The Call of Cthulhu on DVD

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51EyIRBANAL__SS500_.jpgH.P. Lovecraft's classic 1928 short story, "The Call of Cthulhu" was faithfully adapted in cinematic form in 2005 by director Andrew Leman and screenwriter Sean Branney under the supervision of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and is now available on DVD from the library.

Shot as a then-modern (for 1920s audiences) silent movie in black & white, The Call of Cthulhu is both a homage to early 20th century filmmaking and the powerful imagination of Lovecraft the writer.  It's also a terrific nail-biting thriller.

Running an appropriate 47 minutes, the film manages to include almost all of Lovecraft's original tale of a mental patient (Matt Foyer) who relates to an interviewer how, while going through his great-uncle's papers, he discovered the various chain of bizarre events over the decades in the US and abroad that suggested the rebirth of the hideous Cthulhu, an otherworldly creature (or pagan "Elder God") who once had ruled the Earth...and is now coming back. 

The episodic, dream-like tone of Lovecraft's original story (complete with flashbacks-within-flashbacks) is captured perfectly by the filmmakers, thanks to the hauntingly-shot black & white photography and eerie musical score.  The actors do overemote, as most pre-talkie performers did, but that only adds to the mounting tension of the story.  

Greenwich Library's DVD of The Call of Cthulhu can be reserved online here.  (My thanks to Dave R for tipping me off about this great film!)   

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This page contains a single entry by Ed published on June 4, 2009 9:20 AM.

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