Two Lovecraftian-themed movies, recommended by S.T. Joshi and Sandy Petersen

The Last WaveI’ve added two more Lovecraftian-themed movies to the “Mike’s Recommended Lovecraftian Movies” page.  Both of these movies were recommended to me by major figures in the world of Lovecraft: HPL scholar S.T. Joshi, and Call of Cthulhu creator Sandy Petersen:

THE LAST WAVE [streamingDVD] Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi once told me that The Last Wave is his favorite Lovecraftian-themed movie.  Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own. He suspects the victim has been killed for violating a tribal taboo, but the defendants deny any tribal association. Burton, plagued by apocalyptic visions of water, slowly realizes his own involvement with the aborigines…and their prophecies.

SPIDER LABYRINTH [DVD] Sandy Petersen introduced me to this film while I was watching movies with him at his home.  Handsome Professor Alan Whitmore is assigned by his university to go to Budapest to seek out Professor Roth who has been investigating an ancient religion. Once there, he is met by Professor Roths’ beautiful assistant, Genevieve Weiss. But Professor Whitmore soon finds himself at the center of mysterious cult involving secrets, murder, and a monstrous mind controlling spider god . Will the professor solve this weird puzzle, or will he too be caught in the web of the Spider Labyrinth?

Speaking of Sandy Petersen: I’ll be at his home again on Wednesday, on another horror movie marathon mission!  If you have questions that you’d like me to pass on to him, email them to me at lovecraftezine@gmail.com .  Sandy tells me that he has all the Cthulhu Wars figures there now, so I’ll be taking pictures and video of those.

6 responses to “Two Lovecraftian-themed movies, recommended by S.T. Joshi and Sandy Petersen

  1. Thanks for the tips! I will try to get my hand on those movies.

    Meanwhile, please say to Sandy that here in the company I work, we Brazilian analog gamers are anxiously waiting for Cthulhu Wars with all our fingers crossed.

    😀

  2. Spider Labyrinth is worth seeking out. Very Argento-esque.

    I’m a Peter Weir fan who ranks Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Last Wave as two of my favorites. The weird dreams and portents, the persistent dread of an apocalyptic tsunami, the clash between cultures, the insinuation that a cosmic veil obscuring our perception of reality from another culture’s perspective is well handled without deviating into condescending noble-savage stereotypes- it all works together perfectly. And the performances are solid-particularly Gulipilil.

    Both Weir’s Picnic’ and The Last Wave were partly inspired by the weird phenomena as collected and published by Charles Fort, so both of these films have an undercurrent of the inexplicable, of nature behaving in ways contrary to our experience. Both also suggests an aspect to existence that’s out of sight, tucked away behind cultural stagnation and a dogmatism that insists on blinding the observer. There’s a Judith Kass interview with Weir where he describes why he chose Gulipilil as his lead for The Last Wave where he offers some insight into the (unintentional I assume) Lovecraftian aspects of his casting choice:
    “…we were chatting in a bar one night after work and he said some things about his family and then suddenly he said some English sentence. It was something like “You see my father and I and that’s why because the moon isn’t.” And I said, “What’s that mean – your father and I and the moon isn’t?” And he repeated it. I said, “David, I don’t understand.” And he said it again. This was ridiculous – we’d been talking. I said “What are you talking about?” So he rearranged the sentence. It still made no sense. Well, I had to leave it, otherwise we couldn’t continue the conversation. And I thought about it that night and the next morning and suddenly I realized what it was. That he was talking about another perception. He was talking about an experience for which there are no words. He’d seen something in another way.”

    Love this film.

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