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The Call of Cthulhu

2 Ratings: 5.0
Modern silent film adaptation of the classic H.P. Lovecraft story.
1 review about The Call of Cthulhu

When Cthulhu Calls You'd Better Answer!

  • May 3, 2009
Rating:
+5
THE CALL OF CTHULHU is that long dreamed of but seemingly impossible feat--a film that is absolutely true to the work of author H.P. Lovecraft! Many have tried and failed starting in 60s with abominable films such as DIE MONSTER DIE and CTHULHU MANSION in the 80s.  Granted there have been a few near misses such as Stuart Gordon's DAGON, and the rare modernized successes such as  THE RESURRECTED and Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR , but fans have always been left longing for that one perfectly realized versions of the master works--the one that would truly capture the taste and feel of the "hideous monolith-crowned citadel" that was the sunken city of R'yleh where  dead Cthulhu lay dreaming just the way Lovecraft had envisioned it. 

Well folks, Here it is! Financed and filmed by members of the HPL Historical Society, this black & white silent film was wisely designed to appear as if it had been filmed during Lovecraft's lifetime and then left long forgotten in some dusty studio vault.  The decision to film it in this manner is undoubtedly the biggest factor in its success. There aren't any high tech CGI monsters here either.  No sir! Just good old fashioned stop-motion animation which is extremely well done  and which also adds to the film's appeal and its feeling of authenticity, as well miniatures and in-the-camera techniques that would have been used in the 20s when Lovecraft would have been writing his disturbing tales of eldritch Gods.

The film clocks in at a brief 45 minutes or so, but there are at least that many minutes of special features which are just as much fun to watch as the movie is. The story concerns a young man who is called upon to manage his dying uncle's estate and in the course of discharging his duties he comes across some mysterious papers detailing his uncle's lifelong obsession with the bizarre and secretive Cthulhu Cult. Before he knows it the young man is drawn into the mystery himself and his uncle's obsession becomes his own. THE CALL OF CTHULHU is a well-crafted work of love that should be seen by every fan of the genre. On second thought, don't just rent it--BUY it!  And if you want to read a GOOD review of this, talk to trashcan man!
When Cthulhu Calls You'd Better Answer! When Cthulhu Calls You'd Better Answer! When Cthulhu Calls You'd Better Answer! When Cthulhu Calls You'd Better Answer!

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May 09, 2009
fantastic review. eldritch gods always interest me...
May 10, 2009
You'd love it.
 
May 05, 2009
Yeah, Trashie said that I should check this out and being a complete silent film addict and horror enthusiast, I think I may need to take his advice.
May 05, 2009
Its a must for you! And keep your eyes and ears peeled for Renfield in the special features!
May 05, 2009
Huh?
May 05, 2009
Read Trashie's old review for it on ammie, or wait and be surprised.
May 05, 2009
I did read his Amazon review, but I don't remember a mention of Renfield. Hmmm... I guess it'll have to be a surprise then.
May 06, 2009
How far down, I thought I read them all. I guess I'll just have to check that out after I get pack from the post office and comic book store.
 
May 04, 2009
I love this film. As you pointed out, it is the ONLY Lovecraft film that stays true to his writing, although, again as you pointed out, "The Resurrected" was not bad at all. Wonderful review.
May 05, 2009
For some reason I didn't like THE RESURRECTED the first time I saw it--I don't know what was wrong with me, its a perfectly good adaptation. Thanks for stopping by.
May 05, 2009
I think you were missing Dr Willett. I know that I was, and it took time for me to realize that he had been replaced by a detective, a sidekick and a wife. I guess Hollywood is convinced that unless we have a sex interest, it can't be a good story. I do like your review, though. Very well done.
May 05, 2009
Not really. I can accept that in a modernization as long as the end result is okay. I think I managed to miss the whole comedic tone of the movie the same way I missed it in RE-ANIMATOR. I was watching RE-ANIMATOR while trying to assemble a piece of furniture and I missed all the wonderfullness of it and thought it stunk. Later I heard Roger Ebert saying how terrific it was and how funny so I decided to revisit it, and I loved it. Maybe with RESURRECTED I was just zoning out or something.
May 05, 2009
That is very possible, too. I've done that myself. Although, to be honest, I STILL don't like Re-Animator or the Unnameable series, either. Of course, that's just me.
May 05, 2009
I love Jeffrey Combs. Maybe with another actor in the role I wouldn't have liked it as much, but he's just so perfect. I was also put off a bit by the gore factor, but I adjusted. UNNAMEABLE II was better than the first one, I actually enjoyed it because it gave Randolph Carter a bit more to do, but of course its still at best a second tier flick.
May 05, 2009
Combs is excellent, but I just don't like the fact that the Hollywood writers think that you have to add so much gore to Lovecraft. There is also the sex interest that has been added to every Lovecraft film made by a major studio. One film that I do love, though, is "In The Mouth of Madness". It's not Lovecraft, but it sure feels like it.
May 05, 2009
You've got to have the gore and the sex for the target audience the 19 year old male. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS should have been a Lovecraft film it felt more like one than many that said they were.
May 05, 2009
Have you seen the 1963 movie "The Haunting"? No sex, no spewing entrails, no heads lopped off and no monster, creature or whatever on stage. It quite literally scared the hell out of me, simply because it DEMANDS that you participate. It's so well written and well acted.
May 06, 2009
Um, I hate to admit it but I never liked it. I hated all the voice-over work by Julie Harris. I would have liked it much better without hearing her thoughts all the time. The  camera work was nice though.  Couldn't help but notice that Sam Raimi stole it for EVIL DEAD. And of course Robert Wise's direction was very good as well.
May 06, 2009
I just thought it was the best way to scare you without blood, gore and sex. The novel was brilliant, too. Not everyone likes that, though. My son much prefers the horror with special effects. Of course, he's 36 and I'm 66. I think younger people do prefer the special effects and the blood and gore.
May 06, 2009
No doubt about it, they do. I don't need special effects myself, and when I get 'em I don't need 'em to be spectacular because I grew up with men in monster suits and space ships hanging on wires so as long as the story is working what do I care. It takes a lot to pull me out of the moment.
May 06, 2009
You are certainly wise beyond your years. I remember being excited by the 1930s Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials. I think the special effects budget for them was around $.35 per episode. They were bad, but the stories were exciting. I do admit that I am old, and have the old man attitude that the story is more important than the effects. It's nice to see someone as young as you with that attitude.
May 06, 2009
We had a kids' show on tv everyday called Captain Mac's Adventure Show and they ran those along with Sheena, and Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan, and even old Clyde Beatty serials. I ain't as young as I look.
May 06, 2009
Actually, your picture looks very much like Kirsten Dunst, and she is only 27 or so. I guess I assumed that you were about that age. Your picture doesn't look any older. If you remember those, though, you must be older.
May 06, 2009
That's the wonderful thing about the internet, you never know who anyone really is. Actually that was taken when I was 30ish. I retired from the Pissed Office about 2 years ago and am fairly surprised that I lived long enough to do so. That place really will kill you, one way or the other. Funny that you think I look like Kirsten Dunst. I write occasional to a guy who used to be an exercise rider fpr Secretariat (that horse was the one true love of my life, although we never met) and he thought I looked like Debra Paget! I don't see that one at all!.  When I was 16 and doing the blonde thing, a friend's mother said I looked like Mia Farrow.
May 06, 2009
You do look like Kirsten Dunst, at least to me. My picture was taken this past Christmas, so I still look very much like that. I retired after 6 years of Navy, 6 years of Air Force and 22 years of Air National Guard. Four Meritorious Service Medals, two Purple Hearts from Nam and seven letters of commendation. That will age you quickly, believe me. You also seem to have good bone structure so I'll bet you are still attractive. No, I"m not trying to pick you up. At my age, and with my background, I simply say what I think and hope that those I talk with will understand that
May 06, 2009
No problem. Do you remember the first movie you ever saw?
May 06, 2009
Yes, a Bob Steele western. Dad took me to the movies when I was 6 years old, in 1949. Black and white. Dad would NOT take me to Frankenstein or Dracula, though, until I was around 12. What was your first movie?
May 06, 2009
I'll never forget it, it warped me for life. It also makes it pretty easy to figure out my age. It was THE THING. It was right before we moved from Ohio to Florida so I couldn't possibly have been more than more 4 and 1/2. Even thought it scared me silly, I loved monster movies from that day forward. I met Kenneth Tobey at a horror convention in 1994. It was like going full circle.
May 06, 2009
Wow!!! I remember that one. James Arness was the critter. The first real "horror" I saw was "Them", also with James Arness and James Whitmore. Then, "Creature From the Black Lagoon". Great stuff.
May 06, 2009
Fess Parker was also in THEM, he had a small part as a fighter pilot who gets thrown in a psycho ward after getting buzzed by the queen ant. I had a majot crush on Fess Parker when he was doing Davey Crockett on Disney. And a lot of the first2 BLACK LAGOON film were actually shot in Florida not more than a couple of hours from where I lived. A lot of underwater stuff was shot in Silver Springs including Sea Hunt. Lloyd Bridges old show.
May 06, 2009
I watched Sea Hunt every time it was on. I had a huge case of preteen lust for Julie Adams from Black Lagoon, too. I actually met Fess Parker in 1956 when I visited Disneyland in California. I am also from Ohio, and live there now.
May 06, 2009
I understand he has a vinyard out there with his own lable. We were from Cleveland. My father was born in Columbus. He eventually moved back to this small town around Canton.
May 06, 2009
I had not heard that. Would not surprise me, though. He seemed entirely too nice to be a celebrity when I met him. My teen aged hero worship seemed to almost embarass him. I'm from Springfield, and I'm back there now. Been all over with the military, but I came home for Mom and Dad. They both died in the 90s, so now I'm here for my mother's sister, who just had her 90th birthday.
May 06, 2009
My mother dies in 2000 just 2 months after my daughter's twins were born, she'd just turned 90, and my father died a year or so before that he was 88. Well. I have to call it a night. I have to get up very early tomorrow. Yuck. I'm not a morning person. I'm not a night person either. I'm only good from about 11 in the morning to about 10 at night. I have a real small window. Talk to you later.
May 06, 2009
Sleep well. Nice chatting with you.
 
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