Lovecraft – Fear of the Unknown – (2008) – dvd review

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Lovecraft – Fear of the Unknown – (2008)

A Wyrd Documentary 
Directed by Frank H. Woodward

PrintThe solid and well-made documentary/biography explains the creation, evolution and expansion of the Cthulhu Mythos from the moment of origin in H.P. Lovecraft’s fertile mind to the present. We follow Lovecraft’s life from childhood and see how personal tragedies and situations influenced his story-telling. The timeline points to periods in his life and his emotional states at the times of certain writings and it addresses – with no apologies – his xenophobic mentality and biased visions of the world. The documentary touches on his friendships with author peers, Edith Miniter, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long, amongst others, and his unique relationship with the pulp magazines, most notably Weird Tales.

For anyone that doesn’t truly understand what all the fuss is over Lovecraft, it explains how Lovecraft moved horror out of the predominantly Gothic style – whose monsters were human in origin (ghosts, vampires) –  into something completely different and how writers of the day followed him into this strange new world of cosmic horrors.

hplovecraft1The basis for the Cthulhu Mythos is this; many eons ago, other races of cosmic Gods and strange creatures ruled the universe and will one day come back to claim the worlds which were theirs. They are not at war with humans; they are completely indifferent to them and regard them the way mankind would regard the common house fly. Lovecraft stories are part mystery, part scientific discovery and part mythology, usually affecting a solitary individual on the brink of insanity for his inability to accept or comprehend the impossible.

The documentary explains the origin of the Necronomicon and how other writers began using the sacred book in their own stories, further propagating the notion that it was indeed a real book of spells and transgressions. When Lovecraft was once asked if he would document/write a complete Necronomicon, he replied that doing so would take its power and mystery away. It was better for people to keep wondering what else was in this ancient book and what other horrors could it bring forth.
lovecraft-fear-of-the-unknown pic 1

Lovecraft’s baroque style and his love for earlier literature, including his admiration of Lord Dunsany’s work is evident in this historical investigation. The documentary is laced with quotes and short readings of his work exemplifying his unique and sometimes overbearing style. The coherent story of his life and works is compiled with opinions and statements from modern horror directors; Guillermo del Toro, John Carpenter and Stuart Gordon. His influence on modern authors is evident when hearing praise and descriptions from; Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, S.T. Joshi, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Peter Straub, Robert M. Price. In the end they speak with cultist Isaac Bradley about the growing cultism of the Cthulhu Mythos.

The dvd is available for purchase at Amazon.com – or –
You can see the whole film at: http://www.crackle.com/

You can also read most, if not all of Lovecraft’s published stories at:
www.hplovecraft.com
There, you can also investigate the gods and beasts of the mythos, terminology, and everything Lovecraft.
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lovecraft pic 3“There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range.”  – H.P. Lovecraft,   ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’

“I have seen the dark universe yawning
Where the black planets roll without aim,
Where they roll in their horror unheeded,
Without knowledge, or lustre, or name.”
 – Howard Phillips Lovecraft

8 thoughts on “Lovecraft – Fear of the Unknown – (2008) – dvd review

  1. I have to see this! I dig Lovecraft to no end. I wish my stupid iPod didn’t start acting funky, I have a ton of Lovecraft audio books on it! Good post!

  2. Wow, great recommendation. I didn’t know about this documentary. I am a great fun of Lovecraft and all things Cthulhu… So thanks

  3. Wow that is really interesting thanks for sharing! I do not know much about lovecraft, but now I really would like to see the documentary. I’m really interested in the top image with all the skeletons and skulls, is this apart of the doco aswell?

  4. Pingback: Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue – movie review – Documentary (2009) | parlor of horror

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