• ERIC BUTLER

H.P. Lovecraft visits the movies


Image by Waldkunst from Pixabay

If you've been keeping up with The Ephraim Godwin chronicles, you may have noticed a bit of Lovecraft's influence in the monsters and gods I reference in the story. In fact the elder gods and the powers they grant our villain Mr. Cook/Mr. Whitlock comes from the idea of a darker set of truly powerful and truly evil beings that predate man's religious views. No one quite captures this idea with their stories like HP Lovecraft.


I am reading some of his stories now as I find myself being drawn back into his dark world of fiction, the deeper I get into Ephraim's realm of mystery, mysticism, and murder. If you skipped the weekly serial because of format, I want you to know I am working on getting it ready for kindle and paperback soon. I will start to release the serial in sections so a little rewriting will be necessary to give the story more of a traditional book form. The serial just flows from week to week, adding to the horror and mystery Ephraim Godwin, Dr. Livingstone, and Zona Whitlock face as they try and solve murders and face off against a dark force rising in Victorian London. You can still read the chapters on this blog, under the serial tab.


As I was reading Lovecraft, I thought of a handful of movies that were inspired by Lovecraft and his stories and wanted to suggest them to you. If you love horror, these movies are for you.




The first one is an oldie. In the 60s AIP and Roger Corman had success with a serious of pictures based on Edgar Allen Poe. However, in The Haunted Palace, all they took was the title. The story itself is based on Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Of course, it stars the wonderful Vincent Price and that alone is worth the price of admission for me.


The only problem is no one has it to stream. If you want to purchase the movie it seems to be out of print so all the copies cost an arm and a leg, unless you have a way to play movies from other regions (which is pretty easy with a laptop and a downloaded player). That being said, keep an eye out for it and follow my Facebook page as I will post when any station is playing it or if it comes back to a streaming service. Or if that fails, we can always set up a screening at my house.




Next up is Lovecraft's Color out of Space starring Nic Cage and Joely Richardson. This movie has been done several of times but I think this version does a great job of capturing the story's essence.


The real importance of this movie is the return of Richard Stanley to the director's chair for a full-length feature. If you don't know his story, you have to check out the documentary Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau. He was an up and coming director who had a unique vision to make The Island of Doctor Moreau but who had such a hard time with the actors and studio he lost it and was replaced.


He does a great job with this movie, and Cage is great playing the father figure to this family facing a nightmare from space. If you have hoopla you can stream it, otherwise you can rent or buy on Amazon, VUDU, Google, or anywhere streaming can be purchased.



You can watch Lost Soul on Amazon Prime for free if you are a member.






The next is a fun cult classic. Re-animator came out in the mid-80s and turns the gore level up to 11. Based on the story Herbert West - The Re-Animator, Jeffery Combs does a spectacular job as the off-balanced Herbert. This movie is a must-see for fans of comedy horror, and those that like to see special effects used to their fullest.


Re-Animator can be seen on Showtime streaming and can be rented or purchased from other services.








I'm including in this section the sequel Bride of the Re-Animator as it continues Herbert's fascination with bringing the dead back to life. Many of the actors return in the sequel, making it more of an extension of the first movie than a true sequel.


Both are fun, gory, and action-packed.


Bride of Re-Animator can be seen for free on Amazon Prime.













The last movie is HP Lovecraft's From Beyond; based on a story of the same name. It stars Re-Animator's Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton as the main characters and has Stuart Gordon returning to the director's chair.


This is a fun movie with much of the same energy as Re-Animator on a bigger budget and more wiggle room.


You can see it on Pluto TV for free or rent/own on Amazon or Vudu.








 

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