I just watched "The Call of Cthulhu" --the movie

–and it rocked.

What a wonderfully brilliant conceit: to film Lovecraft’s story as if it had actually been picked up by a studio right after publication in 1928 and produced as a silent horror movie. It’s like watching a bit of history that was somehow plucked from an alternate dimension. The filmmakers obviously spared no effort to create a work that was as seamlessly true to the period as possible, and the authenticity of the film is downright eerie at times. One of the most interesting choices was the decision to use 1920’s-era special effects technology to realize Lovecraft’s monstrous imagery, instead of “cheating” by trying to sneak in some sort of disguised CGI effect or whatever. One might think this limitation would render the whole affair laughable, but in my opinion it was exactly the right decision: when great Cthulhu awakens, the sheer eye-startling wrongness of his movement only adds to his alien appearance.

I managed to catch a late showing at Tampa’s Necronomicon sci-fi convention last night. The audience found the silent film approach quaintly comical at first, and promptly started in with attempts at “Mystery Science Theater”-style riffing. But within a few minutes, the catcalls and comments died away and a sort of awestruck hush fell. At the end of the film, there was a spontaneous burst of applause.

My hat is off to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society for their remarkable labor of love. HPL would be proud.

This sounds awesome. The DVD experience probably won’t live up to seeing it in a theater, but I’ll give it a go.

Thanks for posting. I didn’t know this movie existed.

Me, neither.

But I just bought a copy of the DVD, because it sounds really, really great.

I’ve not seen it either, but previous films (of varying qualities) from HPL film festivals are available from http://lurkerfilms.com/

And I am. :wink:

Seriously, I agree. The movie was great. I gave it an extremely high rating in my review of the Lovecraft Film festival in Portland, OR. Best in show.

Personally, I am not convinced when the author himself is the one giving such high praise. :slight_smile:

Well, true, there aren’t many good films on the other side, but that’s beside the point.

Oh, hell yeah. I’m buying that right now.

If it sucks, though, I’m sending nightgaunts after Terrifel.

A quick bump to reassure Terrifel that he is safe from the nightgaunts.

[sub]For now.[/sub]

But the movie was really cool. Kinda cheesy, but in an agreeable way. And the out-takes were hilarious!

“Ever since I was a boy, I’ve been afraid of small rats…”

Ooooh. Excellent – I’ll have to join the herd of folks shelling out for the DVD. Plus the Miskatonic U cup. I want to see how many people at work notice that. :smiley:

Well that is a relief to hear. Now I can finally give that can of Bat-Nightgaunt Repellent back to Adam West. I was fairly sure it had gone over, anyway.

But wait a second… out-takes? The DVD has out-takes on it? Well, dang it! I just saw it at a convention, and knew nothing of any out-takes!

Bah. Now it seems that I myself must acquire a copy! Not that I hadn’t planned to anyway, but still… now there is urgency! Must check under couch cushions and beneath ferret coop for spare change.

But I warn you, Miller… these out-takes had better be hilarious. If they’re not, I’m sending… um… I’m sending rat-things after you.

Well… ferrets, anyway. But blasphemous ferrets. Capable of navigating mad non-Euclidean angles between strange dimensions, to appear on your dressing table and steal all your loose change. And your keys. And then they’ll climb into your bed and put their nose on you.

Wait, is the DVD not silent? And are intertitles the same thing as captions, or are they something else?

The movie itself is silent, but when they’re filming, the actors have to say something to each other during scenes with dialogue. One of the scenes is of a young man recounting his terrible dreams about Cthulhu, getting more and more agitated as he speaks. The actor improved all the dialogue for it, which was removed for the actual movie, but they stuck the scene, sound included, into the bonus section of the DVD. His improv is pretty funny, especailly as he gets more and more into it. They did the same with the scene where the cops are chasing the cultists in the swamp (“You say your husband and your brother disappeared? Are you sure they weren’t the same person?”), and they also threw in a whole bunch of extra takes of the stop-motion Cthulhu.

I’ve had my copy for two weeks now (along with a really nifty Innsmouth High School Swim Team tee shirt that just goes over everyone’s heads), but have not yet had a chance to watch it, as I live with two children who feel that the teevee is their personal property.

Hope to screen it this weekend.

I got this DVD from Amazon a couple weeks ago – it is a fascinating movie! I really enjoyed watching it! I couldn’t believe I was enjoying a silent movie so much. Plus, the outtakes were great!

I got mine last night and watched it almost immediately. Fan-freaking-amazing.

I was seriously thinking of ressurecting this thread myself just to rave about it.

Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t imagine how the story would have been adapted in any other way. Perfect.

I really hope they move on to do other stories as well. Like, say, Mountains of Madness, or maybe the Shadow Out Of Time. Or, god, Shadow Over Innsmouth…or Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath…or…pretty much all of them, yes…

Okay, I’m convinced. I have ordered one direct from the source. We’ll see; you might not be safe from nightgaunts yet, Terrifel. :slight_smile:

I’d love to see The Colour Out of Space. I want to see what they’d do with those trees.

Oh, and might I add that antipiracy disclaimer at the beginning rocked? I’ve never had a publishing company threaten to have my eyes ripped out by byakhee in so many words. Sure, Sony and UA have both strongly implied it, but never spelled it out…

Ooh, Colour Out Of Space would be good. Also, Dreams In The Witch House. Dangit, I want my cosmic vistas!

Actually, I think my favorite part of the whole DVD is on the cover of the case:

“Cthulhu as he was always meant to be seen!”

Hee hee!