Hail Cthulhu!

Unabashed Plug time: Last night, I watched The Call of Cthulhu, a fan film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s famed short story.

And I loved it.

“Cthulhu” is probably the best fan-made movie ever filmed, and don’t be thrown off by that admittedly low standard. It’s a tremendous achievement, and one that indicates just how close we’re getting to an era when you don’t have to be associated with Big Entertainment to create great entertainment. What makes this movie all the more impressive (at least to me) isn’t just that it wasn’t made by an established movie studio, it’s that “Cthulhu” never would have been made by one.

Just imagine any studio–even one of the little ones–agreeing to these production terms: a black-and-white, 47-minute horror movie using film techniques from the early part of the last century: stop-motion animation, forced perspective, even models and canvas to simulate a ship at sea. No nudity, no gore, no cursing–heck, no dialogue. Oh, and did I mention it’s a silent movie, with a symphonic score and title cards, that’s been digitally enhanced to lower the quality of the image, simulating actual 1920’s film stock?

But it works. It’s marvelous. It’s easily the best film adaptation of Lovecraft, ever. If you’ve read and like the story, you will enjoy the hell out of this little movie; but even if you haven’t, go reward ingenuity and craft and love, and get yourself a copy.

Oh, and one other thing: I got to watch “Call of Cthulhu” purely because of file-sharing. I doubt I ever would have seen it otherwise; it’s only for sale from the creators’ website. But I scored a copy, and watched it, and loved it–and then bought the DVD for myself, this morning. Which is just another reason why the folks who made it are the future, and the Big Entertainment execs who never would have allowed it to be made are the past.