Sup Sauce Monsters
I, like many others when reading fiction, do so both anticipating and expecting a cinematic adaptation. The many works of H.P. Lovecraft are no exception. I tend to read a few of his stories every couple months and while consuming each cosmic tale of horror and the macabre, I produce, cast and storyboard the inevitable upcoming feature film. I also get angry when:
A. The film is not yet in production / there is no hope of seeing it anytime soon
B. They did not listen to very specific casting and art direction notes…which I projected telepathically from my brain
That aside, as a Lovecraft fan, a cinephile and a horror fanatic I yearn (YEARN) for more movies that deal with the Lovecraftian mythos. I’d do just about anything for straight up adaptations of his work that fit my idea of what Lovecraft is.
I enjoyed everything Stuart Gordon did with the Re-Animator series, as well as From Beyond and Dagon. These could be considered straight up adaptations by some. That being said, Gordon’s take on Lovecraft seems to have a particularly sexy and consistently rapey bent. Like, Castle Freak’s freak was a literal cannibal rape monster whereas in The Outsider, the Lovecraft story it’s based on, the title freak narrates in fanciful prose about his yearnings (YEARNINGS) for the outside world… not his yearnings for the delicious flesh of an Italian prostitute’s titties. While I find his films to be unique and compelling horror films, I don’t find that they have a particularly Lovecraftian vibe.
I know what you are all going to say, “But Screams, what about films like Jugface, thats totes Lovecratian.” A hungry hillbilly-Southern-pit-monster does not an H.P. Lovecraft film make. Nor do other films such as The Thing, The Mist, Alien, or any of The Evil Dead series. Not in my very particular books. I literally need to see at least one tentacle monster.
You will then counter with, “But Screams, we got Whisperer In The Darkness in 2011 and it was awesome.” I agree, but it was hella indie and thus the world at large wasn’t subject to its greatness. “What about the silent film The Call of Cthulhu from 2005?” What about a silent fart?
To me, there is a certain grandiose feel to much of Lovecraft’s work; the Cthulhu Mythos in particular. Much of what gets made as direct adaptations are done on shoe-string budgets allowing no room for the much needed grandiosity. I feel like Hollywood owes us a big-motherfucking-budget three-part Lovecraft extravaganza. All I’m asking for is something big enough and with enough money thrown at it to do the source material justice.
There are many reasons why Lovecraft is often deemed non-adaptable for the silver screen (money money money.) The most prevailing being that the gigantic baddies in Lovecraft’s work are just to hard to recreate on film… Was I the only person who saw Pacific Rim?
As many of you may know, Del Toro has been attached to a movie adaptation of At The Mountains Of Madness for years (he co-wrote a script with Matthew Robins in 2006.) Other big names attached to this project have included James Cameron, Tom Cruise, and James McAvoy. Before Crimson Peak and even Pacific Rim, it was even rumoured ATMOM would be Del Toro’s next feature. Hell, him and Jim even set a tentative release date of 2013! (The project bounced around a lot between studios, a major conflict of interest being Del Toro’s insistence on an R rating whereas the studios wanted a PG 13.)
What I’m thinking is that after the R-rated success of Deadpool, doors may start opening for bigger and better Adults Only flicks…
What I’m saying is I may as well pitch my three part big budget Lovecraftian epic now, just in case anyone is listening:
We follow a typically Lovecraftian protagonist (i.e., bumbling yet endearing nerd) through three films as he delves deeper and deeper into dimension-bending monstrosities that beleaguer early 20th-century America. The costume opportunities alone…
In the first film we meet a scholarly hero (Astronomer? Ancient rune specialist? Library occult archivist? Definitely works at the Miskatonik University in Arkham) who happens upon a mysterious text (Necronomicon? Star Chart? Newspaper clipping?) that leads him to the creepy-ass foothills of Vermont. Here, he ends up going to toe-to-toe with the space traversing, insectoid fungi creatures also known as Mi-go (The Whisperer In The Darkness.) His eyes are sufficiently opened.
In the second film our main man follows his ever creeping whims to the backwoods village of Dunwich. There is some serious invisible skyscraper-sized horror afoot not to mention lots of cultish chanting and Stonehenge references. We also meet the Whateley’s, who sport great prosthetic make-up making them look sufficiently goatish and hillbillied. We get a juicy climax where the giant invisible monster is finally revealed via the “magic powder.” Our bookish hero is now knee-deep in the giant-tentacle monster shit, which leads us to…
The third film finds our curious crusader uncovering the Cthulhu cult, and travelling on a dangerous sea voyage to meet the monster himself. Our hero, and what’s left of his crew, cruise up to the cyclopian built city of R’lyeh where they find Cthulhu chillin’ like a literal villain. Cthulu pursues etc etc.
As you may have gathered, Guillermo Del Toro will direct, unleashing a fury of both practical and digital tentacled horrors, and I think Collin Farrell needs to fit into this somehow.
There will also be a supporting cast of characters that includes but is not limited to an unattainable love interest, a gun-toting best friend (I’m thinking southern) and an old-timey expert with a couple of screws loose.
You’re right, this post is teetering dangerously on the edge of fan fiction. This whole rant really has been a self-serving exercise in masturbatory fantasy film making. But maybe, just maybe, by directing these thoughts to the internet reading populace at large, someone will alert Guillermo. There is mucho potential in big and expensive R-rated movies in the coming years. I mean, people have been yammering about Hellboy 3 (yes please) for years, especially since the success of Deadpool. I can’t be the only one who has thought of this. Though as of today, a little bird (iO9) is saying that Guillermo is already working a new (small) movie.
Does anyone know if Peter Jackson is busy?