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Which Lovecraft story would translate best to film?

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#21 Big Mac

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:45 PM

Dr. Zoltar said:

This was screened at the Lovecraft film festival in Portland, Oregon last year.  I missed it (as it was shown Friday night), but was told it was awful.  Which is really too bad as I had high hopes for a remake.


These aren't adaptions, but were easily the best two movies at the festival:


Alien Raiders


I sat through it.  It is awful,  Oh, it is so bad, it could drive you insane.


On the plus side, AM 1200 was fantastic, a must see.  Alien Raiders was good, but I think it was a stretch to include it in a Lovecraft festival.


Regardless of what you think of Gordon's films, they illistrate the problem with adopting most of Lovecraft's work.  Most of his works are too short for a full adoptation (From Beyond was told in the first 10 minutes of the film version), and a literal adoptation would likely not come off well on the screen.  Not enough action (in short, too much time spent with people peering over ancient tomes), and the creatures could come off looking cheap and laughable (see the Dunwich remake) if not enough time, money and love is poured into their creation.


That's why I think a short anthology series is the best way to present Lovecraft's work.  Something that moves at a quick pace, yet doesn't have to pad out the story.  But, that said, I think At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow over Innsmouth would be great movies (yea, I know Dagon is Shadow, but I'd like a closer adoptation).


Speaking of Innsmouth, check out Cthulhu when it comes out this month on DVD.  A lot of liberties were taken with the story (but not in the standard Staurt Gordon vein), and the acting is spotty at best.  But it comes pretty close to capturing Lovecraft's style of horror.

#22 jpowers



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Posted 20 March 2009 - 01:11 PM

I recently re-read At the Mountains of Madness and was struck by the cinematic quality of it.  Hopefully Del Toro will get to do it (if he ever escapes from Middle Earth).

I would like to see a good version of the Dunwich Horror.  I think the mistake most of the film versions have made (i'm counting the recent one with Jeffrey Combs as well as a few amateur productions I've seen over the years) is that they make the Whateleys into cartoonish rednecks, which undercuts their ability to inspire fear. The story only works if you believe that Wilbur Whateley might succeed at whatever it is he's up to.

Shadow Over Innsmouth is the other obvious choice.  I didn't think Stuart Gordon's film was that bad, but it only contained parts of the story.  I would like to see a direct adaptation.

And actually, believe it or not I think there is a definite cinematic quality to the story that has been unfolding in the Asylum Packs...the filthy water pouring out of all the taps in Julia's apartment is a pretty striking image...

#23 Big Mac

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 07:30 PM

 I actually like the first version of Dunwich Horror.  Not that it was great, but it tried to be scary in the same manner as Lovecraft.  The other downfall of the remake is making Wilbur's brother look like a giant, tentacled log (sorry, least offensive term I could use)


A Lovecraftian monster needs time and care to create.  I have yet to see anyone do justice to his creations, with the only exception coming from "The Call of Cthulhu."  It's really best to keep them in the shadows (see "Cthulhu").






#24 jpowers



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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:05 AM

I think the best Lovecraftian monster to be committed to film to date is probably the tentacled horror from the end of the first Hellboy movie.

Or if you want a monster from an actual Lovecraft story, the Elder Thing in the background during the troll market scene from Hellboy 2.

#25 vortexgods



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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:04 PM

Hmm... I want to point out that Charles Dexter Ward has been made into a movie already, twice.  The first was the AIP classic with Vincent Price, The Haunted Palace.   The second was called The Resurrected.  Being easy to please, I quite liked The Resurrected.

I confess that I don't very well remember The Haunted Palace.

Hmm, as to a new movie, how about The Shadow Out of Time?

#26 vortexgods



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Posted 22 April 2009 - 03:10 PM

  Oh, and there is a Japanese version of The Shadow Over Insmouth that I'd really like to see. Innsmouth wo oou kage

I have no idea if it is good or not, but the picture makes me interested.

#27 CSpuppydog



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Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:16 AM

I used ot work mfor a movie blog and I was sent a copy of the script for Guillermo del Toro' doomed movie adaptation of At The Montains of Madness. I was very very impressed. It was like The Thing but set in the 20's with Lovecraftian elements.



*Spoilers*... if it ever comes out. 



 The Shogoth's were a mass of tenticles that would absorb flesh and reconstruct it. My favortie scene in the movie would have been when a couple sled dogs ran off and the owner chases them.. once he finds them hesees thes eweird tenticles coming out of the ice and waving in the air. He finds one of the dogs cut in half on the ground.. when he gets too close the intestines for mouthes on the ends of them and they pretty much rip the guy to peaces.. it would have been an amazing movie. Lets hope with all the stuff on his plate he can get the time to do it.. maybe after Hobbit? *Crosses fingers*

#28 Glasser's Muse

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:08 PM

I really hope that gets the greenlight, it sounds pretty cool. As for the Dunwich Horror trailer... It looks like one of those movies that will be really horrible but fun to watch, although it doesn't look very Lovecraftian. I just hope they don't fill it with that horrible 'jumpy' horror stuff. A dude with a chainsaw popping on-screen in a moment of tension is not horror!!!!!

I must say, I don't mind Stuart Gordon movies. They're suitably less Lovecraftian than Lovecraft, but I think that's important as Lovecraft's work is quite dated (I think that's half of the reason people like it so much). Stuart Gordon's style is more in-line with modern, especially his exploration of the connection between intimacy and horror; the scene in Dagon where the hero is with a woman that turns out to be half octopus is a great example. People in Lovecraft's time were constantly vulnerable due to disease, unemployment and war; modern people aren't nearly so in danger all of the time, so Gordon makes the familiar horrifying.

#29 MarthWMaster



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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:19 PM

I saw Cthulhu (2007) today. I really liked it, although one has to go into it knowing that it won't be an exact adaptation of The Shadow over Innsmouth. Still a worthwhile Lovecraftian production if ever I've seen one. Great filmography, and decent acting. The only downside would be that you have to already be a Lovecraft fan to understand it. The first time someone reads a Lovecraft novel, they don't really know what's going on yet. That's kind of what this movie is, and IMO that actually gives it a special charm.

And yeah, I can see del Toro giving a nice personal touch to Lovecraft. If anyone can do the source material justice, it's him.

"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
– Beethoven

#30 jgt7771


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Posted 29 July 2010 - 09:00 AM

It's finally happening...


From Ain't It Cool News:

The Elder Things are ready for their close up.

Michael Fleming of Deadline New York is reporting that Guillermo del Toro's next film will be his long-awaited adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" - with James Cameron joining Don Murphy and Susan Montford as producers. And it's going to be shot in 3-D. I first heard this was a possibility last week at Comic Con, but when del Toro's DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK panel came and went without an announcement, I figured there was still work to be done with regards to securing the necessary financing from Universal.

Interestingly, Fleming's article avoids any mention of budget or rating, both of which are integral to properly transferring Lovecraft's short story to the big screen. My understanding is that the film will be big (probably with a budget in the neighborhood of $100 million), but I've got nothing reliable as to whether it will be an R or PG-13 rating. I know Guillermo has always dreamed about doing AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS as an R-rated tentpole horror film in the tradition of THE THING or THE EXORCIST; it's my hope that Cameron's involvement will persuade Universal to give del Toro free, terrifying rein on a movie I believe he was born to make. Please don't hold this guy back.

Now that the cat's out of the bag (perhaps prematurely), I hope to hear more from del Toro, Murphy and Montford on how they plan to realize Lovecraft's horrifying vision. If done right, this could be one of the scariest movies ever made.


Now I'm kinda glad MGM couldn't get their act together on The Hobbit. This could be a nice consolation prize, eh?

What was that noise?

#31 Evil Jim

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 07:39 PM

I'm greatly looking forward to the movie but I'm not holding my breath for a HPLHS-accurate adaption of the story. A large portion of it is the history of the Elder Things as told by deciphered picture-glyphs & murals on the walls of their city. Possibly the most difficult portion to film & therefore, reason for Hollywood to take big liberties with the rest to work around it.

#32 Ephraim



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Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:41 PM

I think "Thing on the Doorstep"  would make a decent movie.  None of the big mythos chaps were in it, so you wouldn't have that high a budget from special effects.  The basic storyline:  Guy shoots friend, guy enters asylum, retelling of events leading up to shooting, University setting...


I like it!  =D

#33 H.P. Lovecraft

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:06 AM

I don't think special effects should even come into making a Lovecraft story into a film, the problem with many adaptations is they try to show too much of the creature, Lovecraft never really gave great detail of many of his creatures. The point therefore would be to keep the effects to a minimum and not show a whole lot of the creatures, thereby truly being faithful to Lovecraft's mythos, I see the problem is in the minds of the film maker of today where you have to show everything, and as a result the works of Lovecraft become so overwhelming to turn into a successful film, people don't want you to merely suggest things in movies, they want their summer action adventure blockbusters.

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