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Which Lovecraft story would translate best to film?

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By that I mean that someone who never read Lovecraft would see the film and feel all the dread while not getting confused with the way the story translated into the big screen.

For me, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward is perhaps his best tale that could be converted into a great movie. His stories are too complex and rely too much on our imagination to convey all the dread and horror of the tales but Case does appear to be quite straightforward in terms of narrative and it would go down well as a faithful movie.

What are your Lovecraft stories that you think realistically would make a great movie?

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they could (re)make a good re-animator too.

i think the best and maybe the easiest is dream quest of unknown kadath. i think that has more scenery and cast of characters than anything he wrote. i feel its about the only story he wrote that would easily lend itself to a movie. there is pretty much a battle scene so you have action, the whole thing is suspense, parts of it are horror, and the mystery of this city of the gods he has to find. lovecraft uses very little dialouge and a story where a guy travels the dreamlands mostly alone should help. when he does encouneter something its usually not human and its only to find out where next his journey takes him so it would need much heavy dialouge or character development. lots of his stories the dialouge would need to explain too much and could be too hard pull off, or could just ruin the characters. i can imagine some of the talks dr west and his pal had talking about the experiments, but if you use exact words it could become cheesy.

i also think a new case of charles dexter could work. even though its only loosely based on the story the vincent price movie that was made off of that is maybe the best lovecraft movie ive seen.

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I still really think that The Dunwich Horror is the best bet...regardless of the campy Corman version, I believe a revamped screenplay could bring this tale alive. Who knows..If At the Mountains of Madness does well in the theaters, we may see a revival of Lovecraft on the big screen.

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hahahaha that trailer has nudity. stuart gordon isnt behind this movie is he?

this part cracks me up "Since I last wrote about it the Darkest Evil title has been dropped and outright changed to The Dunwich Horror."

in other words this movie sucks but if we attach a name people know to it, it will get some viewers....

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MGBM said:

Nudity? In a Lovecraft adaptation?

Oh Hollywood how I detest ye!

 

i think its been in every stuart gordon movie based on lovecraft, hence the little joke i made asking if he was behind this dunwich movie.

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It would be hard to do any story faithfully. 90% of such a movie would concist out of people walking to the mailbox and reading letters out loud.

Then whatever is the creature of the day would come out, and people walk out of the cinema saying "This is stupid. The monster came, and the guy just kept writing his journal, instead of running away." and they would be right. And the journal would be only trying to describe how indescribable the critter is, and how doomed everyone is.

Since a lot is just a transcript of what happenned, the stories work best as trancripts, on paper. Showing the undescribable in a movie is going to disappoint some people.

Then again, Call of Cthulhu was nicely done, and I'm looking forward to Whisperer. And I hope Del Toro ever gets around doing ATMoM.

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To be fair, none of HPL's stories would ever make a decent movie. You can describe a loathsome, tetacled horror to your hearts content and have it stir the readers imagination, but up on the big screen its just a blob with tentacles.

Saying that though, I think if done right The Dunwich Horror could be worthwhile. That trailer however looks terrible.

Then there is del Toro's attempt to do At the Mountains of Madness. If there is anyone I think could pull it off, it is him.

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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:

AM1200

Alien Raiders

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For a short film, I think The Rats in the Walls could be done well.  Depending on the acting and effects, of course.

But for something feature length, you're going to have liberties taken to make the film, well, not boring.  Because It would be terribly difficult to remain completely true to the source material and still have it be watchable.  That said, I think The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a good contender for its build of tension, overall creepiness, and action-packed finale...

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The_Big_Show said:

Then there is del Toro's attempt to do At the Mountains of Madness. If there is anyone I think could pull it off, it is him.

Didn't John Carpenter already do that? It was called "The Thing", I believe. :P

Seriously though, I think that The Shadow Over Innsmouth would work out perfectly in its film-ability.

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dev/null said:

Seriously though, I think that The Shadow Over Innsmouth would work out perfectly in its film-ability.

They already have. Its called Dagon, and is an excellent telling of the story.

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The_Big_Show said:

dev/null said:

Seriously though, I think that The Shadow Over Innsmouth would work out perfectly in its film-ability.

 

They already have. Its called Dagon, and is an excellent telling of the story.

i disagree though dagon is more shadows over innsmouth than it is the dagon story its a rather terrible movie. gordon has always taken far too many liberties with his lovecraft movies. dreams in the witch house was the best he did. all his other lovecraft movies he tries to turn them into some gorefest with senseless nudity.

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At the Mountains of Madness was the first thing I ever read by Lovecraft.  When I was reading it I had thought to myself, "Dang, this would make a good movie if someone could do it right." Hopefully GdT will make that happen.

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PearlJamaholic said:

The_Big_Show said:

 

dev/null said:

Seriously though, I think that The Shadow Over Innsmouth would work out perfectly in its film-ability.

 

They already have. Its called Dagon, and is an excellent telling of the story.

 

 

i disagree though dagon is more shadows over innsmouth than it is the dagon story its a rather terrible movie. gordon has always taken far too many liberties with his lovecraft movies. dreams in the witch house was the best he did. all his other lovecraft movies he tries to turn them into some gorefest with senseless nudity.

We obviously have very different tastes. happy.gif I found Dreams in the Witch House to be dire and awful, whereas Dagon blew me away with how good I found it. But then, I'm not a fan of Gordon's other attempts at Lovecraft movies.

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The_Big_Show said:

 

PearlJamaholic said:

 

The_Big_Show said:

 

dev/null said:

Seriously though, I think that The Shadow Over Innsmouth would work out perfectly in its film-ability.

 

They already have. Its called Dagon, and is an excellent telling of the story.

 

 

i disagree though dagon is more shadows over innsmouth than it is the dagon story its a rather terrible movie. gordon has always taken far too many liberties with his lovecraft movies. dreams in the witch house was the best he did. all his other lovecraft movies he tries to turn them into some gorefest with senseless nudity.

 

 

We obviously have very different tastes. happy.gif I found Dreams in the Witch House to be dire and awful, whereas Dagon blew me away with how good I found it. But then, I'm not a fan of Gordon's other attempts at Lovecraft movies.

 

 

dreams in the witch-house is by no means a great movie, but its the most accurate lovecraft film gordon did. which is why i think its the best he did. but if i was gonna look at the from a pure horror standard, id probably say re-animator, dagon isnt bad either in that sense. mostly while watching a gordon film its like ' i dont remember that in the book at all' and you think that like once every other scene. dreams in the witch-house was alot better at just telling the lovecraft story than trying to be something it wasnt.

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I'd like to see something original that takes elements from a couple stories like the video game Dark Corners of the Earth. Having the Black Man (if he does belong to Azathoth) and the Dark Pharoh competing for control of Egypt and a luckless archeologist gets caught up in it. And fails to stop one of them from succeding.

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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:

AM1200

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.

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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...

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 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").

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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?

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