107.7 — The Outer Ring

Covering gaming topics from pen & paper fantasy role-playing through tabletop wargaming in the far future. Primary transmission site is an undisclosed location far to the south of the Twin Cities sprawl. Current favorite games: Infinity, Pathfinder, and Call of Cthulhu.

Movie Review: The Call of Cthulhu by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society

March 22nd, 2018

Welcome to another episode of 107.7 -- The Outer Ring!

In today's episode we will be reviewing the movie The Call of Cthulhu released by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society. This is a modern-day presentation of the penultimate Lovecraft story The Call of Cthulhu.

Here's what the makers had to say about it:

"HPLHS brings Cthulhu to the screen as it was meant to be seen. Eighteen months of production and a cast of more than 50 actors went into making this film a period spectacle that must seen to be believed."

"A dying professor leaves his great-nephew a collection of documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. Crossing decades and continents, the man begins piecing together the dread implications of the professor's inquiries. Written in 1926, the famed story is brought richly to life in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a haunting original symphonic score."

It was shot digitally I believe and then converted to resemble the format of an old fashioned silent movie in black and white. Very interesting because they got the exact tone of classic movies such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Werewolf, etc. Think of the look and feel of one of the old Lon Chaney movies.

Depending on your age, I'd say think of one of the movies that used to be on TV when you were a kid. That's not terribly relevant anymore these days but it's the kind of stuff that would scare me when I was a kid some long time ago. So in contrast to today's popular movies, the Call of Cthulhu is shall we say... slower-paced and not even slightly scary? But that was a deliberate choice to keep the movie as similar as possible to typical movies of that time period.

I didn't find the slow pace to be bothersome, but I think a few others that watched it with me did. To my way of thinking it had a slow exposition, very similar to what you would consider typical of both the literature as well as the role playing game based on the same topic. In other words, to me it was like watching a movie adaptation of an actual role playing game session. So to that end I thoroughly enjoyed it!

In the end, Scott rated it an overall 4.5 out of 5, and Willie gave it a 4.27 out of 5. It's a great value for the money and we highly recommend the movie! I've included a link to the HPLS online store where you can get a copy of the movie for yourself.

https://store.hplhs.org/collections/movies-music/products/call-of-cthulhu-dvd

There is a fascinating writeup of the production process for this movie at the HPLS website. Definitely check this out!

http://www.hplhs.org/mpcoc.php

 

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Call of Cthulhu is published by Chaosium Inc. Call of Cthulhu (7th Edition) is copyright ©1981, 1983, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014 by Chaosium Inc.; all rights reserved.
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