FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Aug 19, 2010

those wacky old ones



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!

9 comments:

Thomas Duke said...

I quite liked this. It's as much an homage to Guy Maddin as anything (says me).

Also, please stop using the word "wackadoo". It's completely offensive. I would maybe suggest using the word "lunacy-abled" instead, or maybe the phrase "marble deficient". Thank you.

Will Errickson said...

I got this from Netflix awhile back and liked it; HPL adaptations are a mixed bag. Until, of course, Del Toro finally does At the Mountains of Madness. I hope.

A.J. said...

May you never meet Pepperonoth, the Pizza With 1000 Young.

CashBailey said...

I once tried to write a feature film script based on this story. I got to page 45 and realised that it kind of sucked.

Del Toro's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS should be amazing. I read an early draft of that script and I imagine he will make it even better.

irfan siddiqui said...

Not seen yet but soon will watch.

John Bem said...

I agree that this modestly etertaining flick got bogged down. I guess poring over the pages of ancient and forbidden tomes is more interesting in a book than it is in a movie

AE said...

I have been a fan of this movie for a very long time. Glad you liked it!

John Eno said...

HPLHS is so a high school. Go Fighting 'Pods!

If you haven't watched the making-of feature on the DVD, you totally should. It's as entertaining as the movie itself.

Stu said...

Found this bad boy on Netflix streaming today! Already on the instant queue...