Devotees of silent films and the great scribe of Providence alike will certainly enjoy this video, a faithful adaptation of Lovecraft's tale of ominous divinity shot in exacting imitation of expressionist films, courtesy of The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. Its production's period detail is astounding - sets, props, costumes and miniatures designed in imitation of interwar conventions and German mise en scène are of exceptional verisimilitude. Appropriately, its performers play their roles in calculated exaggeration, mimicking the theatrical gesticulation of most silent-era acting. Stop-motion animation deployed to realize the story's gruesome god-beast are merely a cherry atop this flick's sundae.
Shot on DV treated with effects in simulation of vintage 35mm film stock, the movie's cunningly designated "Mythoscope" is a treat to behold, though still lacking the natural contrast and depth of film. Telecined Super 8 stock subjected to like processing would yield better results, yet this is but a quibble - just as director Andrew Leman's mode incorporates a few contemporary conceits, so the photography is to be recognized as an inevitability of latter-day presentation. Likewise, an apposite, quality score composed by Ben Holbrook, Chad Fifer, Troy Sterling Nies and Nicholas Pavkovic is realized by dint of synthesizers, yet drolly advertised on the picture's fantastic theatrical poster as a "Rich Symphonic Score!"
It's a delight to finally see a Lovecraft feature created with assiduous care and steadfast fidelity to its source material. Shot on a budget of only $50K, this microproduction's artistic success was assured by an abundance of talent in compensation for its relative poverty. This represents a cultural opposite of Hollywood film making, and it's so much better for it.
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 … more