Monday, April 06, 2009

The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft Coming to the Big Screen

In what must have been a strong application of Non-Euclidean Geometry, Mac Carter and Jeff Blitz have inked a movie production deal for a comic that will be released this Wednesday. The Strange Adventures of HP Lovecraft is a comic that combines the fiction of the famous author with biographical information from the author's life. The narrative is a kind of "What if HP Lovecraft was writing about real things?"

It's an interesting idea, but fans of Lovecraft have yet to receive a big screen adaptation of anything Lovecraftian that comes close to capturing the mood of the author's tales. The best "true" Lovecraftian film is the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's "period" silent adaptation of Call of Cthulhu that was released in 2005. The made for Showtime version of Dreams in the Witch House comes pretty close to capturing the feel of the books, but the Society's adaptation far outshines the typical Lovecraftian fare like The Dunwich Horror, Die, Monster, Die!, Dagon, and 2007's Cthulhu. This isn't to say that all of these Lovecraft adaptations are horrible, just that most of them fail to capture the building sense of dread of a Lovecraft tale.

The Society's silent was so good that I eagerly await their adaptation of The Whisperer in Darkness.

According to Variety and The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft blog, Universal thinks that the comic's version of Lovecraftian horror is a good fit for their Classic Monster series and might be a good vehicle for Ron Howard. For genre fans who are alarmed that Mr. Howard might be directing a Lovecraft related film, one should remember that Mr. Howard -- in addition to being a very skilled director -- got his start as a director with Roger Corman. Roger Corman's adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe tales are classics in the horror film canon, and Poe was a major influence on Lovecraft. The Corman - Howard - Poe - Lovecraft connection may seem tenuous. After all Grand Theft Auto was a long time ago, nor was it a horror film, but films like The Da Vinci Code and Willow demonstrate that Howard has a deep affection for genre films and the way he directed madness in A Beautiful Mind would translate easily into representation of personal horror.

My opinion regarding whether the comic itself is worth adapting will have to wait until after the next few months. I would say after this Wednesday, but one should never judge a comic book (or television series) by a single installment.

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