Updated: Feb 27
So in the last blog, I covered the Cosmic Horror genre, and as promised this week's post will be on movies inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Aka Lovecraftian fiction. Now Lovecraftian horror is, unfortunately, a somewhat cursed sub-genre. As it's films are primarily made by, enthusiasts, or influential directors who have little to work with due to budget constraints.
However, while a lot of the movies this week aren't precisely what I would call big-budget blockbusters or loved by critics. I know that at least they will -hopefully -be appreciated by you guys.
The Haunted Palace 1963
Follows Charles Dexter Ward whose travelling with his wife to Arkham town to inspect a house he
has just recently inherited from his great grandfather. A man 100 years ago, who was "burned at
the stake" by the locals for being a devil worshiper. Followed by a cold reception and blamed for a curse that was set on the villagers by his grandfather. Unknowingly Ward's arrival helps his grandfather restart his evil ways, by revenging himself on the descendants of those who killed him.
Loosely based on the novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace is one of those slightly underrated movies that have great acting and fun effects for the time.
It's a genuinely scary film depending on the level of your suspension of disbelief for movies made during this period. But considering that, I honestly think this film has an excellent ominous atmosphere. Vincent Price is superb as the wronged warlock who wants revenge, and Corman's directing, as per usual is first-rate. I'd say the films only real weakness is its ending. Which I found to be a little bit disappointing, but besides from that The Haunted Palace is a creepy and fun experience.
The Resurrected 1991
Set in Providence, Rhode Island. Clair ward enlists the help of a private detective to find out what
her husband Charles is up to in a remote cabin. After the strange smells from his experiments are
beginning to arouse the attention of the neighbours and local law enforcement.
Another take on Lovecraft's “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward”. I thought it would be fun to see what people think about comparing this version to the 1963
Roger Corman version, "The Haunted Palace". As in my opinion, this is probably the best Lovecraft story adaptation in this selection. And aside from the necessary changes to bring this into the modern-day, it's worth checking out especially for its scary moments and extreme gore.
Ok, it's not what I call a great film, by any means, as it's first act is rather dull. However, besides
that, it's a very entertaining and a must-see for fans of Lovecraft.
A successful businessman haunted by cryptic nightmares involving a mermaid. Is stranded ashore
after a freak storm while on a boating vacation with his girlfriend. Paddling to a nearby Spanish
fishing village the couple look for help. However, unfortunately for them, the town is inhabited by a
unique race of people who are in the habit of sacrificing their guests to their god Dagon.
Another Stuart Gordon film with all the signature cheese you would expect. Dagon while probably
one of the weaker films in this weeks selection still provides us with a well-done atmospheric chiller
that is both suspenseful and creepy. Some might complain that this lacks the humorous elements of Gordons earlier work. However, I'd say on a more positive note that this is a more faithful adaptation to Lovecraft's work than something like reanimator. I guess what I'm trying to say. Is that sometimes it's nice to have a faithful adaptation with all the elements of cosmic terror. Rather than a loose adaptation filled with over the top gore.
The Whisperer in darkness 2011
Following a series of floods in Vermont, Albert Wilmarth, a folklore professor at an Arkham
University, investigates reports of unusual creatures rumoured to be floating in several of the local
rivers. Wilmarth's investigation leads him to not only uncover more than he bargained but horrors
quite beyond anything he ever thought imaginable. Leaving him in a dire situation to escape his
new predicament with his sanity and life intact.
A black and white adaptation, filmed like a 1930s flick and made by the H.P.Lovecraft Historical
Society. The Whisperer in darkness has very low budget special effects but considering its sufficient
homage to 30's horror films it's not really a problem (well to me at least).
The only real weak point I can think off is its 3rd act and the overall monster design, but
all things considered they did a good job, and it all fits in with the mood of the piece. Besides
that The Whisperer in darkness is worth checking out for fans of Lovecraft or people who generally
like this period.
Necronomicon: Book of Dead 1993
The movie is broken up into four separate stories, the first and last being called "The Library" that
connects all the segments. The Library follows H.P. Lovecraft, who learns that the monastery he
uses for research has a copy of the Necronomicon. Wanting to find it to use it for his writings
Lovecraft outwits the monks who guard it and with a bit of luck manages to get his hands on the
book. But what Lovecraft doesn't realise is that this isn't just an ordinary book with ordinary pages.
An enjoyable film with some decent adaptations of Lovecraft's works. Necronomicon: Book of Dead is one of those B-movie(ish) horror flicks, with cheesy acting & dialogue. However, while its stories are quite inconsistent, it makes up for it with some cool practical effects and fun acting. Ok sure it has a low budget & its over the top gore might be a turn off for some. But, Jeffrey Combs portrayal of Lovecraft as an alternative version of Indiana-Jones. For me, made the film that little bit more entertaining.
The film follows Dan, a dedicated medical student, who requires a new housemate. Accepting a fellow medical student with a mysterious background, up until this point, life for Dan is pretty straightforward. That is until he and his girlfriend. Unwittingly become involved in his new housemate's freakish experiments. Involving their recently deceased cat's corpse and a strange
A film that I've already covered in my Sci-fi horror video, but just couldn't ignore for this list. Re-Animator is loosely based on the short story "Herbert West–Reanimator" and is filled with all the
overacting and cheese. You'd ever want from an eighties horror flick.
Barbara Crampton and Jeffery Combs steal the show by amplifying the films already odd, weirdly creepy and entertainingly funny premise. Now while some of you won't find it that funny and will think it's gore looks a little dated. Re-Animator however, still remains an absolutely fabulous example of body horror that perfectly blends black and deadpan humour together with the gruesomely horrific.
The Curse 1987
Weird things begin to happen to God-fearing farmer Nathan Crane and his family. Following a
meteorite that crashes near their farm during a storm. With his stepson Zac convinced that this
meteorite is connected to these strange plague-like events that are affecting the crops and life within the area. Will Nathan listen to his stepson's worries before its too late?
My troll pick for this week and the perfect movie to torment Vegans. Yes, the Curse is a low budget
film with cheesy acting. But as it stars one very young Wil Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher it gets a bonus point. Now I know that most Lovecraft's adaptations aren't that great, but I happened to like this one. Not because of its terrible acting, messy directing and hilariously lousy dialogue. But due to been one of those so bad it's good films - so much so that I couldn't resist the opportunity to put it in.