No, HPLHS does not stand for Howard P. Lovecraft High School, although that would be awesome. It stands for HP Lovecraft Historical Society, and they're the enthusiasts behind The Call of Cthulhu (2005), a 45-minute silent adaptation of the short story of the same name.
Upon the death of his great-uncle, The Man (Matt Foyer) inherits an estate that includes a box full of research into a series of bizarre events that occur in March, 1925 and something called the "Cthulhu Cult". The Man takes up the investigation and quickly becomes obsessed with the cult and their god, who sleeps and waits beyond the stars.
Eerie statues, weirdo swamp cultists, stylized dream sequences...Call of Cthulhu gives us a story previously thought "unfilmable" by Lovecraft fans thanks to, oddly enough, the film's limited budget. Largely restricting themselves to techniques available during Lovecraft's time- expressionist set design, stop-motion animation, forced perspective- presents the fantastic world in...well, in a fantastic way. The stylized conceits of silent storytelling serve the plot well and certainly recall the work of Murnau, Lang, and other filmmakers from the era.
While the world it presents is wildly imaginative, there are times when Call of Cthulhu gets bogged down under its own weight; however, this is how I tend to feel about the work of Lovecraft in general. Try as I may, I fear I'll never be a true HPL nut. I hope we can still be friends, you and I.
The last 10 minutes of the movie really pick up, though, and when we're finally introduced to stop-motion Cthulhu...well, I'd describe him to you, but even to think on it is enough to drive me mad with insanity! But here's a picture.Are the Elder Gods still resting out there, waiting only for some wackadoos to dance around in a swamp before they'll come back? The film says so, and it's a fun notion to entertain: "We hear its call and await our inevitable doom". Hey, that totally describes my relationship with pizza. Maybe I do get this Lovecraft thing after all!