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Dead Cast of Cthulhu Awaits Dreaming

September 10th, 2021

Quick episode here to update you on why there's been radio silence from CoC, the expected planned hiatus for September, and assurance that we'll be back in mid-October once things settle down. 

As CoC awaits dreaming in the depths of R'lyeh, just a reminder that we've got a few cool things on our Patreon including an interview with Al White, the writer and director of Starfish. Just $3 a month will get you access to that as well as a bunch of cool stuff that we're planning for the future when we rise again in time for Halloween.

Enjoy your September, everybody! See you in October!

Episode 45 - The Resurrected (1991)

August 11th, 2021

Okay, first off, we're sorry that there's been such a gap between episodes. Life happens.

Second off, we launched a Patreon! Our first exclusive episode for patrons is an interview with friend of the show, BJ Verot, as he talks about directing his feature film debut, the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Best Feature winner, The Return.

After getting that big news out of the way, The Cast of Cthulhu rises again like so many essential salts to discuss the hard to find The Resurrected, a film that stars Chris Sarandon is dual roles as Charles Dexter Ward and his doppelgänger ancestor, Prince Humperduhh...sorry, Joseph Curwen. Arguably the most faithful adaptation of any Lovecraft text we've ever covered, it's also, by default, arguably the biggest argument against faithfully adapting Lovecraft. Also, could there be a connection between The Resurrected and The Princess Bride?*

Subscribe to our Pateron here: https://www.patreon.com/CastCthulhu
The Return is available to rent or purchase on both Amazon and iTunes.
And here's the real house that inspired Ward's fictional abode.

*No, there isn't

Episode 44 - The Unnameable (1988)

July 8th, 2021

First and foremost, we have to pour one out for Lovecraft Country, which was officially canceled by HBO, robbing us of the vision Mischa Green would have unleashed untethered from the source material.

But if you're not the sentimental type, skip ahead to 11:32 to get to the discussion of The Unnameable, a bizarre, tonally mixed, low-budget adaptation that somehow expands on the short story without actually adding anything substantive. Perhaps it's because Howard is a milquetoast protagonist or because the film shoehorns in every awful 80's teen trope or because the titular Unnameable is utterly nameable and generic, but either way, the end result of Jean-Paul Ouellette's efforts are as slight as the source material. 

If you disagree with us, perhaps you'll find solidarity with Massimo Berruti.

Episode 43 - The Beach House (2019)

June 23rd, 2021

Well, now that it's actually summer we can talk about a film that actually deals with summery things and we've got not only the perfect film, but also the perfect guest! Jessica Scott joins The Cast of Cthulhu to talk about Jeffrey A. Brown's feature directorial debut, The Beach House and boy, oh boy, does this film dive deep into Lovecraftian themes of mankind's insignificance amongst an ancient creation (and also, tentacles). 

The performances are engaging and the practical effects make us cringe and scream, but arguably the film's most effective tool to deploy is an aesthetic and philosophical depiction of the vastness of an ocean that taps into primordial fears and causes deeply buried emotions to bubble to the surface. If Cassavetes made a horror film, maybe it would look something like The Beach House.

Follow Jessica Scott on Twitter @WeWhoWalkHere
And visit here to read up on her writing work

Episode 42 - Starfish (2018)

June 10th, 2021

There's something ironic about reviewing a film due to its titular tie in to beaches only to discover upon viewing that it takes place almost entirely in snowy Colorado. After Jim apologizes for that, he implores the Internet to help him stop getting Twitter notifications about The Snyderverse (4:18) and delves into the world of hurt people hurting people with a discussion of his recent obsession, Vice TV's phenomenal Dark Side of the Ring (12:43).

At 26:39 comes the discussion of A.T. White's Starfish, a film that Jim initially wrote off because of "how hipster it is." This episode is a rarity in the lifespan of The Cast of Cthulhu, one in which Jim actually walks back a few of his criticisms in real time after listening to James's interpretations! Unlike so many starfish with severed limbs though, he doesn't emerge from this episode newly formed since Starfish's meager budget and half-baked world building lead to a film about an emotional journey that is oddly emotionally muddled and not at all Lovecraftian.

Are the creatures real or imagined? What does the voice on the radio want? Is Aubrey's journey across town real or metaphorical? Is the giant creature in the sky an inadvertent callback to the discussion of The Snyderverse because it's actually DC supervillain Starro? Listen to our mixtape to find out!

Episode 41 - Lifeforce (1985)

May 19th, 2021

We're covering a weird, ambitious movie, so it's only fitting that we've got a weird, ambitious episode. Jay Alary from Grumpire and Daily Grindhouse joins The Cast of Cthulhu to discuss Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce, the first of a 3-picture deal and a weird, ambitious failure of a sci-fi film that may have signaled the beginning of the end for Hooper's marketability and dependability as a director.

Of course, those 3 pictures were all made for the notorious(ly beloved) low-budget studio, The Cannon Group, so the review can't begin until James takes us down a meaty tour of Cannon's history and reputation from Cannes to Sunday afternoons on WPIX 11. 

If you're anything like Jim, then you see Lifeforce as a messy, exploitative genre film in which a beloved The X-Files character actor elicits unintentional laughs from portraying the sweatiest, most pathetically love sick astronaut in history. And if you're anything like Jay and James, then that's probably why you love itAnd if you're anything like The Space Vampires author Colin Wilson, well...why are you even listening to this?

Follow Jay on Twitter @JuliusBarthelme

Episode 40 - The Empty Man (2020)

May 12th, 2021

We went into The Empty Man expecting a subpar knockoff of the Slender Man story and were we delightfully surprised to see that it was anything but! Receiving a similar fate to another overlooked horror film that Disney unceremoniously dumped after acquiring Fox, this "rough edit" release - as writer/director David Prior considers it - foregoes jump scares and traditional horror tropes in order to craft a moody, dreadful story chock full of surreal and impressionistic imagery. 

No tangents, prefaces, or distractions in this episode - just an enthusiastic discussion of a criminally under-appreciated horror film that would make H.P. Lovecraft stand up and cheer (before quickly bowing down in exultation of The Empty Man). Thank God Prior didn't stay faithful to the source material, eh?

Here's where to read the article we quote from Film School Rejects, "How David Prior's 'The Empty Man' Survived the Perfect Hollywood Storm."

And here's where to read the full review of The Empty Man from RogerEbert.com.

Episode 39 - Lord of Illusions (1995)

May 5th, 2021

Sincerest apologies for both the episode delay (life stuff) and audio quality of Jim's vocal track (forgot mic due to life stuff), but if you're able to forgive us for those hiccups, we are excited to have Council of Zoom's Kieran Fisher join us to discuss Clive Barker's third and final directorial effort, Lord of Illusions!

The delayed release also means a delayed review of Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, so skip ahead to 20:25 if you're so over all the wokeness in the MCU and just want to hear a review of a horror/noir/thriller featuring a young, attractive Famke Jansen and a young, arguably more attractive young Scott Bakula. Harry D'Amour may be the perfect Lovecraftian protagonist, but he's the lead in a film that doesn't give him a worthy antagonist and that also isn't nearly as illusioney as it thinks it is. The practical effects are pretty effective, but making us believe that a cult leader with 8 followers in the middle of the desert is capable of destroying the world is not.

Follow Kieran on Twitter @haireverywhere_

Episode 38 - Society (1989)

April 14th, 2021

Seeing as Jim made his triumphant return to the movie theater for the first time in well over a year, it's only fitting that the boys spend a little time talking about the (very dumb) film ushering people out of the pandemic, Godzilla vs. Kong. 

Skip ahead to 26:30 to avoid spoilers and a discussion of all things related to large beings destroying tiny cityscapes and to get to the main event, the discussion on Brian Yuzna's directorial debut, Society. Joining to discuss the film that only gets grosser as it gets older is James's partner in life and crime, Corinne Corrosive! 

The film's narrative logic - or lack thereof - may not hold up any better than its 1980sness, but man oh man are those practical effects from Screaming Mad George still nauseating and it's scary how the film's themes of the rich feeding on the poor have become all the more relevant today. Perhaps if Trump runs again in 2024, he should be honest with everyone and run on the Shunting Party card.

Episode 37 - The Endless (2017)

March 24th, 2021

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
- H.P. Lovecraft

"Adding a Lovecraft quote to your film doesn't make your film Lovecraftian."
- The Cast of Cthulhu

So, we're talking about The Endless, a film that pays lip service to Lovecraft, but we're also talking about so much more than that, so check out the timecode notes below if you want to get straight to the discussion of a film that raises more questions about its world in its attempt to give us answers and that fundamentally misunderstands the term "Lovecraftian" (if that's even what the filmmakers were intending in the first place).

We don't get into that discussion until 42:03 though as we first spend some time to encourage listeners to pick up Battleship Pretension's 101 Best Movies of the 2010s at 1:13, discuss our thoughts on #TheSnyderCut at 3:45, and discuss the horrific allegations against Richard Stanley and why we support his "canceling" (and also why we hate that term) at 19:18.

For more information on AAPI organizations to support in the wake of the horrible actions of a white supremacist, check out this link and let's all contribute to stopping Asian hate.

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