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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great work
This is possibly the best amateur effort I have seen and an absolutely ingenious way to do this sort of stuff. When Del Toro gets round to the mountains of madness no doubt it will be filled with terrific digital stuff (and I will be the first in the queue) But I can't see how he can improve on the atmosphere of this. There is a genuine feel for the distant past when it...
Published on 7 Feb 2010 by Amazon Customer

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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting Lovecraftian artifact
I've been a collector of Lovecraftian material for many years and an avid reader of his stories for even more, so when I heard about this I was very excited. Having now seen it, I have to agree with the other reviewers in most points. Yes, they've done a loving and excellent job. Yes, it's a pretty good realisation of what the movie could have been like if it had been...
Published on 10 Jan 2008 by chozzar


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great work, 7 Feb 2010
This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This is possibly the best amateur effort I have seen and an absolutely ingenious way to do this sort of stuff. When Del Toro gets round to the mountains of madness no doubt it will be filled with terrific digital stuff (and I will be the first in the queue) But I can't see how he can improve on the atmosphere of this. There is a genuine feel for the distant past when it was written. Great attention has been paid to the art direction and the score deserves very high praise.
Lovecraft is extraordinarily hard to pull off on screen and I can't wait for the HPLHS next effort.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Cthulhu no longer waits dreaming in R'lyeh. He's on DVD!, 4 July 2007
By 
G. Thomas (Canterbury UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I approached this product with apprehension and unease. An unknown film of one of Lovecraft's most celebrated stories could have been an utter disaster. Luckily it isn't. This is a remarkably loving adaptation of an oft-considered unfilmable story. The driving force behind the film is the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and thankfully they have done an excellent job.
The genius lies in making it a silent black & white production. It does have a truly early-1900's feel to it with a subtle placement of a few canny visual effects to reinforce the illusion. The overly eye-rolling performances of some of the actors are thankfully diluted by the period atmosphere and the brevity of most roles, as dictated by the story itself.
When they finally discover the grim secret of earthquake risen R'lyeh you'll be favourably impressed. It is stylistically reminiscent of the 1933 King Kong and incredibly, almost as effective.

A few minor niggles are far outweighed by the good points and when you consider this is not made by a "professional" studio it's an outstanding piece of work.

If you love the story, I heartily recommend this adaptation.

edit: my copy says "region 0" on the back !
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthouse, 6 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Difficult to rate this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Its not a popcorn movie, but if you like both arthouse films and H P Lovecraft books you will love this work. If not you should probably give this film a miss. George Lucas should really watch this film in order to understand that less can be more; this film actually benefits from being a low budget movie. Dark, atmospheric and true to the original story, this is a sublime piece of art. For the fan of the 1922 film Nosferatu.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obey the call, 16 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This version of 'The Call of Cthulhu', filmed in fabulous Mythoscope, is a must for any and all H. P. Lovecraft fans. Quite rightly, and as other reviewers have observed, it would be easy enough to dismiss the idea of satisfactorily filming any of the Cthulhu Mythos stories featuring such other-dimensional horrors as Nyarlathotep, Yog-Sothoth and of course Great Cthulhu himself, particularly if you are doing it on a tiny budget with no CGI. But the team responsible for this film have managed it splendidly, and no small part of its strength comes from it being filmed as a silent black and white movie redolent of the early horror classics, which chimes with when the story was written. It's quite possible that some 'every digital effect you can think of' version would not been as powerful. To give one example from when the hapless sailors explore the cyclopean ruins of risen R'lyeh, the sequence where one of the men falls into an "impossible angle" in the masonry and disappears utterly is chillingly effective and - as you discover from the enjoyable and informative 'extra' about the making of the film - very simply achieved.

For those of us in the UK (or Europe) let's hope that the team are going to make a Region 2 version of their more recent effort 'The Whisperer in Darkness' available soon. In the meantime all those Lovecraftians out there who do not yet have this film should obey the call and secure a copy as soon as they can.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Don't Have To Pronounce It, They Just Act It, 28 May 2008
By 
David Longhorn "Pilot of the Past" (Tyneside, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
It was a stroke of genius to make this a silent movie with plenty of period touches. It's tremendous fun, with some genuinely good performances and lots of interesting visuals. Unlike a lot of modern 'so what?' horror flicks, this fil can be watched more than once with real pleasure. The movie manages to cram in a lot of disparate elements plus dollops of exposition and still maintain a good pace. The detailed work on various sets and props is excellent. The Cthulhu idols are fab, and the scene on/in the bayou is great. If I have one slight reservation it's that we don't get enough of the eponymous anti-hero-deity. But that's largely down to Lovecraft himself, and we can hardly blame the HPLHS team for sticking faithfully to the text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real treat - Lovecraft served à la Fritz Lang with sauce F.W. Murnau!, 5 Mar 2012
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
This movie was made with a little budget and unknown actors by people I never heard about - but after the first minute I completely forgot to care about it! I believe that Andrew Lenan (director-producer) and Sean Braney (scenarist-producer) were right on target when they decided to make this film silent and turn it in white and black - exactly as movies were made in 1926, when Lovecraft wrote "The call of Cthulhu". It gives an absolutely unique effect, which, I must admit, caused me to freeze before the screen for the whole 47 minutes...

"The Call of Cthulhu" story, although quite short, is one of the most powerful, most disturbing and most influential things in the whole fantastic literature. Nobody ever tried to film it, because the challenge seemed too difficult - when one thinks about the CGIs necessary to make a credible Cthulhu and a credible city of R'lyeh, it is easy to understand why nobody even tried to make such an attempt.

But all this difficulty was avoided by making this film in the style which both Fritz Lang ("Metropolis") and F.W. Murnau ("Nosferatu") would recognize immediately. Expressions on the faces replacing the words convey a greater sense of fear and impending doom than any special effects. The LACK of details in some scenes is more disturbing than the overdose of pixels in the best Blu-Ray - and the obviously cheap decorations in the city of R'lyeh surprisingly created (at least in my perception) more awe and shock than the best shots of Mordor in "Lord of the Rings". Bottom line, the settings in this film allowed Lovecraftian magic to play in a very powerful and pure way.

The very brief and very vague apparition of Cthulhu was very well done, with the maximum use of his shadow and only a little glimpse of the Great Old God himself. On another hand, small figures of Cthulhu worshipped by his cultists are very well shown and they are REALLY scary!

Actors performed wonderfully! I really had the impression that I watched a genuine film from 20s and that Doctor Mabuse would enter through that door at any moment...

To conclude, I was absolutely conquered by this movie and I am really, really glad that I bought it! And I am absolutely keeping it to rewatch it from time to time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hear the Call of Cthulhu--In a Brilliant SILENT Film!, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Michael R Gates (Nampa, ID United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
The works of venerable horror writer H.P. Lovecraft have, in some ways, become the backbone of the genre, especially cinematic horror. An astonishing number of relatively contemporary horror flicks and genre TV shows--everything from 1965's DIE, MONSTER, DIE through Rod Serling's U.S TV series THE NIGHT GALLERY (1970s) to Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD (1981) and beyond--have either borrowed elements from Lovecraft's literary mythos or attempted to adapt one of his stories.

In spite of Lovecraft's unquestionable influence on the genre, few filmmakers have been able to accurately or faithfully translate the writer's works to either the small or large screen. At best, most attempts to adapt Lovecraft either vaguely evoke the nihilistic subtext of the author's work (e.g., Stuart Gordon's 1985 classic RE-ANIMATOR) or pay simple homage by making a reference or two (as Raimi does by building his EVIL DEAD stories around Lovecraft's ubiquitous fictional book of the occult, the Necronomicon). Until now, that is. Under the guidance of director Andrew Leman and screenwriter Sean Branney, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has filmed and released a little film entitled THE CALL OF CTHULHU (2005), based on the author's story of the same name. And it has been praised by critics and fans alike as being one of the most faithful Lovecraft cinematic adaptations ever.

The film follows the three-part narrative construction of Lovecraft's original story, using flashbacks and similar devices to shift back and forth to various time frames. The story centers on a young man who has inherited his late great-uncle's research documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. Intrigued by his uncle's obsession with the cult, the nephew studies the documents closely and pieces together the dread implications of the research, and soon after he himself resumes his uncle's investigation of the Cthulhu Cult. When he finally understands the dreadful and disturbing reality of what his uncle has uncovered, his own sanity begins to crumble. Unable to cope and ultimately institutionalized, he passes the information on to his psychiatrist, who in turn hears Cthulhu's call...

In a daring but clever and creative move, filmmakers Leman and Branney decided to cinematically adapt Lovecraft's influential 1925 horror story THE CALL OF CTHULHU in the form of a faux early silent film, complete with black-and-white photography, title cards for dialogue, and a classical music score. There are even artificial scratches and wear marks, making it appear as if the film were indeed made in mid-1920s--the period in which Lovecraft wrote many of his famous works--and only recently pulled from the studio vaults and dusted off for posterity. By making the film look like a product of 1925 instead of one from 2005, the filmmakers have been able to utilize old-school FX like stop-motion animation, in-the-camera trick-photography, and miniatures, avoiding the temptation to heavily rely on CGI and other high-tech contrivances that could bog the film down and cause distraction or deviation from the actual story. The result is a "vintage" film that draws the audience into another place AND another time as it faithfully unfurls Lovecraft's tale of ancient mystery and hair-raising horror.

The cast does an excellent job in realizing director Leman's Lovecraftian vision and writer Branney's script. Acting in a silent film requires skills foreign to most contemporary actors, and it is consequently a dying art. Yet the performances in THE CALL OF CTHULHU are very effective. Especially good are Matt Foyer, who portrays the nephew, and Noah Wagner, who plays the captain of an ill-fated island expedition. It is obvious that, before stepping before the camera, both actors carefully studied classic silent cinema to learn the pantomime and exaggerated facial expressions required to relay emotion without the benefit of sound. Not only do they and their fellow actors do an on-target job of recreating the "feel" of a genuine film from the Silver Screen's silent era, they also do a great job of acting and thereby create a credible populace for the world of Lovecraft's mythos.

In addition, the special FX by Dan Novy and crew are very well executed and totally believable within the context of the film. Dream sequences are reminiscent of the German Expressionist silent classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920), and the stop-motion sequences are a clear nod to the master of the form, Ray Harryhausen. True, some of the sets and FX are obviously of the low-budget ilk, but this really only adds to the overall old-school charm of the flick.

The region-free DVD edition of THE CALL OF CTHULHU from Lurker Films is well worth the price of admission. Not only does it offer a pristine digital transfer of the faux silent-era flick, it also offers a very interesting making-of documentary (with sound) that features some behind-the-scene footage and interviews with cast and crew. Even the menu screens on this disc are cool, evoking the style of the art-deco movie houses of the 1920s and 1930s. This DVD is a must-have for fans of Lovecraft, and it will make a fine addition to the film collection of any true fan of horror cinema.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant expressionistic silent Movie!!, 3 Sep 2007
By 
R. Glaß - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
YES, it IS from 2005 and
YES ist IS a silent Movie!
In black and white and trimmed to look like it was produced in 1926
- the year, the orignal short story was written by H.P. Lovecraft.

O.K., single actors are quiet afar from being perfect and sometimes seems to loose there false beards but most of them
- rouged as in old silent movies - do there acting very well.
Also the coulisse sometimes looks like the film-makers were a little short of cash. And the whole thing just runs 47 minutes - but it's based on a SHORT story!

However, it's the best piece of expressionistic motion picture
since DARK CITY! Some scenes even bring to mind films like Wienes "CABINET DES DR. CALIGARI". And it's the first film adaption of Lovecrafts works, that doesn't try to be cheap horror but instead copies the original story nearly 1:1!

Conclusion:
It's an absolutely ambitious film with the small weakening of not having enough money to make it perfect.

But beeing a fan of either Lovecraft or expressionistic films or both
YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quick delivery, 7 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Arrived within 2 days even though wasn't due until 4 days minimum for a school project, very good quality, can't comment on the film as yet but if you are like my son and have watched parts on you tube then you already know what your getting!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of a classic, 8 Sep 2013
This review is from: The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I'm a bit of a fan of fan-made movies. There's a huge glut of them out there and mostly it's about a group's love of a genre or franchise, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Over the years there's been some very slick and professional fan-made productions and then there are some that pull out all the stops and simply go for it.

The H P Lovecraft Historical Society's (HPLHS) movie 'The Call of Cthulhu' is one such pull-out-the-stops movie. Instead of doing a simple, filmed-on-a-camcorder-in-some-home-made-clothes movie, or an attempt to update the classic story to the modern age to save on budget, the HPLHS society decided to make a pretty accurate story. And make it in black and white. And it's a silent movie. And it has classic stop-motion effects. Okay, let me explain it this way - imagine that there was a studio back in the 1920s who decided to make their silent movie version of 'The Call of Cthulhu'. They filmed it, added some Willis O'Brien style stop-motion special effects, and allowed a couple of disturbing scenes of mutilation and insanity to get past the censors of the time. That's the movie you have here; an almost faithful adaptation of the story made to look like a classic silent movie, made by lovers of H P Lovecraft, with some great performances by the actors (some of whom are HPLHS members) and an excellent soundtrack. It's a wonderful movie and, even though there are a couple of things that show it's modern-day technology and lack of budget, it's well worth a viewing.

From the HPLHS website: ...a dying professor leaves his great-nephew a collection of documents pertaining to the Cthulhu Cult. The nephew begins to learn why the study of the cult so fascinated his grandfather. Bit-by-bit he begins piecing together the dread implications of his grandfather's inquiries, and soon he takes on investigating the Cthulhu cult as a crusade of his own. As he pieces together the dreadful and disturbing reality of the situation, his own sanity begins to crumble.

The quality of the movie is excellent. In high definition you can see that the quality is modern film equipment given some post-production treatment to make it look like a silent film - well, it's not like there's some hand-cranked 1920s cameras just lying around, is there? - but the quality is constant throughout the movie. Once you start watching it the format is static so there's no being pulled out of the atmosphere by a sudden change in film making techniques. The makers have gone to great lengths to make sure that the movie has the same style all the way through and they've done really well.

The writing is nice and simple - it's a silent movie, after all - and they've managed to capture the best parts and essence of the story. The acting is pretty good and everyone plays their parts well. I liked the min character 'The Man' (played by Matt Foyer) and the sailor Johansen (Patrick O'Day), their performances were especially good.

There were obviously a lot of challenging parts of the story that might not have worked on a fan film, especially the entire ship/dead city sequence, but the nature of the movie makes the lack of budget negligible, in the fact that, back in the 1920s, their own technology would have been limited so they would have to make do. I especially love the fact that instead of relying on modern-day computer technology to build Cthulhu himself, they went back to classic stop-motion techniques. Yes, the models, fake sea and the animation looks weak by the standards of today's CGI extravaganzas but the movie has to be watched as a classic silent film. You know they're slightly off the mark but you forgive them that fact because it was simply the tech they had at the time, and knowing that does not detract from the finished product. It's like comparing the modern-day CGI King Kong to the stop-motion King Kong of 1933. Different era, different capabilities The sometimes erratic nature of the original Willis O'Brien animation does not in any way detract from the wonder of the 1933 original, and that same attitude should be applied to 'The Call of Cthulhu'. The makers of the film have really tried to capture the feel of the silent era. It's not for everyone, that's for sure, but as a man who grew up with the original King Kong and all of the Ray Harryhausen classics I can see past the limits of technology.

The makers of this film should feel very proud about what they've made here. It's the first true adaptation of a H P Lovecraft story I've seen on screen and I'm looking forward to a lot more. The film industry should take a closer look at films such as this, and Lovecraft's Mythos as a whole, and see that these horror stories can be put on the screen without the need to update them to the modern age or turn them into gore-fest slasher flicks. The big screen is overdue a truly great Lovecraft adaptation and this small movie paves the way to realising that goal.

Very highly recommended.
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