While attending the current Fantasia festival in Montreal to host the world premiere of his striking documentary L’AUTRE MONDE, filmmaker Richard Stanley also took part in the Frontières market, pitching his H.P. Lovecraft adaptation THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE. Fango got the chance to sit down with the man to get his thoughts and details on the project.
You can read the entire article here. I will reserve judgement until I see the movie, but a couple of things already concern me:
“Out of the bunch, I like DIE FARBE the most. It’s set at the end of WWII, is in black and white and takes a very different approach to the material—thankfully, because for a while I was thinking, ‘OK, if this is good, I don’t need to do the story again.’ But it’s also not really a horror movie, which is the most unfortunate thing about DIE FARBE. I thought if it had some gore effects—if it had some latex in there and some kind of monster—it would’ve been worth it, I guess, for the audience to get through the German language and the subtitles and the black-and-white art-house approach.”
DIE FARBE isn’t a horror movie? COLOUR OUT OF SPACE needs a latex monster and gore? That’s not what Lovecraft is about.
“One of the things we’re going to do,” he continues, “is set the film in a universe where the characters are already aware of Lovecraft’s work. There are two teenage kids in the family, and one’s a WARHAMMER addict and the other’s got a copy of the paperback NECRONOMICON.”
So in the movie, can the characters pull out one of their Lovecraft books and re-read The Colour Out of Space so they know what’s going to happen next?
It all comes down to a good story, of course. But in general, I have a problem with setting Lovecraft stories in a universe where the characters know who H.P. Lovecraft is. In my opinion, it’s akin to characters in a Superman movie being aware that he’s Clark Kent.
With his COLOUR, Stanley wants to give Lovecraft the big-screen respect he feels has been lacking in the last several years. “Personally, I’ve been a little disappointed by the recent Lovecraft movies, and I want to do something that’s a return to the spirit of the original stories.”
I was also taken aback when I saw the “trailer” last week. It’s not really a trailer — it’s a hodge-podge of scenes from other movies.
One more thing: Colour Out of Space has been done to death. I for one am a huge fan of DIE FARBE, but that should be the final word on that story for awhile. How about At the Mountains of Madness? Or a Lovecraft-THEMED film not based on a Lovecraft story? Or a movie based on an existing Lovecraftian short story — for example, a story from The Lovecraft eZine, Dead But Dreaming, or dozens of other anthologies with great stories?
Your thoughts? Comment below.
Thanks to Kt Mehers of Eolith Designs for the link.
UPDATE: Someone over at the eZine Facebook page said I was “coming down hard” on this movie. Here’s a copy of my response:
I’m not sure that saying I’m reserving judgement until I see the movie, but that I have certain concerns is “coming down hard”. Mr. Stanley essentially dissed every recent Lovecraft film, and I’ve been a lot nicer than that. I don’t usually even get this negative. But in my opinion, which some people consider to be worth noting, gore and latex is not the way to go. And what Mr. Stanley does is up to him, but some people consider him to be talented and if that’s the case, I’d love to see what he’d do with a Lovecraft film done right… and I’d love to see him or someone else tackle “Mountains of Madness” or something other than “Colour”, which has been done to death.