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Episode 31 - Black Mountain Side (2014)

January 13th, 2021

Happy New Year, y'all!

Before discussing the surprisingly good Black Mountain Side, we catch up on some news and housekeeping, including Jim bidding adieu to I Do Movies Badly (boo...), a new home for The Cast of Cthulhu on Battleship Pretension (hooray!), and discussion about indie directors Benson & Moorehead signing on to Moon Knight.

But if you'd like to bid auld lang syne to what was and focus on what's ahead, skip ahead to roughly 31 minutes where we dig into Nick Szostakiwskyj's Black Mountain Side, a claustrophobic slow burn cosmic horror film with more questions than answers and the creepiest, most gravel-y voice this side of the French New Wave.

Head over to The Lovecraft eZine to read the interview with writer/direct Nick Szostakiwskyj's quoted in the episode.

Episode 30 - The Call of Cthulhu (2005) with Andrew Leman & Sean Branney

December 22nd, 2020

"Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!" does not translate to "happy holidays!" but we still extend those wishes to everyone out there and are doing what we can to make those wishes come true by gifting you or biggest episode yet! Joining us to discuss the too-long-to-be-a-short-but-too-short-to-be-a-feature The Cast of Cthulhu are none other than the writer and director, Sean Branney & Andrew Leman!

The two have plenty to say about how they got into Lovecraft, their mission and work at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and how they arrived at the decision to not just adapt the allegedly "unfilmable" short, but to adapt it in the style that would make sense for 1926 (largely inspired by the short film, "The Old Man and the Goblins"). This Winter Solstice, warm yourself with laughter as Leman & Branney regal with you tales of the nightmare prop maker from The Whisperer in Darkness or how and why we may one day see H.P. Lovecraft's The Girl with a Chainsaw.

Ho ho holy cow this episode is chock full of Cyclopean goodness, even if it does start out with Jim making a bonehead of himself by incorrectly attributing the creation of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast to his guests. 'Tis the season for giving, so give this episode a listen and have yourselves a merry Christmas and happy holidays! See y'all next year!

Episode 29 - The Whisperer in Darkness (2011)

December 9th, 2020

Look up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, actually it's a Mi-Go chasing a plane. That must mean, of course, that we're talking about The Whisperer in Darknessthe feature-length talkie from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society's Sean Branney and Andrew Leman! 

Including a climactic chase in a 1930's biplane wasn't the only improvement that the filmmakers made upon the original sci-fi heavy source text; they also upped the ante of the emotional and cosmological stakes, acting as Lovecraft's Frank Darabont(s).

Be sure to stick around to the very end to hear our very exciting news about what The Cast of Cthulhu will be delivering to your ear stockings this Christmas!

Episode 28 - The Haunted Palace (1963)

November 24th, 2020

We're obviously quite thankful for the written catalogue of H.P. Lovecraft, so it was only a matter of time until we got around to the very first credited adaptation of his work, Roger Corman's The Haunted Castle! Sure, the notorious master of low budget filmmaking had to result to subterfuge to get American International Pictures to release it in the midst of their Poe cycle - the titular poem is Lovecraft adjacent at best - but we're sure glad that Corman and screenwriter Charles Beaumont revealed Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, and the Necronomicon to the world.

This adaptation of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" may not be the most faithful, but this gothic horror tale is gorgeously shot, marvelously acted, and arguably even bleaker in its conclusion than even Lovecraft's source. The late writer may have cared as little for his novel as he did for the Republican party, but without it, we would have never gotten Vincent Price declaring "I'll not have my fill of revenge until this village is a graveyard!"

Happy Thanksgiving from The Cast of Cthuhu! Stay safe, wear a mask, and stay at home! When it is safe to travel again, we highly recommend trekking to Providence and taking part in the H.P. Lovecraft Walking Tour.

Episode 27 - The Crimson Cult (1968)

November 11th, 2020

Our UK listeners may know it by its original name, The Curse of the Crimson Altar, but whether you're European or American, we can all agree on one thing: this film is weird. And boring. And a bit incomprehensible. And it's a bad Lovecraft adaptation.

Okay, so maybe that's four things, but if a full of himself Christopher Lee called this one of the worst films of his career, then maybe it's something to consider. This loose - and uncredited - adaptation of "The Dreams in the Witch House" ditches the cosmic and mathematic elements of Lovecraft's original story, but don't worry - it replaces them with, umm...S&M and psychedelics? Brown Jenkins would be very upset...if he were even in this.

Head over to 1000 Misspent Hours to read the background info on The Crimson Cult that we cited in this episode (WARNING: white text on a black background).

Episode 26 - In the Mouth of Madness (1995)

October 28th, 2020

Welcome ghouls and goblins to this spooktacular episode of the ghoulishly good...alright, I can't do this anymore, but it's Halloween, so we wanted to do something appropriate and thus, we're reviewing the third and final installment in John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy, In the Mouth of Madness!

The film may be the least financially successful of Carpenter's career - and, perhaps, a harbinger of his career decline - but the cult classic is hands down the best film that we've ever covered when it comes to depicting fatalism and existential dread. After all, how terrifying is it to realize that the film we're watching is the film that John Trent was watching, which means that it's the direct adaptation of Sutter Cane's book, which means that Sutter Cane intended for us to watch it.

Happy Halloween, all! Wear a mask and wear a mask over that mask!

Episode 25 - Lovecraft Country Review

October 19th, 2020

Hard to believe that the series (season?) of Lovecraft Country is already over. After months of anticipation, 10 episodes seemed to have blown by in a rather tepid wind. Mia Johnson, Entertainment Editor at FanSided, joins The Cast of Cthulhu to commiserate with Jim about a show that regularly swung for the fences and missed more often than not. 

Follow Mia on Twitter @MiaJMedia
Listen to FanSided's coverage of the show on The Lovecraft Country Chronicles (with particular emphasis on the roundtable discussion of the finale that featured Jim!)

Episode 24 - Event Horizon (1997)

October 15th, 2020

Previous guest BJ Verot joins us again to help usher in Halloween with a discussion of Paul W.S. Anderson's "best" film, Event Horizon. Though he hated it when he first saw it, Jim is forced to re-evaluate the sci-fi/horror since both James and BJ are big fans. Sure, the film has some pretty great practical gore effects - including one of the most gruesome and puzzling sequences captured to film - and a delightfully crazy Sam Neill, but it's also a film without a clear protagonist, a confused tone, and it borrows a bit too much from Alien. Does its Lovecraftian elements help redeem the film?

Interview: Filmmaker BJ Verot

October 11th, 2020

Before now, you may not have heard of writer/director/stunt coordinator BJ Verot, but here are a plethora of reasons why you should listen to this interview with him:

  • He made a Lovecraftian short film, Echoes In the Ice
  • Echoes In The Ice is free, very good, and played at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
  • He's friends with friend of the show, Thomas Campbell
  • His feature film debut, The Return, is being released soon
  • He is a genuinely nice, creative, and insightful dude from Winnipeg with a pleasant Canadian accent

And after listening, you should check him out online:
Follow him on Instagram @bjverot
Follow him on Twitter @BJVerot
Follow news of The Return on Twitter @TheReturn_Film
Check out his professional offerings at Strata Studios

Interview: Gwen & Brian Callahan of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival

September 27th, 2020

We've got an absolutely cyclopean episode for y'all here in both length and delight because we interviewed the co-directors of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, Gwen & Brian Callahan! We talked to them about anything and everything having to do with the festival and Lovecraftian cinema:

- You wanna hear peculiar stories about Richard Stanley? They've got 'em!
- You curious about how they got involved with running the festival? You won't be anymore!
- You want answers as to how they decide which films to accept? You'll get them!
- You want to know what their favorite Lovecraft adaptations are? You will!
- You eager to know who this year's special guests are? You should be, because they're awesome!

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival will be entirely online this year and running from Thursday, October 1st - Sunday, October 4th, so you can buy tickets from anywhere to watch! For more information on how to stream, get involved, or support the festival, find out more below!

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Official Website
H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Event Facebook Page
H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Official Facebook Page
Arkham Bazaar Film Store
List of films that have played at the festival
Post-Mortem Interview with Richard Stanley

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