Friday, March 27, 2009

Late Bloomer casts Lovecraft in sex ed class

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival's Best of Fest Seattle brought forth a variety of animated, silent, black and white, and even subtitled madness. Macabre humor, mostly, filled the night.

Eel Girl, the tale of a scientist lured by a woman's charms (but, wait, don't forget she's a mons...ah!), and Between the Stars, an everyman man lured by the mystery of the cosmos (it's so beautiful, fascinating, I must touch...oh!), both did a particularly good job of storytelling in a short timeframe. Casting also set these apart, and Eel Girl gets a nod for special effects (Those teeth! That ooze!).

Late Bloomer, written by Clay McLeod Chapman and directed by Craig Macneill,
was a stand out among the films, setting the Lovecraft mythos in a seventh grade sex education classroom — somehow a perfect fit. Excellent casting also distinguished this film with the very H.P. looking boy (Sam Borenzweig) mesmerized by charming and creepy classmates and menaced by a wide-eyed Mrs. Lovecraft (Lauren Bond) and a shady-eyed principal (Godfrey Pflager). The voiceover, also by McLeod Chapman, exquisitely captured the waver of madness. This film nailed elements of the mythos (rituals, cults, fear of the alien, fear of insanity), and managed some real surprise and horror — not the jump out of your seat kind, but the wrenching, "Oh, dear god, yes I can imagine that (but I'm so glad it's not me in that chair)!" kind. Hilarious and disturbing.

The film was the winner of the Lovecraft fest in 2005 and some other film folks liked it too. It's yours for a $1.50 here. See the trailer too.

Even midweek the Lovecraft films drew a fun crowd. There were a couple of Cthultu inspired headdresses, a few people reading Lovecraft while waiting for the doors to open, and discussions all around about the Hugo award nominees (Will Charles Stross' Saturn's Children win best novel?), Norwescon, LARP-ing, Sakura-Con, and Neil Gaiman (
read “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar” in the anthology Smoke and Mirrors or "I, Cthulu" online).

All in all, good times draped in the red velvet at The Grand Illusion Cinema.

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