H. P. Lovecraft

BaronHardacre

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I think the problem with adapting Lovecraft for the screen is that it's very hard to transfer across the feeling of dread from page to the screen.
Horror movies, especially modern ones, tend to rely upon gore and special effects, however whilst there is a lot of death in Lovecraft's work, it is rarely that graphic. Or, at least, not for the Hostel generation...
And the movies that have been made rarely have the FX budget to match HPL's imagination.

Whilst not an actual Lovecraft adaptation, I think John Carpenter's In The Mouth of Madness, probably has that sense of dread, and best use of The Old Ones that we've seen.
It was also JC's last good film...
 

FrKadash

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When it comes to Lovecraft themed games I still say Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth for the PC is a brilliant effort at adapting Lovecraft's Cosmic occult horror. I'm still playing through it slowly and it's the most enjoyable game I've played in a long time.
 

GNC

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Ghostbusters has a surprisingly decent Lovecraft vibe...
 

graylien

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There's also Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace with Vincent Price filmed during his wonderful run of Poe adaptations.

Despite the title being a Poe poem, it's actually based on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

As for Dagon, it has an evil mermaid. A hot evil mermaid. I rest my case.
 

GNC

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There's also Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace with Vincent Price filmed during his wonderful run of Poe adaptations.
Die Monster Die with Boris Karloff from about the same time was an OK version of The Color Out Of Space, too - I think there's a remake due as well.
 

FrKadash

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Oooh I can't wait for this release, hopefully it'll live up to expectation :)

A new Call of Cthulhu video game is coming
Yes, that’s right. If you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft and the entire elder god mythos, then you are in for a treat. Several years ago, Headfirst Productions developed a terrifying game called Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. It was fairly well received and gamers who acquired the game shared their experiences stating that it was true to the madness and horror that’s usually packaged within this world that Lovecraft has created.
Read more at http://nerdreactor.com/2016/02/26/call-of-cthulhu-video-game-coming/#XWwCL4jBdIOLId8m.99


http://nerdreactor.com/2016/02/26/call-of-cthulhu-video-game-coming/
 

GNC

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It's not very Lovecraftian, I have to say, if anything it's less obsessed with horrors in the attic and more one of the most rape-fixated films of the 60s.
 
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Justin Bortnick on Lovecraft Country
Shoggoths in a Segregated America

WHEN DESCRIBING H.P. Lovecraft to friends of mine, I have often jokingly referred to him as “the most famous author you’ve never heard of.” Despite his relative lack of visibility — he’s not read in classrooms, nor will you find any of his books on a bestseller shelf — Lovecraft’s works of horror and science fiction in the early decades of the 20th century have had an outsized influence on popular culture. Everything from films like Alien andPirates of the Caribbean to the music of Metallica and Black Sabbath to writers ranging from Borges to Burroughs have a bit of the existential terror that permeates Lovecraft’s fiction.

Less highly regarded are Lovecraft’s ideas regarding race; a vehement believer in the superiority of white individuals over others, many of his stories were rooted in a fear of immigrants, miscegenation, and mixed ancestry. This mixed legacy has tarnished Lovecraft’s reputation. Even as recently as November of 2015, the administrators of the World Fantasy Award announced that they would no longer be using Lovecraft’s likeness on their award trophies, a bust of whom has been granted to winners for almost 40 years. This was the culmination of a debate that had been raging for most of this decade about how to, and if it was even possible to, separate Lovecraft from his racism. If nothing else, any appreciation of the author must be qualified with a condemnation of his racism.

Noted Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi condemned the move, writing that it was “craven yielding to the worst sort of political correctness and an explicit acceptance of the crude, ignorant and tendentious slanders against Lovecraft propagated by a small but noisy band of agitators.” Indeed, it seemed to ignore the evidence that Lovecraft had begun to abandon the racist views he held as a young man, becoming more tolerant and understanding of difference in his older age. Joshi also pointed out that criticisms of racism could be extended to individuals such as Bram Stoker (Dracula) and John W. Campbell, Jr. (The Thing), and yet the awards bearing their names have not capitulated on the value of their namesake’s art. While the decision was defended by others, such as Lenika Cruz, an associate editor at The Atlantic,the battle over Lovecraft’s racism has not yet concluded.

It is perhaps odd, then, that Matt Ruff’s new novel, Lovecraft Country, is set in Jim Crow America, long after Lovecraft’s death in 1937. Despite drawing the title from a term coined by Keith Herber to describe the fictional New England landscape in which Lovecraft set many of his stories, Ruff’s novel takes place primarily in Chicago; though there are excursions afield to locales both terrestrial and celestial, very little of the story is actually set in the eponymous Lovecraft Country. Nor do Ruff’s characters resemble the typical Lovecraftian protagonist — white, male, and with antiquarian tendencies. Atticus Turner is a black man and a veteran of the Korean War. Make no mistake: this is a novel about racism, told from the point of view of African Americans, written by a white man in the generic tradition of another, problematic white writer. It would be very easy to fall into traps of appropriation, but on balance Ruff avoids these pitfalls more than he stumbles into them. ...

https://lareviewofbooks.org/review/shoggoths-in-a-segregated-america
 

Tribble

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A long-lost manuscript by HP Lovecraft, an investigation of superstition through the ages that the author was commissioned to write by Harry Houdini, has been found in a collection of magic memorabilia.

The Cancer of Superstition was previously known only in outline and through its first chapter. Houdini had asked Lovecraft in 1926 to ghostwrite the treatise exploring superstition, but the magician’s death later that year halted the project, as his wife did not wish to pursue it.

According to the auction house – which will open bids at $13,000 (£9,240) with a pre-auction estimate expecting a final price somewhere between $25,000-$40,000 – the document explores everything from worship of the dead to werewolves and cannibalism, theorising that superstition is an “inborn inclination” that “persists only through mental indolence of those who reject modern science”.

“Most of us are heathens in the innermost recesses of our hearts,” it concludes.


http://www.theguardian.com/books/20...ni-manuscript-cancer-superstition-memorabilia
 

Zeke Newbold

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I am replying very late in the day, but with Lovecraft I think that it's not so much that you hit critical mass but more that one day, one story will suddenly make absolute sense and be so absolutely scary, engaging, and weird, that you will not be able to reflect upon the days when you didn't "get" Lovecraft. Because from that moment on, your memory will be convinced that you always "got" Lovecraft.

I know that there was a time before Lovecraft, and I remember the moment I swapped from being an interested reader to a utter fan. I was self consciously reading At the Mountains of Madness on the train from Oxford to London. Then, literally without warning, the story reeled around and screamed at me. A scream that although I didn't hear it, I will never forget it. Since then, I just worship at the feet of Lovecraft. He's more than worth pursuing. Once you hit that magic moment (and it may come at any point, anywhere), you'll never look back. Indeed, it will open a whole new world of fantastical fiction for you to explore and enjoy. I rather envy you and the world you are about to, maybe, explore!
Hmmmm...just what is it I'm missing with Lovecraft? If ever there were a willing audience it is me: dark -science fiction is my kind of town, and I love a creature feature more than anybody - and yet I find much of Lovecraft to be all but unreadable.

Before anyone says it, I am not some sort of philistine whose idea of a good writer is Shaun Hutson: I have studied literature to higher degree level and am quite used to dealing with dense and wordy texts - so it's not that. It's not that Lovecraft overwrites, it's more that he is needlessly turgid - and very self-indulgent.

His stories strike me as almost an object lesson in How Not to Write Fiction. His narratives are starkly linear and hence completely lack suspense.You can see everything coming a mile off. Then there is precious little in the way of characterisation: there is usually one main protagonist and that person is usually a projection of Lovecraft himself. Then he is the sort of writer who tells rather than shows. He spends a lot of time telling us how scared we should be feeling - instead of evoking this feeling in us through suggestion. So he piles on the adjectives, one after another to create a feeling of contrived hysteria.

For those of you who have never read any Lovecraft I will save you the bother by providing you with a synopsis of his typical tale:

A Reclusive and Effete Antiquarian is drawn to an old tomb/shuttered house/old town in order to research the book he is writing about archaeology/ancient lore. There's a lot of creeping about through old catacombs which are full of treasures which are described in tedious detail. The protagonist learns that somebody died in this place with a horrified expression on his face. All of this is really Really Scary! We're Scared! Then the protagonist unleashes the presence of an ancient race/entity/civilisation which belongs to some far off time and place which has a name which sounds like the name in a bad Iron Maiden lyric.The being is a sort of ape/octopus/devil/jellyfish type thing, but really it is so damned scary that he can't possible describe it! We are all very scared! The protagonist runs back to his mother and nobody will believe what he saw.The End.

My take on Lovecraft is that he was a fan, writing fan fiction -but was standing on the shoulders of giants and knew it.He particularly tried to emulate Arthur Machen. He would have made a very good scholar - as is shown by his academic essay `Supernatural horror in Literature` which is one of the best things he had ever written.

A frustrated scholar and fan trying to hard to reproduce the greats, but not quite getting how to - that was Lovecraft. Great pioneering writer of pulp horror?- I don't think so....Feel free to convince me otherwise, however.
 

Naughty_Felid

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Hmmmm...just what is it I'm missing with Lovecraft? If ever there were a willing audience it is me: dark -science fiction is my kind of town, and I love a creature feature more than anybody - and yet I find much of Lovecraft to be all but unreadable.

Before anyone says it, I am not some sort of philistine whose idea of a good writer is Shaun Hutson: I have studied literature to higher degree level and am quite used to dealing with dense and wordy texts - so it's not that. It's not that Lovecraft overwrites, it's more that he is needlessly turgid - and very self-indulgent.

His stories strike me as almost an object lesson in How Not to Write Fiction. His narratives are starkly linear and hence completely lack suspense.You can see everything coming a mile off. Then there is precious little in the way of characterisation: there is usually one main protagonist and that person is usually a projection of Lovecraft himself. Then he is the sort of writer who tells rather than shows. He spends a lot of time telling us how scared we should be feeling - instead of evoking this feeling in us through suggestion. So he piles on the adjectives, one after another to create a feeling of contrived hysteria.

For those of you who have never read any Lovecraft I will save you the bother by providing you with a synopsis of his typical tale:

A Reclusive and Effete Antiquarian is drawn to an old tomb/shuttered house/old town in order to research the book he is writing about archaeology/ancient lore. There's a lot of creeping about through old catacombs which are full of treasures which are described in tedious detail. The protagonist learns that somebody died in this place with a horrified expression on his face. All of this is really Really Scary! We're Scared! Then the protagonist unleashes the presence of an ancient race/entity/civilisation which belongs to some far off time and place which has a name which sounds like the name in a bad Iron Maiden lyric.The being is a sort of ape/octopus/devil/jellyfish type thing, but really it is so damned scary that he can't possible describe it! We are all very scared! The protagonist runs back to his mother and nobody will believe what he saw.The End.

My take on Lovecraft is that he was a fan, writing fan fiction -but was standing on the shoulders of giants and knew it.He particularly tried to emulate Arthur Machen. He would have made a very good scholar - as is shown by his academic essay `Supernatural horror in Literature` which is one of the best things he had ever written.

A frustrated scholar and fan trying to hard to reproduce the greats, but not quite getting how to - that was Lovecraft. Great pioneering writer of pulp horror?- I don't think so....Feel free to convince me otherwise, however.

You have to you're tongue firmly lodged in you're cheek when reading Lovecraft. It's the fact that his writing is at times so bloody awful or unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hilarious.

There are other times though when his writing hits the nail on the head and is pretty scary.

I wouldn't dismiss him as a writer so easily either. Many writers rated his work and corresponded with him and he also came up with a truly unique world of cosmic horror.

edit: You can also skim the really bad bits - nobody is holding a gun to your head.
 
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Zeke Newbold

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You have to you're tongue firmly lodged in you're cheek when reading Lovecraft. It's the fact that his writing is at times so bloody awful or unintentionally and sometimes intentionally hilarious.

There are times though when his writing hits the nail on the head and is pretty scary.

I wouldn't dismiss him as a writer so easily either. Many writers rated his work and corresponded with him and he also came up with a truly unique world of cosmic horror.
For me his most successful story is also his least typical one: Herbert West - Re-animator. This works because the author divests himself of all the unnameable/Old ones/Cthultu bollocks and actually tells a tale (and a Frankenstinian one at that). It's fun, and one gets a rare re-animator.jpg feeling that Lovecraft was, ever so slightly, taking the P - thus had a well hidden sense of humour somewhere.

This inspired the 1985 flick Re-animator which is faithful to the sense but not the details of the story.

I have yet to be scared by anything Lovecraft has written, and still can't seem him as a great writer.


























 

Naughty_Felid

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For me his most successful story is also his least typical one: Herbert West - Re-animator. This works because the author divests himself of all the unnameable/Old ones/Cthultu bollocks and actually tells a tale (and a Frankenstinian one at that). It's fun, and one gets a rare View attachment 2246 feeling that Lovecraft was, ever so slightly, taking the P - thus had a well hidden sense of humour somewhere.

This inspired the 1985 flick Re-animator which is faithful to the sense but not the details of the story.

I have yet to be scared by anything Lovecraft has written, and still can't seem him as a great writer.​

I think he was well aware as to how funny it is - brilliant novella.

Shadow out of Innsmouth? All those writhing bodies out on the reef? We've got a pile of rocks, a mini reef on a beach nearby and when the moon is full it's pretty eerie and always reminds me of Innsmouth.​
 
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Lovecraft's Creatures Would Have Made Excellent Opponents For Europe's Crusaders

What if H.P. Lovecraft had been around in the Middle Ages? It’s likely that the crusades would have turned out very differently, as seen by these fantastic illustrations from Austrian illustrator, Robert Altbauer.

Altbauer runs a website called Fantasy Map, where most of his art is in the form of fantastic alternate maps, some of which end up in gaming books. He noted that these illustrations were a side project: “When I finally had the time and leisure to do so, I wanted to give them an special twist and Lovecraft came into mind. I have read most of his work and he was a master of his genre. I think the creatures of Lovecraft make excellent opponents for fearless crusaders.” ...

http://io9.gizmodo.com/lovecrafts-creatures-would-have-made-excellent-opponent-1768666924
 

OneWingedBird

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That reminds me of the vid I posted a while back about weird creatures and stuff in medieval fighting manuals.

The plants portrayed weren't far off cthuliod creatures, or what someone on LSD would draw. Which is curious, because the Voynich Manuscript is considered to be odd for having strange plants in it (among other reasons) which aren't really that strange once you know it was a thing for that period to draw LSD / alien inspired for a.
 

FrKadash

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Stanley works within the same occult circles as myself and he's a really friendly and genuine guy and definitely the most suitable filmmaker to adapt Lovecraft to the big screen, and I'm especially excited about the choice of story, The Colour Out of Space is one of Lovecraft's greatest stories and my second favourite after The Call of Cthulhu.

Director Richard Stanley still on track to make Color Out of Space with SpectreVision
by Clark Collis@clarkcollis
Posted May 26 2016 — 11:21 AM EDT

It’s been a minute since EW broke the news that Hardware and Dust Devil director Richard Stanley had struck a deal with horror production company SpectreVision to adapt H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Color Out of Space for the big screen. In fact, it’s been eight months and precious little has been heard since about the film, which would be Stanley’s first feature since he was fired from 1996’s The Island of Dr. Moreau.

So, has the director’s attempt to turn Lovecraft’s tale of a meteor which drives people insane become lost in some development hellscape? Apparently not. Speaking on this week’s episode of horror podcast Shock Waves, SpectreVision cofounders Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, and Elijah Wood made clear the film remains very much a priority for them.
http://www.ew.com/article/2016/05/26/richard-stanley-color-out-space
 
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Heckler

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<Is cautiously excited>

Still of one thing I am certain, it will be better than the last time it was filmed, 1987's 'The Curse' with Wil (Wesley Crusher) Wheaton.
 
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... Nevertheless, Blavatsky’s Dzyan was wildly popular not just with Theosophists but with writers and artists who made reference to it as well. In 1935, H. P. Lovecraft included the book in his revision of “The Diary of Alonzo Typer,” having borrowed the information about Theosophy secondhand. He wrote in “Alonzo Typer” that “I learned of the Book of Dzyan, whose first six chapters antedate the earth, and which was old when the lords of Venus came through space in their ships to civilise our planet.”

As it happens, we know exactly where Lovecraft got the idea from. He learned of it directly from E. Hoffman Price in the winter of 1933, as he confesses in a letter if February 18, 1933:

[E. Hoffmann] Price has dug up another cycle of actual folklore involving an allegedly primordial thing called The Book of Dzyan, which is supposed to contain all sorts of secrets of the Elder World before the sinking of Kusha (Atlantis) and Shalmali (Lemuria). It is kept at the Holy City of Shamballah, and is regarded as the oldest book in the world --- its language being Senzar (ancestor of Sanscrit), which was brought to earth 18,000,000 years ago by the Lords of Venus. I don't know where E. Hoffmann got hold of this stuff, but it sounds damn good. (Selected Letters, vol. IV, p. 155)
So how did Price come to think the Stanzas of Dzyan were 18 million years old? If we were to assume that Price was working firsthand from Blavatsky, it would seem that Price misread part of Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine and confused Lemuria with the Stanzas of Dzyan. Blavatsky writes in her commentary on Dzyan Stanza 1:

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/m...ken-thought-aliens-wrote-the-stanzas-of-dzyan
 
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Tried to watch The Shunned House last night, based on Lovecraft stories. Gave up after 30 minutes. Just didn't engage me.

Based on an H.P. Lovecraft tale, THE SHUNNED HOUSE is the story of Alex and his girlfriend, Rita, who enter a decaying inn to investigate a series of gruesome and unexplained murders from the distant past. Through the dusty rooms they sense an obscure power, a presence of evil, still lurking within the walls. As timeless atrocities appear around them, Alex and Rita realize they may become another one of the inn's legends. Inside the Shunned House, dying once is not enough.

Full film here:

Legally online.

IMDb give it 4.4/10: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0378760/
 

Peripart

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Funnily, as I continue to drag myself through Lovecraft's collected works, I've recently read "The Shunned House". There wasn't an Alex or a Rita in it, unlike the film, but as stories go, it was OK, if a bit bland.

I'm still finding the same problem with HPL (and I concede that some of this may be to do with the Kindle edition I'm reading, where the stories are thrown in apparently at random) - a lot of the tales have potential, and a bit of atmosphere, but they often go nowhere. They read like synopses for fuller tales, or like descriptions of extremely vivid dreams. I keep hoping to be chilled, but more often find myself thinking "that was quite interesting", which surely isn't the intended effect.
 

Heckler

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With Lovecraft, we're left with stuff that was commercial, the stuff that didn't sell (so less polished but no less worth reading) and the rest (which is most of the bulk).

He was constantly disappointed by his own perceived failure to write something worthy and it seems often abandoned a story when he felt it wasn't going anywhere.
 
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