is original short adaptation of “The Thing on the Doorstep,” which was an official selection of the 2003 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Ore.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
H. P. Lovecraft was quite familiar with crazy, and in a way had been groomed for it. He was born on August 20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island (just like the Farrelly Brothers), where his mother dressed him and treated him like a girl. Like Du Maupassant, Lovecraft's father went syphillitic and insane, dying when Lovecraft was five. He was born rich thanks to the business interests of Grandfather Whipple Van Buren Phillips, but when Whipple died the family exhausted their fortune and lost their home, leading Lovecraft to contemplate suicide. All this insanity, coupled with a heady intelligence, led him to write some of the most interesting horror fiction in existence. Lovecraft developed and perfected the concept of a thing so horrible it can't be described, one of the greatest horror vehicles of all time.
Here is featured three different stories by Lovecraft. We begin with the Suspense production of The Dunwich Horror. Done as a radio broadcast ala War Of The Worlds, it chronicles the life of Wilbur Whateley, ending with 'Wizard' Whateley's presentiment, 'some day yew folks'll hear a child o' Lavinny's a-callin' its father's name on the top o' Sentinel Hill!'
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
MURPHY, ID—Indescribable tragedy struck the quiet foothill town of Murphy Monday, leaving authorities and citizens dumbstruck by the nameless horror that descended on their community.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Available as a free download (or get the printed version for $5.79)
A role-playing game with the potential for the characters to become horrible and unspeakable Gods, using their weird forms of black magic to enter the human universe and change it forever! This is a Lovecraft inspired RPG where the players have a lot of control over the story and their characters. Contains a Color Sphere of Influence system that determines a character's personality, style, and spell domain. More than a dozen alien, demonic races - unique in the scifi/fantasy/horror genre. Innovative and dynamic mechanics for motivating characters to do evil and dark acts... also a new system called Story Alteration where players can directly influence the adventure's path.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
A more reasoned review of the new Lovecraft edition from the Library of America...
H.P. Lovecraft's Afterlife
He was an atheist and a nihilist, and he's more influential than ever.
..."Lovecraft wrote in this dark and distinguished tradition, and much of his early work displays the influence of Poe and other predecessors. By the late 1920s, however, he was no longer a mere dwarf standing on the shoulders of giants but a genuine innovator whose lasting impact appears mainly in a set of stories known as the 'Cthulhu Mythos.' They begin with 'The Call of Cthulhu,' written in 1926 and one of Lovecraft's finest pieces. It's about a young sculptor's bizarre dreams, a hideous statuette he manufactures in his sleep, a dastardly voodoo cult, a shadowy book called the Necronomicon, and a menacing encounter in the Pacific Ocean with a monster that's perhaps best described as a gargantuan alien octopus with wings (and owning the unpronounceable name 'Cthulhu').
This may sound silly and, at a certain level, it surely is. Yet 'The Call of Cthulhu' is also strangely engrossing, and contains many elements that will be familiar to fans of 'The Da Vinci Code' by Dan Brown: The main character is an Ivy League professor determined to investigate ancient mysteries and their lingering effects on the present day. Readers who become accustomed to Lovecraft's writing style may find that it possesses a florid eloquence."...
While I agree with some of the author's criticisms of Lovecrafts style his calling HPL 'arguably the worst...' blah blah blah, is sheer nonsense. For a chap who writes a column called Book Notes you have to wonder how many of the things he's actially read...
Volume showcases Lovecraft's flaws
..."Lovecraft is arguably the worst well-known writer in the history of American letters. He is not simply bad but floridly, studiously bad, though he was capable, in archaic, turgid prose, of creating an atmosphere of dread that seems to spread from the chair in which the reader sits to the shadowy siftings where the borders of the universe falter and fail.
In order to accomplish this feat, however, at least once in every story, Lovecraft's prose explodes in a fit of chaotic, gothic incoherence, and we read with appalled fascination, as we would watch, horror-stricken and mesmerized, a snail attempting to swallow a lava lamp."...
Saturday, March 19, 2005
The Nameless City - Wikisource:
"Remote in the desert of Araby lies the nameless city, crumbling and inarticulate, its low walls nearly hidden by the sands of uncounted ages. It must have been thus before the first stones of Memphis were laid, and while the bricks of Babylon were yet unbaked. There is no legend so old as to give it a name, or to recall that it was ever alive; but it is told of in whispers around campfires and muttered about by grandams in the tents of sheiks so that all the tribes shun it without wholly knowing why. It was of this place that Abdul Alhazred the mad poet dreamed of the night before he sang his unexplained couplet:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons death may die."