The Cthulhu Mythos of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft has inspired more than just cinematic re-tellings of his stories. Many writers — among them such famous names as August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber, who were all friends of Lovecraft — have written tales utilising his mythos. In some the inspiration is direct, using such characters as Dagon, Cthulhu, the shoggoths and assorted other Old Ones, Deep Ones and related Lovecraftian monstrosities. Some are merely inspired by the general ambiance of the original stories rather than re-envisioning specific elements from them.
Often, they involve tentacles.
One such is an independent feature film that has just been completed for Dead Lantern Pictures: Outpost Doom (US-2010; dir. MaT Kister). It was made for a reported — and rather unbelievable — US$500!
Two escaped cons, running from a horrific tentacled monster, seek refuge inside an enormous barn. Once inside, they discover a decapitated corpse and a group of strangers who are highly suspicious of their presence. It doesn’t take long before people start dying in vicious ways. Someone is not who they appear to be….meanwhile, the tentacled monster is trying to find its way inside….
Though many of the images and the trailers and clips included with this article are in colour, director MaT Kister reports that the film will be released (April 2010) in black and white.
“In my opinion,” the director commented, “the black and white enhances the film, making it truer to what I was thinking about when we filmed it originally. It’s a murder mystery with monsters. The story and filmmaking lends itself to an old 50’s horror movie more than to a colourised splatter fest. It just works better in black-and-white.” He illustrated the tonal difference by comparing two shots:
On the Lovecraftian influence, Kister commented:
The tentacle monster was indeed inspired by Lovecraft. It is not the main focus of the movie, however. It is used as a cinematic device to keep the characters trapped inside their location and to pose an always immediate sense of danger (breaking through walls and eating people, etc.).
Monster half-seen and ominously omnipresent? Sounds very like a Lovecraft story to me.
A rough cut scene can be viewed here.
Behind-the-Scene Production Journal 1:
View Behind-The-Scenes Production Journal 2 here.
Below is a Gallery of Images:
Source: MaT Kister via Kaiju Search-Robot Avery; also the Dead Lantern Pictures website
Past Articles in our A Lovecraftian Invasion series:
- A Lovecraftian Invasion 1: Dirt Dauber
- A Lovecraftian Invasion 2: The Sleeping Deep
- A Lovecraftian Invasion 3: Beyond the Wall of Sleep