This Movie is PHANTASTIC!,
Don't let the rather
lurid & out of focus [left] poster fool you, this is an extraordinarily
splendid interpretation of the HP Lovecraft masterpiece. It is lovingly crafted
& elegantly produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historic Society. I love the term
for the special technique used in the film "Mythoscope."
It is a black & white silent film with a specifically orchestrated music score--a score that is a masterpiece in itself. I can visualize people who haven't seen the movie, sort of scratching their heads and thinking, "What? I silent film in the 21st century?!!! You must be nuts." That's possible, but it's one of those things that has to be experienced to appreciate just what a raving artistic success THE CALL OF CTHULHU is.
It's wonderful & represents all the central themes of HPL.
There's the human-marine biological transmorphism, the hints of secret manuscripts & other works of magic, the feeling of sinking into a nightmarish state in which the dark side increasingly overcomes the day world of light, and a sinister reality sometimes called Typhonian Gnosis. There is a definite link in Lovecraft's artistic vision of these primordial forces (that have their origin in outer space) with the philosophy of Jane Roberts (Seth Speaks, etc.) Roberts describes our everyday, conscious personality as just the tip of a psychic iceberg, and at deeper levels we not only function as other personalities, but that we are interconnected to these deeper levels with other people, collectively forming a super-persona. The main difference is, where Jane Roberts teaching are decidedly positive, Lovecraft's vision is, if not completely negative, is often frightening & monstrous.
The Gnostic Pagan Tradition termed this hidden consciousness & archaic forces daemonic reality. It was suggested that, in an allegorical sense, darkness is essential to give form to Light.
This complex system is at the basis of Lovecraft's work, and THE CALL OF CTHULHU is no exception. That this system effortlessly weaves in and out of interconnected stories & times all within the span of 47 minutes is an outright miracle (if one can use "miracle" darkly). When the viewer experiences the film in all its complexity, one comes to understand why words (as in film parlance "talkies") would only be distracting. I don't believe that the decision to make a "silent" film was really one of choice, but more of necessity. It couldn't be any other way.
There are 2 scenes that really gripped my imagination. The first one was a scene in bayou country where a sort of dark Sabbath was taking place. It was eerie, frightening & magnificent. The second scene was towards the end of the movie. A small group of sailors land on a mysterious island in pursuit of the meaning of the evil relic that seems to have caught them in its dark--as it has all others who have had the misfortune of being associated with it. This island scene is staged on an expressionist set accentuating the forbidden nature of the environment. Keeping in line with the expressionist background, the sailors are choreographed in their movements & reactions. The viewer gets a "feel" of the sailor's personalities in just a few frames. They are very sympathetic--which makes their ultimate fate much more chilling.
I viewed THE CALL OF CTHULHU 4 times in 2 days.
DagonConsidering the $13 price to purchase this DVD, any fan of Lovecraft, SciFi and/or horror fan would find it essential to their video library.
From Beyond (Unrated Director's Cut)
The H.P. Lovecraft Collection, Vol. 5: Strange Aeons