Tag Archives: H. P. Lovecraft

CALL OF CTHULHU: THE SILENT MOVIE

call of cthulhuTHE CALL OF CTHULHU (2005) – The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced this terrific – but decidedly niche – horror film based on Lovecraft’s tale The Call of Cthulhu from 1928. The clever approach employed by the producers was to present this black and white film as if it was a Silent Movie made in the 1920s.

call of cthulhu picRegular readers of Balladeer’s Blog may remember that I’m a silent film geek so I fell in love with this movie immediately. The Lovecraft Historical Society players threw themselves into this labor of love, terrifically adapting the broad over-acting, dialogue boards and cinematic grammar of the Silent Age.

The running time of The Call of Cthulhu is just 47 minutes, so we get the actual story with no pointless filler or additions. You can count me among those who consider this unlikely project to be the purest film adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Continue reading

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Filed under Halloween Season, Neo-Pulp

A SHOGGOTH ON THE ROOF (2000)

mockumentary shoggoth on the roofA SHOGGOTH ON THE ROOF (2000) – This comedic short film is a 19 1/2-minute mock documentary from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. It was a very early effort to mimic the Found Footage approach of the previous year’s Blair Witch Project and centered around a fictional musical parody of Fiddler on the Roof using Shoggoth monsters plus other characters and situations from H.P. Lovecraft’s horror tales.

shoggoth setThe tongue in cheek story began with found film footage of what appeared to be stage rehearsals for the nonexistent musical A Shoggoth on the Roof. A tape of that footage was received by members of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, who then set out to investigate its bona fides while filming their own efforts in mock documentary style.

As the short movie rolls along, it becomes clear that something horrific happened to shut down the Other Gods Theater’s 1979 attempt at staging the musical before it could even debut. Finding the survivors of that ill-fated production proves difficult and getting them to talk proves even harder. Continue reading

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LOCAL 58 TV: KRIS STRAUB’S ONGOING HORROR PROJECT

Local 58Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’ve made clear my love of myths and folklore and ARG’s (Alternate Reality Games). I enjoy the way truth, fiction, pretended truth and pretended fiction can intermingle, especially like the Orion/ Elvis Presley situation or in the participatory manner of ARGs, Adult Swim and CreepyPastas. 

For what it’s worth, I would recommend hopping on to Kris Straub’s latest experiment in meta-horror, Local 58 TV, while it is still ongoing. If you’re not familiar with Straub’s work he parlayed his quasi-CreepyPasta tale about Candle Cove, a “forgotten” Children’s Show with horrific undertones into a collection of short stories and later a television series.

masc chair and bottleIn the fashion of the H.P. Lovecraft Fictional Universe, largely centered around the Miskatonic Valley, the Necronomicon and Miskatonic University, Kris’ shared fictional universe largely centers around the nonexistent towns of Ichor Falls, Broodhollow, Edenvale and Lasker City. The towns are located in the real-life Mason County, WV.

Local 58 TV, serving Straub’s fictional towns, is part of his latest ingenious horror project. Like Candle Cove, the tale of this made-up television station has started out as a hauntingly incomplete mosaic.

The station’s vaguely sinister slogan We have always been here is just the opening salvo in its eerie, disturbing and horrific programming. Deepening the mystery is the way in which it is often unclear how much of the unfolding terror is actually the station’s fault and how much is content from vile unknown parties who hijack the station’s signal. Continue reading

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Filed under Halloween Season, Mythology

THE GREAT GOD PAN (1890) : HALLOWEEN READING

The Great God Pan

The Great God Pan

Balladeer’s Blog’s month-long celebration of Halloween continues! Nearly a century before Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen trilogy and decades before H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich Horror and From Beyond there was Arthur Machen’s story The Great God Pan. Originally published in 1890 and then expanded in 1894 this gothic horror tale was so far ahead of its time that it scandalized readers and reviewers of the era. Even though it came along earlier than Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula Machen’s great work dealt with such a brand of horror and with such adult themes that movies – silent and then early talkies – wouldn’t dare adapting it for the screen. 

Thus denied the cinematic exposure that made names like Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde household words The Great God Pan fell into undeserved obscurity, much like The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers, a work reviewed previously here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Like so many of the best horror stories Machen’s tale begins with a mad scientist, in this case Dr Raymond, who invites his friend Mr Clarke to witness him perform an Continue reading

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HALLOWEEN READING: THE GREAT GOD PAN (1890)

The Great God Pan

The Great God Pan

Nearly a century before Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen trilogy and decades before H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich Horror and From Beyond there was Arthur Machen’s story The Great God Pan. Originally published in 1890 and then expanded by an anonymous author in 1894 this gothic horror tale was so far ahead of its time that it scandalized readers and reviewers of the era. Even though it came along earlier than Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula Machen’s great work dealt with such a brand of horror and with such adult themes that movies – silent and then early talkies – wouldn’t dare adapting it for the screen. 

Thus denied the cinematic exposure that made names like Dracula, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde household words The Great God Pan fell into undeserved obscurity, much like The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers, a work reviewed previously here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Like so many of the best horror stories Machen’s tale begins with a mad scientist, in this case Dr Raymond, who invites his friend Mr Clarke to witness him perform an operation that represents the culmination of ten years of work in what Dr Raymond calls Continue reading

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Filed under Halloween Season