Monday, March 7, 2011

lovecraft at the movies

At last some good news, especially for those who are fans of that most famous author of macabre stories from Providence, RI, H.P. Lovecraft. His story 'At the Mountains of Madness' gives us all a good reason to last until 2013 since that's when Guillermo DelToro's version of the film is scheduled for release. For those of you who might not be familiar with the tale (not you Randal), I've provided a synopsis written by someone else because I'm too lazy to read it again right now.

"Miskatonic University of Arkham, Massachussetts, sends a scientific expedition to explore the snowy wastes of Antarctica. Once there the team uses experimental drilling equipment to search for fossils from the days when Antarctica was a steaming, prehistoric jungle. In an icy cavern members of the expedition discover perfectly preserved specimens of a winged, column-like creature and bring them back to camp for study.

Informed of the momentous find by radio, the unnamed expedition leader and a companion race to the scene. When they arrive they discover the camp destroyed, the men and sled dogs alike slaughtered and dissected. The mysterious specimens are missing along with some scientific equipment and one team member. Suspecting mutiny or perhaps insanity the team leader sets off into the mountains, following the tracks of a hastily constructed sledge and footprints that are decidedly inhuman. Almost willfully blind to the truth until too late, the scientists realize the alien specimens were only hibernating and now seek to return to the ancient prehuman city that is their home. What follows is a story told in hieroglyhs, recording the rise and fall of an alien empire that genetically engineered man as a buffoonish, ape-like jester to amuse their inhuman intellects. The explorers must try to escape not only the city, but also the mindless, protoplasmic slaves who built it for their slumbering creators."
Greg O., Resident Scholar

I'm not a fan of horror movies in general but I've seen quite a few and DelToro's 'Pan's Labyrinth' is one of the very best, so knowing he'll be directing this amazing story written by H.P. Lovecraft is exciting. 'Re-Animator', 'Die Monster Die', 'The Thing' and even, 'Alien' are all either adaptations or contain ideas borrowed from H.P. Murray Groat's remarkable Lovecraftian Adventures of TinTin are one of the more witty and remarkable versions of how the stories keep reappearing. I can't help but wonder if there's some essential truth behind this madness but that's something you can discover for yourself if you read him.

The bad news about this story (well, there had to be a dark side) is that the studio has insisted that Tom Cruise play the lead. With any luck Cthulu will eat him.


Liberality said...

My husband is a HUGE fan of Lovecraftian tales. I'm sure he'll be first in line :)

Francis Hunt said...

I thought the Cthulu got Cruise years ago. Or some space monster anyway ... that is basically his religion, after all, isn't it?

jams o donnell said...

Excellent news! I love the Tintin covers but as for Tom Cruise, perhaps he could have a cameo role as Iok Sokkot instead!

Randal Graves said...

Everyone relax, Tom's obviously going to be playing a shoggoth. Won't even know it's him.

susan said...

Thanks for your comments about this one but it appears I got excited too soon. Universal Studios balked at the $150million cost and have canceled the film. Ah well, it would have been amazing.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Well, that's okay because I am only now getting here and though I've heard of Lovecraft, I've never read him. Being a fan of Poe, I think I should! Thanks!

How has your first Nova Scotia winter been treating you?

susan said...

pagan sphinx - You probably would enjoy reading Lovecraft. Poe was a much more versatile writer as well as a poet but Lovecraft was his equal when it came to horror fiction. I read all his books while I lived in Providence and the strange thing was that his way of seeing the world creeps up on you gradually.

Winter wasn't so bad here but it might have been unusual in not having too much snow this season. The winds blow through here with a force I've never experienced before. maybe I'll send you a report :-)

Seraphine said...

i love tin tin. i used to read those comics when i was in france. one doesn't always have to understand french to understand the comic.

susan said...

sera - The Tintin stories are great as well as timeless. They really don't require translation but I'm also glad I had a chance to read a few in English.