If you’re a regular visitor to our sister site Wordsandfilm.com – and I strongly urge you to become so if you’re not – you may have read an article this week on the perennial popularity of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Author Tom Blunt described how the gentleman from Providence’s work continues to work it’s mind-wracking influence on writers, game designers and filmmakers, citing the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s soon-to-be-released film The Whisperer in the Darkness as just one example among many.
I’ve been a Mythos fan for most of my reading life, having been exposed to mass market paperback collections of his work as a a junior high student. Even then, I knew that this was somehow “different” from the other horror and science fiction stories I was reading at the time, although it took the birth of the internet for me to fully realize the extent of Lovecraft’s august legacy. To this day, I continue to enjoy his work, as well as that of many of the authors who composed the Lovecraft Circle: Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard, particularly. I’m also an avid player of games based on his work, most prominently Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, now in its sixth edition and still going strong. I am sure that Lovecraft’s work, as well as that of his peers, will undoubtedly continue to inspire and terrify long after our time on this earth is over.
Director Frank H. Woodward’s documentary Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown explores the Lovecraftian legacy in depth, revealing insights into the man and his work by careful biographical research and insightful interviews with writers and others who have felt the touch of his influence: Neil Gaiman, Caitlin R. Kiernan and Peter Straub, among others. While it’s a great film, many outside of film festival and convention circles haven’t seen it. Happily, you can now watch the documentary for free via www.snagfilms.com, all with the consent of the film’s director.
Watch Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown, and afterward, leave any questions you have for Mr. Woodward in the comments to this post. I have already spoken with the man, and he has agreed to an interview. I’d be happy to select some of your questions for inclusion in our conversation.