Two fans of both film and H.P. Lovecraft review the many convergences of the two. From Re-Animator to In the Mouth of Madness to Call Girl of Cthulhu, these two horror fanatics discuss the direct and spiritual cinematic adaptations of the late weird fiction author from the superb to the cosmically horrific.
Episode 31 - Black Mountain Side (2014)
Happy New Year, y'all!Before discussing the surprisingly good Black Mountain Side, we catch up on some news and housekeeping, including Jim bidding adieu to I Do Movies Badly (boo...), a new home for The Cast of Cthulhu on Battleship Pretension (hooray!), and discussion about indie directors Benson & Moorehead signing on to Moon Knight.But if you'd like to bid auld lang syne to what was and focus on what's ahead, skip ahead to roughly 31 minutes where we dig into Nick Szostakiwskyj's Black Mountain Side, a claustrophobic slow burn cosmic horror film with more questions than answers and the creepiest, most gravel-y voice this side of the French New Wave.Head over to The Lovecraft eZine to read the interview with writer/direct Nick Szostakiwskyj's quoted in the episode.
Episode 30 - The Call of Cthulhu (2005) with Andrew Leman & Sean Branney
"Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!" does not translate to "happy holidays!" but we still extend those wishes to everyone out there and are doing what we can to make those wishes come true by gifting you or biggest episode yet! Joining us to discuss the too-long-to-be-a-short-but-too-short-to-be-a-feature The Cast of Cthulhu are none other than the writer and director, Sean Branney & Andrew Leman!The two have plenty to say about how they got into Lovecraft, their mission and work at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and how they arrived at the decision to not just adapt the allegedly "unfilmable" short, but to adapt it in the style that would make sense for 1926 (largely inspired by the short film, "The Old Man and the Goblins"). This Winter Solstice, warm yourself with laughter as Leman & Branney regal with you tales of the nightmare prop maker from The Whisperer in Darkness or how and why we may one day see H.P. Lovecraft's The Girl with a Chainsaw.Ho ho holy cow this episode is chock full of Cyclopean goodness, even if it does start out with Jim making a bonehead of himself by incorrectly attributing the creation of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast to his guests. 'Tis the season for giving, so give this episode a listen and have yourselves a merry Christmas and happy holidays! See y'all next year!
Episode 29 - The Whisperer in Darkness (2011)
Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, actually it's a Mi-Go chasing a plane. That must mean, of course, that we're talking about The Whisperer in Darkness, the feature-length talkie from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's Sean Branney and Andrew Leman! Including a climactic chase in a 1930's biplane wasn't the only improvement that the filmmakers made upon the original sci-fi heavy source text; they also upped the ante of the emotional and cosmological stakes, acting as Lovecraft's Frank Darabont(s).Be sure to stick around to the very end to hear our very exciting news about what The Cast of Cthulhu will be delivering to your ear stockings this Christmas!
Episode 28 - The Haunted Palace (1963)
We're obviously quite thankful for the written catalogue of H.P. Lovecraft, so it was only a matter of time until we got around to the very first credited adaptation of his work, Roger Corman's The Haunted Castle! Sure, the notorious master of low budget filmmaking had to result to subterfuge to get American International Pictures to release it in the midst of their Poe cycle - the titular poem is Lovecraft adjacent at best - but we're sure glad that Corman and screenwriter Charles Beaumont revealed Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, and the Necronomicon to the world.This adaptation of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" may not be the most faithful, but this gothic horror tale is gorgeously shot, marvelously acted, and arguably even bleaker in its conclusion than even Lovecraft's source. The late writer may have cared as little for his novel as he did for the Republican party, but without it, we would have never gotten Vincent Price declaring "I'll not have my fill of revenge until this village is a graveyard!"Happy Thanksgiving from The Cast of Cthuhu! Stay safe, wear a mask, and stay at home! When it is safe to travel again, we highly recommend trekking to Providence and taking part in the H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour.
Episode 27 - The Crimson Cult (1968)
Our UK listeners may know it by its original name, The Curse of the Crimson Altar, but whether you're European or American, we can all agree on one thing: this film is weird. And boring. And a bit incomprehensible. And it's a bad Lovecraft adaptation.Okay, so maybe that's four things, but if a full of himself Christopher Lee called this one of the worst films of his career, then maybe it's something to consider. This loose - and uncredited - adaptation of "The Dreams in the Witch House" ditches the cosmic and mathematic elements of Lovecraft's original story, but don't worry - it replaces them with, umm...S&M and psychedelics? Brown Jenkins would be very upset...if he were even in this.Head over to 1000 Misspent Hours to read the background info on The Crimson Cult that we cited in this episode (WARNING: white text on a black background).
Episode 26 - In the Mouth of Madness (1995)
Welcome ghouls and goblins to this spooktacular episode of the ghoulishly good...alright, I can't do this anymore, but it's Halloween, so we wanted to do something appropriate and thus, we're reviewing the third and final installment in John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy, In the Mouth of Madness!The film may be the least financially successful of Carpenter's career - and, perhaps, a harbinger of his career decline - but the cult classic is hands down the best film that we've ever covered when it comes to depicting fatalism and existential dread. After all, how terrifying is it to realize that the film we're watching is the film that John Trent was watching, which means that it's the direct adaptation of Sutter Cane's book, which means that Sutter Cane intended for us to watch it.Happy Halloween, all! Wear a mask and wear a mask over that mask!