When Professor Wilmarth is waiting for young Mr. Akeley at the Boston train station, Wilmarth turns his head to see that the train is approaching. Although the image is out of focus, it is clearly a modern train, not one that would be seen in the 1920's. See more »
"Brain Cylinder Test Subject - Sandy Petersen" Sandy Petersen is the lead designer and principal author of Chaosium's role playing game "Call of Cthulhu", published 1981. See more »
Weird Doings Among the Green Mountains of Vermont
One cannot help but give full marks to the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society for their efforts to bring H. P. Lovecraft's eerie stories to the screen in a manner in keeping with the texture and mood of the original material. Although there have been other attempts to film Lovecraft stories, most have generally been unsatisfying failures due to misguided attempts to modernize or glamorize them. Not so with HPLHS, who have gone out their way to keep faithful to the period and locales in which the tales were set, even going so far as give the film the feel of an early-1930s black-and-white movie. Even their logo is an homage to the the old Universal Studios logo of the early 1930s (the studio which produced such classic horror movies as Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy), replacing the familiar airplane-circling-the-earth with a dirigible.
The plot involves Albert Wilmarth, a college anthropology professor specializing in folklore, who becomes intrigued by a series of unusual newspaper stories reported from a rural part of Vermont after a period of particularly heavy rains. It seems that bodies have been observed washing down from the mountains in the swollen rivers, bodies which are, reportedly, neither human nor animal. The bodies apparently also recall, among the older inhabitants, old tales of strange beings that live in remote parts of the hills, beings that are neither human nor animal, and possibly not even of terrestrial origin. Wilmarth begins his investigation into these stories on the basis that they are nothing more than mere interesting folklore, but soon finds himself dealing with something far more sinister.
Admittedly, the producers of the movie added some material and characters not present in the original story. In fact, the short story actually ends at a point only about one hour into the film. However, the original version was, after all, only a short story, and I suppose the makers felt that they had to add some material to the plot in order to expand the short story into a full-length movie. nevertheless, the movie still does a far better job of evoking the feel of H.P. Lovecraft's writing than any other movie versions of his works, with the only possible exception being the resent silent film version of The Call of Cathulhu, which was made by the same producers.
One addition to the film is a debate staged between the protagonist, Professor Wilmarth, and Charles Fort. While that was not a part of H.P. Lovecraft's original story, it is interesting period touch because Charles Fort was actually a real person, a celebrated and controversial author of the early 1900s who was known to contemporaries as "The Mad Genius of the Bronx". Fort, who died in 1932, wrote about what are now called paranormal phenomena before that term was even invented, and is credited, among other things, with coining the word "teleportation".
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