Hail Cthulhu!

Unabashed Plug time: Last night, I watched The Call of Cthulhu, a fan film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s famed short story.

And I loved it.

“Cthulhu” is probably the best fan-made movie ever filmed, and don’t be thrown off by that admittedly low standard. It’s a tremendous achievement, and one that indicates just how close we’re getting to an era when you don’t have to be associated with Big Entertainment to create great entertainment. What makes this movie all the more impressive (at least to me) isn’t just that it wasn’t made by an established movie studio, it’s that “Cthulhu” never would have been made by one.

Just imagine any studio–even one of the little ones–agreeing to these production terms: a black-and-white, 47-minute horror movie using film techniques from the early part of the last century: stop-motion animation, forced perspective, even models and canvas to simulate a ship at sea. No nudity, no gore, no cursing–heck, no dialogue. Oh, and did I mention it’s a silent movie, with a symphonic score and title cards, that’s been digitally enhanced to lower the quality of the image, simulating actual 1920’s film stock?

But it works. It’s marvelous. It’s easily the best film adaptation of Lovecraft, ever. If you’ve read and like the story, you will enjoy the hell out of this little movie; but even if you haven’t, go reward ingenuity and craft and love, and get yourself a copy.

Oh, and one other thing: I got to watch “Call of Cthulhu” purely because of file-sharing. I doubt I ever would have seen it otherwise; it’s only for sale from the creators’ website. But I scored a copy, and watched it, and loved it–and then bought the DVD for myself, this morning. Which is just another reason why the folks who made it are the future, and the Big Entertainment execs who never would have allowed it to be made are the past.

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13 Responses to “Hail Cthulhu!”

  1. RPD Says:

    I wonder if you’ve seen Starwreck, a Finnish sci-fi Star Trek vs BAB 5 film. It’s an impressive piece of work. I think it’s space battle (mix of CGI and live action) is better than any spaceship battle than Hollywood has ever put out. The owners have it as a free download (Torrent) at http://www.starwreck.com.

    I really hope semi-pro web distributed films are the wave of the future. it’s a heck of a thing.

  2. ahriman Says:

    Thanks for the link, I just ordered one! And a Miskatonic University T-shirt 🙂

  3. Captain Sunshine Says:

    You can also go here for some Miskatonic U. shirts and other goofy stuff. I buy from them regularly.

    And Starwreck is hilarious. It’s half a GB, though, so even with broadband you’ll be waiting for it a while. If you’re a fan of either show, it’s worth watching for the laughs.

    CS

  4. triticale Says:

    Cthulu can also be found in all his unspeakable glory here.

  5. MikeTheLibrarian Says:

    I post this link without comment except to say that I want one.

    http://toyvault.com/cthulhu/plush_cthulhu.html

  6. beautifulatrocities Says:

    I can’t imagine that story on film. I’ve always wanted to see The Mountains of Madness on the screen

  7. Ricky Says:

    Wow, nice to hear someone did HPL right! Most of his work that has made it to the silver screen has been schlocky at best.

  8. DRB Says:

    I can’t remember who made them, but some company put together “Cthulhu for President” novelty items during the last election. Campaign slogan: “Why vote for the lesser evil?”

  9. John Irving Says:

    DRB, I’ve been seeing that on buttons, bumper stickers, and t-shirts since at least 1988.

    I thought about voting for Cthulu, but decided Nyarlathotep beat him out in the debates.

  10. Bruce Says:

    By the way, Guillermo Del Torres is trying to get a film version of Mountains of Madness off the ground. Cross yer fingers….

  11. Shane Says:

    There’s a Cthulhu musical available from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society called “A Shoggoth on the Roof”. And how does a gelatinous creature with no arms or legs stay on the roof? One word: TENTACLES!

  12. Nylarthotep Says:

    Excellent link. Bought it myself after you description and review.

    Now to spread the word.

  13. TechnoChitlins Says:

    The Call of Cthulhu

    Ordered it recently. Just got it. Just watched it. It's insanely good! If you are any kind of fan of H.P. Lovecraft, this is an absolute must-buy. Thanks to Stephen Green for the heads-up…

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