For many years, if you wanted to see the works of Howard Philips Lovecraft adapted for the big screen, one would have to have to content one’s self with endlessly re-watching The Bride Of Re-Animator (which isn’t even that good), or fast forwarding to get to the tenacley bits of Event Horizon or In The Mouth Of Madness. The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival goes to show the tide is turning, the dark is rising, the Great Old Ones are returning.
For those that are lucky enough to be in Portland, Or. this weekend, the faithful will be rewarded with 3 days jam packed with feature length and short films, as well as panels, workshops, role-playing, musical performances and a live action Radio Play, brought to you by the always thorough H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society.
The main attractions are the Portland premier of The Cabal Cut of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, with an additional hour of added footage. The original was nearly universally panned, even by Clive Barker himself, who said in an interview for Empire Magazine:
“The movie [originally] failed so dismally and the reception was so vicious, I was just dragged down by the waste of it. If I’ve come across as distancing myself from it, it’s because I felt that I had not succeeded. I felt I’d let everybody down, including myself. There were a lot of people who’d really given their love and pushed harder than they needed to on my behalf, and we had nothing to show for it…
“What we’re looking at [now] is a monstrous jigsaw, but the fact we’ve been able to reassemble the pieces in the right order now testifies to the fact that my version was actually shot. After all this time, I’m suddenly very optimistic!”
The new edit apparently remedies the convoluted ending (most critics point of consternation), and is a much truer rendition of the book Cabal, on which Night Breed was based. The Cabal Cut returns this dark fantasy to its ‘Love Story Against A Monstrous Backdrop’ origins, rather than the hackneyed hack-n-slash flick it became. This definitive edition is only screening in select cities, and its availability on DVD and Blu-Ray depends on the success of these screenings, so seize this precious opportunity!
To find out more, visit Occupy Midian
The other main attraction is the Portland premier of The Valdemar Legacy, a Spanish film epic that is “a big budget love letter to the world of H.P. Lovecraft, featuring the last screen role of genre legend, Paul Naschy, as well as séances, the Necronomicon, Ghouls, and a family curse.” Apparently, Lovecraft himself makes an appearance, as does famed occultist Aleister Crowley, and even Great Cthulhu himself! Horror fanatics like myself have been waiting years to see a respectable appearance of the batrachian one on celluloid, and this pair of films looks like a scrumptious visual feast, that will have made all the waiting worthwhile.
In addition to the big budget, high profile headliners, and over 20 independent, short films, 2013’s edition of the HPLFF will feature an appearance by Sandy Petersen, creator of The Call Of Cthulhu RPG, as well as the table-top game Cthulhu Wars.
To see the full schedule: http://www.hplfilmfestival.com/portland-or/2013/schedule
For those not fortunate enough to be in geographic proximity to this gathering, you can check their YouTube Playlist, as well as plunder through their website, to find a whole new crop of eldritch goodness, to bring yourself to the brink of madness.
I would also like to give a personal recommendation for a rare screening of Nigel Kneale’s made-for-tv opus The Stone Tape, a hauntological masterpiece, seeped in ’70s SF grime, that even has a theory named after it, as a possible explanation for hauntings and paranormal activity. I think many of you might dig it.
Conventions like this are making a huge impact, as far as giving recognition and credibility to the various genres. The more exposure, the higher quality, the more dollars that get sunk into something. As a young comics/fatasy/SF geek, in the late ’80s, I would lay awake at night, dreaming of high production fantastic films, and these dreams are starting to become a reality. The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival also goes to show how the Mythos’ influence is spreading, throughout all pop culture and mass media. The last 10 years have seen Lovecraft’s influence spread exponentially, heralding a new dark age, much to delight of the hardcore horror fanatic.
I’ll be working this weekend, so I expect you all to attend in my stead. We want details! Full disclosure!
You can also follow the festival on Facebook.