This weekend, Undead Backbrain’s Weekend Fright Flicks is a festival of short films based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu”.
The Casting Call of Cthulhu (Canada-2008; short [9:17 min.]; dir. Joseph Nanni)
During a casting session for a film based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft, a director, mildly familiar with themes of weird fiction, works his way through a series of minor monsters auditioning for the role of Cthulhu. But sometimes you get more than you expected.
And by the same crew, an advertisement for Elder Sign “for those who suffer from an overwhelming sense of dread brought on by the realization of your own insignificance in the universe“:
Now three films directed by Paula Haifley.
The Cold Call of Cthulhu — in which Cthulhu, having risen from his ancient sleep, has acquired a job in telemarketing:
Rehearsing the Call of Cthulhu — in which Cthulhu, who met a girl that he really liked at a nightclub the night before, practices calling her so that when it comes to the crunch he can impress her…
The Call of Cthulhu — in this case made at the end of a less than successful blind date:
Finally, there’s Calls of Cthulhu (US-1996; dir. Brand Gramblin) — the network chat show!
This comedic send up of H.P. Lovecraft’s master work, “Call of Cthulhu” takes the main character (Cthulhu, an alien god, bent on the destruction of man in an orgy of chaotic destruction) and presents it as a fluffy puppet who is running his own call-in show. People call in to ask for relationship advice, farming suggestions, and cooking tips. The answer, more often than not, is a foaming rant confirming for the caller that Cthulhu will one day swallow their souls. (IMDb)
- Episode One:
- Episode Two:
- Episode Three:
See Brand Gamblin’s YouTube Channel for more.
And here, for those who are still with us, is a story of my own. Not a film. Sorry.
The Call of Cthulhu’s Mum:
Psychiatrists reckon our behaviour as adults originates in the deep past. I spent many a dismal evening with that old fart Abdul Alhazred while he babbled on about his miserable childhood, citing exposure to the alchemical substances his father smoked as the cause of his persistent hallucinations regarding the nature of reality. Alchemical substances! Low-grade horse shit more like! No wonder he has such a dodgy grasp on reality. Have you read that crap he wrote in the Necronomicon? Half of it is subtextual drivel regurgitated straight from my granny’s recipe scrapbook! (The scrapbook disappeared after a visit he made once, but granny only noticed a few days later when she went to the kitchen to cook up her family-favourite Tuna and Cheese Manicotti. Sure enough, the recipe turned up on page 254 of the Necronomicon as a spell to incarnate Dagon! That’s why the Deep One’s always so pissed off when anyone drags him into the world; he can’t abide tuna. “Too much like eatin’ my second cousin,” he told me once. “Have you seen my second cousin?”)
Clearly there’s some truth in the claim that childhood trauma forms the basis of latter-day attitudes, though. I was only a youngster of maybe 14 winters when I first heard the Call of Cthulhu’s Mum. The gut-quivering roar of it echoed across the jagged landscape of our neighbourhood like Yog-Sothoth on a bender: “Cthulhu! Dinner’s on!” Trees shook, mountains trembled, and profound pits of darkness began to reconsider their lifelong aversion to silence.
- Thanks to Kaiju Search-Robot Avery for his help in compiling the festival program.
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