Friday, October 30, 2009

Lovecraft, the Webcomic!

I was surfing through Wikipedia when I came across a link for Lovecraft is Missing, a webcomic that features the search for H.P. Lovecraft. I just stumbled onto it, but it looks like a promising find!

- Kristopher

Call of Cthulhu Game Trailer

To get things kicked off (hopefully,) I decided to post a trailer for 2005's Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, which was released for both the PC and the original Microsoft XBox. In the game, you step into the shoes of private investigator Jack Walters who experienced a highly traumatic event six years ago, an event that has led him to a little town called Innsmouth...

You can view the trailer below here:

- Kristopher

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Stars are not quite right...

Once again, I was going to make another post regarding to Lovecraftrian matters, but I've been terribly busy. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back from the Abyss...For Now

Hello everyone. For those who have been keeping track of this blog, I have not worked on it much due to work being done with Aboard the Starship, which was a Science Fiction Literature and Film blog. I also graduated from college, so there probably a chance that I'll be able to put more work into this blog. At the same time, I've been busy with other stuff in life (Job, getting written work published, producing new written works), so progress on this blog and others will be probably very slow.

There is still a lot regarding to Lovecraft so there's a lot more material to squeeze in. Free time is awesome. I will be getting back to my copy of The Best of H.P. Lovecraft (with a foreword by Robert Bloch), and we will see how things will turn out from there.

- Kristopher

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Call of Cthulhu - A Review

The Call of Cthulhu, an independent film produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, is the best Lovecraft-based movies produced yet. That's saying a lot, since Lovecraft has not been treated well by the movie industry. Can anyone think of a good Lovecraftrian movie on the top of their heads? I wish I could say, because even I have not seen Re-animator.

So why is Call of Cthulhu the best Lovecraftian movie so far? First off, it is filmed with a combination of 1920s silent film techniques with some modern film making know-how to keep the action and horror balanced. Second, it is produced by an organization devoted to the works of Lovecraft. Third, this is not a Hollywood production. That means most the original story is left untouched and that viewers are not bombarded by lame CGI effects. This is just a quick summary of why this film is so good. Call of Cthulhu does what most Lovecraft-based films have failed to do: succeeding and getting those "stars" right.

The "stars" in this silent movie are very convincing in their performance. The use of improvised dialogue with boxed text produces the nifty effect of silent film dialogue. The movie is not heavily reliant on text to tell the story, for the action is the true storyteller. Whether it is the protagonist finding out the horrible secret his great-grandfather found, or a troubled artist being interviewed or an inspector fending off a group of raving cultists, Call of Cthulhu pulls moviegoers-and Lovecraft fans-into a tale of a dark god hidden beneath the ocean dreaming of the chance to rise again. Silent films are captivating for "showing" rather than "telling," and Call of Cthulhu pulls that off nearly flawlessly.

The movie's special effects and set production will also astound with its historical authenticity and nightmarish settings. A moderate level of CGI was used to produce most of the effects. When the effects are used, they are used very, very effectively. From groups of crazed cultists lurking in the swamps of the south to the cyclopean (A term Lovecraft was fond of using) structures of Cthulhu's home, there is quite an eyeful to see. The effects are good because they are not overdone, they are simply used correctly. They enhance the story rather than overlap it so viewers will not be overwhelmed. Even Cthulhu is impressive in his own right, but I'm not at the liberty to spoil how effective he is!

Call of Cthulhu's music also deserves props. It is haunting and deeply thematic, setting the movie's 1920s mood. Certain bits of action are enhanced with the musical score in a classic way, especially during the more tense scenes. It is a score that does not wear down on you but one that you become accustomed to as the movie progresses. Silent films were reliant on musical scores to enhance the story and action. Call of Cthulhu succeeds in the music department because like the special effects, the music is orchestrated to work with the movie as opposed to resisting it.

So I have said a lot of good things about Call of Cthulhu. What are some of its flaws? Because this is a low budget film, some of the special effects, while effective, are still noticeably fake. Take an example with a ship traveling down an ocean or cars driving down the road. Viewers will tell they are just effects and not the genuine article. Still, as the effects are used minimally, these flaws are largely nonexistant. The effects are still great because director Andrew Lehman points the lens in directions to enhance the mood of the film than showcasing a how grotesque or how horrifying something is.

I have written this at the beginning of this review and I will write it again: Call of Cthulhu is the best Lovecraft-based movie yet! This is an excellent movie for Lovecraft fans and horror film fans new to Lovecraft's twisted mythos of ancient gods and insanity. The film is currently available for order on the HPLHS's website. Lovecraft himself would be pleased.

- Kristopher

Sunday, July 6, 2008

HPLHS Cthulhu Movie Trailer

The stars have not been "right" for an update. I have simply been busy with other projects. Still, I managed to find an interesting trailer for a 2006 silent movie released by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.

The movie itself is filmed in the style of 1920s silent films to capture the atmosphere in which most of Lovecraft's stories were released. You can find more about the movie at this site.

Below is the trailer. Enjoy!

- Kristopher

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An Overview of Cthulhu

Cthulhu, aside from being part of the namesake of the blog, is one of H.P. Lovecraft's most famous creations and for a good reason: Cthulhu is a downright sinister being from an underwater city known as R'lyeh. This city lies under the sea, away from human eyes which serves to imprison the monster until "the stars are right." He is a high priest of the Great Old Ones, unnatural "gods" who ruled the earth before humanity's emergence.
He first appeared in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu," which marks the monstrous high priest's appearance and setting the stage for the "Cthulhu Mythos" stories. Cthulhu is described indirectly when an effigy of him is found early in the story:

"It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful." It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopuslike head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence..."

Cthulhu is infamous for his ability to create terror and madness within the realm while he is dead. His presence is made indirectly by a troubled artist who creates a sculpture in his image. Cthulhu has cults spread throughout most of the world, including the Arabian peninsula, Greenland, Louisiana and other locations. These cults have a saying acknowleding the Old Ones' presence:

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."

Translated to English, it means:

"In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

An cultist, known as Old Castro, explains why the Great One and his kin will only be resurrected "when the stars are right:"

"They were not composed altogether of flesh and blood. They had shape...but that shape was not made of matter. When the stars were right, They could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, They could not live. But although They no longer lived, They would never really die. They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R'lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them."

So how is Cthulhu's name pronounced? Chaosium, creator of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, offered a hint on the box which said "Can you say ku-THOOL-hoo?" In revisions of Lovecraft's stories, the spelling is sometimes "kloo-loo." According to Lovecraft, he gave his own hint on the Old One's spelling:

"The actual sound - as nearly as human organs could imitate it or human letters record it - may be taken as something like Khlul'-hloo, with the first syllable pronounced gutturally and very thickly."

"The best approximation one can make is to grunt, bark, or cough the imperfectly formed syllables Cluh-Luh with the tip of the tongue firmly affixed to the roof of the mouth. That is, if one is a human being. Directions for other entities are naturally different."

According to, the second quote from Lovecraft might be the correct one. Like others though, I tend to pronounce his name "ka-THOO-hul." It appear to me the most logical of pronunciations. The name "Cthulhu" is a complete invention of Lovecraft's, and the clever thing about the name is that Lovecraft speculated its pronounciation to be spoken other than a human voice!

Cthulhu has been mentioned in other of Lovecraft's story and in other mediums within the science fiction, fantasy and horror realms. There are even various plush toys in Dread Cthulhu's likeness!

There is no need for the stars to be right for Cthulhu to be alive, for he is very much lively in our culture.

- Kristopher