“Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.” -H.P Lovecraft.
Today, 124 years ago, H.P Lovecraft was born. For those who don’t know, H.P Lovecraft was one of the most influential and groundbreaking American authors. His stories ranged from deep sea gods (Cthulhu) to horror and science-fiction shorts that influence films, TV, music and games, making Lovecraft a favourite amongst anyone who likes a good story, a dark tale, and something a little different.
As such I’ve decided to dedicate this article to 5 of my favourite Lovecraftian works.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” -H.P Lovecraft.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
We’ll start with this fantastic survival-horror game. The game was produced in 2006 by the now defunct Headfirst Productions, and centres around police detective Jack Walters and his journey to track down the bizarre Cult of Yith, their allies and those like them. The game features a unique “clean HUD” making play challenging and intense as you do not have access to health bars, ammo counter or a cross-hair. Ammo and weapons are also a bit scarce, so conservation and thinking are your strongest allies.
The game combines several of Lovecrafts stories most notably the Cthulhu mythos and The Shadow over Innsmouth.
“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent” -H.P Lovecraft.
This story centres around professor of geology, who returns from a horrific expedition to Antarctica determined not to let anyone else suffer from the same fate as his colleagues.
This is one of Lovecrafts best and features some of his most descriptive and captivating writing.
“The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.” -H.P Lovecraft.
This 2007 horror film centres around a young history professor named Russ (Jason Cottle) who returns home to assist in dividing up his late mothers estate. Once home he discovers his father is leader of a cult that is planning a mass sacrifice for their dark god.
The film is notable for being the first horror film to have an openly gay hero as the lead role.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie; And with strange aeons even death may die.” -H.P Lovecraft.
Of course I have to mention Lovecrafts best known work, Call of Cthulhu. This story has inspired whole generations of film and game makers, as well as various musicians, including Metallica. As well as various cartoonists, t-shirt designers, artists and so many more.
The story centres around a manuscript that’s discovered amongst a collection of old paperwork. The story is broken into 3 chapters, each containing “clues” and information concerning the legendary demigod Cthulhu, and the cult that worships him.
The story was originally rejected until it was published by Robert Ervin Howard (Creator of Conan the Barbarian). Lovecraft considered it to be one of his less compelling stories claiming that is was “rather middling—not as bad as the worst, but full of cheap and cumbrous touches”.
“Never Explain Anything” -H.P Lovecraft.
H.P. Lovecraft’s: Necronomicon
H.P. Lovecraft’s: Necronomicon, also called Necronomicon, or Necronomicon: Book of the Dead and Necronomicon: To Hell and Back, is a 1993, American film that showcases several stories inspired by H.P Lovecraft shorter pieces. The film was generally well received, despite its low budget and relatively horrific acting.
“I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.” -H.P Lovecraft.
And there you have it, some of my favourite works by or inspired by H.P Lovecraft. Now go out there and get a hold of them asap.
“Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.” -H.P Lovecraft.