The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Friday, September 16, 2005

"Shadow over Innsmouth" coming to big screen - with a twist

Well, if Carnacki isn't going to post it, I am ;-) According to one of the local alt. weeklies, a Seattle film crew is going to start filming a feature-length film titled Cthulhu:

It may seem odd to spin a story by the famously bigoted H. P. Lovecraft into a horror flick with gay themes, but screenwriter Grant Cogswell and director Dan Gildark hope their new movie Cthulhu—which starts shooting in Seattle and Astoria, Oregon, next week—will do precisely that. The Lovecraft short story "Shadow over Innsmouth" concerns a man who takes an archaeological interest in a small New England town, only to discover that its people worship a sinister fish-god called Dagon. Soon he learns that his own ancestors interbred with a race of amphibious monsters on the site, and that he's in danger of becoming a monster himself. Cogswell saw in the story's subtext a horror of small-town life that he says resonated with the experience of gay friends: "I knew folks who grew up in these backwoods places and then in their 30s, one of their parents died or had a stroke, and they had to go back and face their past."
This is the exact formula that Stephen King exploits - where Lovecraft was too uptight to explore his own psyche too deeply, King plunges on in, particularly in his earlier tales. The supernatural (often quite overtly Lovecraftian in nature - think "Graveyard Shift" in the collection of the same name) blends smoothly and darkly with the petty evils of small town life: abusive alcoholics, grinding poverty, rapists, brutal gossip. The Canucks hate the swamp Yankees hate the affluent city folk; the Catholics hate the Protestants... ...and everyone hates anyone who isn't white, non-white being a category that encompasses everyone from the seasonal Jamaican apple pickers to Jews and Portugese. The horrors of the supernatural exploit and exacerbate these tensions; sometimes, you can't tell the two strands of evil apart, so closely do they mimic one another. I've got high hopes for this one - they've got an excellent production team working on it as well.


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