Oct 022007

I’m still writing my Halloween story so you’re poop out of luck. It is going really well which means it is absorbing every witty creative thing I have to say. So I guess that means we can continue Unofficial Stuff Shon Likes Week.

Let’s talk about my favorite 1920’s horror writer. Being an H.P. Lovecraft fan can be frustrating. The man has been dead for ages and although many fine people are doing great jobs exploring the horrors he started, sometimes I find myself preferring his very dated, unique works for what they were- the manifestations of a very intelligent strange mind. It is bizarre to me to think that overly descriptive antiquarian nerd was a contemporary of someone like Hemingway. Lovecraft was an anomaly, and no one has been able to be as out of time as he was.

Thankfully the fine folks at The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society agree with me. They created a movie based on ‘Call of Cthulhu’, but they got smart and made it in the style of a 1920’s black and white silent film. It is like watching an H.P. movie in the time in which he was alive. I found it very eerie and just right. Instead of trying to update Lovecraft, they simply presented him the way he was in the medium he would have known. It baffles me that no one has tried it before.

My wife declared that quote, “That was actually good.” High praise indeed.

The choice to do a silent film really intrigues me. After reading ‘House of Leaves’, my mind is boiling with the idea of using more esoteric methods of story telling. Watching this movie was fascinating in seeing how they managed to tell a story visually with little to no dialogue. Montage scenes, lots and lots of montage scenes. The silence really became impressive when the characters ‘spoke’ the alien speech. It preserved the speech in your imagination which is where I think it belongs.

I saw ‘Call of Cthulhu’ last night, and finished ‘House of Leaves’ yesterday, so right now I am hyper aware of the role darkness played in both. In the movie, the darkness helped obscure the low budget while at the same time creating areas of mystery. In the book, darkness became an absence of detail. I am finding a new appreciation for darkness as something more than just a blindfold.

  7 Responses to “The Call of Cthulhu”

  1. I like that movie. A friend picked it up at GenCon 2006 and we all piled up on a bed and watched it on a 14″ screen in a dark room. It was cool and one of those enjoyable times for the con.

    Of course, I just like tentacles in general, so I’m heavily biased.

  2. For me I kept wondering how they would handle someone getting absorbed by an angle. I thought they wouldn’t try it. When I saw it, I nearly applauded.

  3. Another thing that Apollo and I loved! You have most excellent taste, Shon :)

    xx Dee

  4. Dee- I’m glad you think so. Last night I told a friend- “Want to watch a black and white silent film about a 1928 horror story?” and they replied “You’re a writer, can’t you sell it better than that?”

    And I thought hmm, no I can’t.

  5. You may be interested in this site if you’ve not already stumbled upon it.
    It used to be the guys that did Wired’s Table of Miscontent. They moved most of the weirdness to here. One thing they like is tentacles, and they have something called Cthulhu Cthursday. Interesting blog.

  6. David- That’s funny. I knew the Ectomo guys had moved from somewhere, I just never knew where. They are one of my favorite link blogs.

  7. My hubbie adores Lovecraft… I can’t count how many B-movies involving tentacles I’ve sat through… :)

    David, thanks for that link… Cthulu Cthursday… LOL!

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