Adapted for the Screen by Sean Branney
Produced by Sean Branney and Andrew Leman
Original Music by Troy Sterling Nies, Ben Holbrook, Nicholas Pavkovic and Chad Fifer
Costumes by Laura Brody
Makeup by Andra Carlson
Associate Producer Chris Lackey
Special Visual Effects by Dan Novy
Photographed and Edited by David Robertson
Directed by Andrew Leman
I'm a bit of a fan of fan-made movies. There's a huge glut of them out there and mostly it's about a group's love of a genre or franchise, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Over the years there's been some very slick and professional fan-made productions and then there are some that pull out all the stops and simply go for it.
The H P Lovecraft Historical Society's (HPLHS) movie 'The Call of Cthulhu' is one such pull-out-the-stops movie. Instead of doing a simple, filmed-on-a-camcorder-in-some-home-made-clothes movie, or an attempt to update the classic story to the modern age to save on budget, the HPLHS society decided to make a pretty accurate story. And make it in black and white. And it's a silent movie. And it has classic stop-motion effects. Okay, let me explain it this way - imagine that there was a studio back in the 1920s who decided to make their silent movie version of 'The Call of Cthulhu'. They filmed it, added some Willis O'Brien style stop-motion special effects, and allowed a couple of disturbing scenes of mutilation and insanity to get past the censors of the time. That's the movie you have here; an almost faithful adaptation of the story made to look like a classic silent movie, made by lovers of H P Lovecraft, with some great performances by the actors (some of whom are HPLHS members) and an excellent soundtrack. It's a wonderful movie and, even though there are a couple of things that show it's modern-day technology and lack of budget, it's well worth a viewing.
From the HPLHS website: ...a dying professor leaves his great-nephew a collection of documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. The nephew begins to learn why the study of the cult so fascinated his grandfather. Bit-by-bit he begins piecing together the dread implications of his grandfather's inquiries, and soon he takes on investigating the Cthulhu cult as a crusade of his own. As he pieces together the dreadful and disturbing reality of the situation, his own sanity begins to crumble.
The quality of the movie is excellent. In high definition you can see that the quality is modern film equipment given some post-production treatment to make it look like a silent film - well, it's not like there's some hand-cranked 1920s cameras just lying around, is there? - but the quality is constant throughout the movie. Once you start watching it the format is static so there's no being pulled out of the atmosphere by a sudden change in film making techniques. The makers have gone to great lengths to make sure that the movie has the same style all the way through and they've done really well.