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Posts Tagged ‘horror’

Sneak Peek at Occult-Noir Horror Short Story: “Crucifixions Continue!” by Peter Guy Blacklock

Posted by Harbinger451 on July 8, 2017

The Horror of it All CategorySneak Peek at Occult-Noir Horror Short Story: “Crucifixions Continue!” by Peter Guy Blacklock

Here’s another sneak-peek at one of the short stories from the upcoming Dollar Dreadful Volume Two ebook, this one is titled Crucifixions Continue, a short Occult-Noir horror story in two parts, the first of which – as with The Ninth Watcher in the previous post – is presented below. You can read the whole thing on my Patreon site HERE (if you subscribe), or you can wait for it to be published in the up-coming ebook.

Crucifixion-Continue

An Infamous Serial Killer Strikes Again!

Crucifixions Continue!

Part One: Death.

‘Crucifixions Continue!’ The headline was emblazoned across the front page of Tuesday’s Evening Standard. Nick Kaufman couldn’t believe his eyes… a nauseous ache permeated from the pit of his stomach as he picked up a copy of the newspaper.

It had to be a mistake… a joke, he thought, a sickening joke!  But no, there it was, the story in full.  There had been another murder – a copycat killing though, it had to be!

He stood there in the small, warm shop, his local convenience store, and read the story through a full three times before he could allow himself to believe it was true. It was approaching 4 pm and this was Nick’s last port of call before heading home after his New Year Bank Holiday weekend away.

He read, ‘The Crucifixion Killer strikes again after three years.’ That was a term that this very newspaper had coined back then, after the third murder to be precise, the tag had stuck – ‘crucifixion killer’ sounded good to the hacks in tabloid land and the Great British public were suckered right into it. The Crucifixion Killer was the Bogeyman from there on in.

‘Nine victims was not enough for this serial killer, will another eight now fall victim to this ritual executioner?  Can the police do anything to stop him?’ Outrageous scare-mongering was the back bone that supported the tabloids and the Evening Standard was not going to be out done in the first breaking of a truly sensational story. Nick bought some milk and rushed out onto the frosty High Street, heading home, his mind a riot of conflicting thoughts. He was drawn back to the story in the paper, sickening disbelief still getting the better of him. He had thought it was all over, it had ended at 9 am on the 9th of September three years ago with the ninth victim, that was symmetry… a tidy ending – but now they’re starting again?

It’s not possible! Nick nearly shouted aloud.

Calm down, he told himself… deep breath. He forced his racing thoughts to pause and he tried to collect himself, losing it in the street would not put a stop to this.

‘After an anonymous tip-off a body was found early Sunday morning – the 1st of January, exactly three years since the start of the original series of murders – in an abandoned house in the rural Durham village of Greatham. A police spokesman told this correspondent that the crime scene displays all the characteristics of a Crucifixion Killing, though, at this stage, we cannot confirm if there is a link between this and the killings of three years ago.’

The correspondent responsible for this literary achievement was one Miles Turner, a one time potential high achiever in journalistic circles who had followed the original investigations so vociferously that it had almost come to the point of obsession. He must be seeing this like the return of a long lost lover, thought Nick.

‘Those nine killings were particularly brutal; all following the same sick modus operandi. The police could find no connection between any of the victims and no motive was ever identified. All the murders remain unsolved. Each victim was found at a secluded or deserted spot, up and down the country, all had died of asphyxiation, the bodies were stripped naked and crucified to the floor using three-inch nails. A large pentagram, an occult Black Magic symbol, was daubed on the floor where the victims were crucified. An anonymous phone call had always pre-empted the discovery of the body.’

Nick’s home was a large, red brick, Georgian house surrounded on three sides by gardens which were bordered by a 12ft brick wall. A drive and pathway ran down the fourth side leading to garages, there an entrance to the house greeted him, pale misty breath was expelled from his mouth as he unlocked the dark blue, solid oak panelled door and entered.

‘The identity of the latest victim has not been revealed but it is believed to be that of a young woman.’

A young woman. Taki Maeda’s face flashed before Nick’s eyes, a memory of the happy holiday photo that had been published in the paper… she had been the last victim, the ninth victim, the only one to have been alive when found – if you could call a coma being alive, – the unfortunate young Japanese woman had died a couple of days later, never regaining consciousness. His mind’s eye could not suppress the memory of her spread-eagled body crucified to the vacant warehouse floor… within that stark-white magic circle… and her nakedness, hauntingly pale – perfect in its pathos… heartbreakingly beautiful in the full moon light that came in through the warehouse’s tall, broken paned windows.

That one memory, which he could not suppress, opened the floodgates to the ghosts of all the crucified victims, each one that contributed their part to the legend of the ultimate unidentified serial killer. The first of the nine was a fifty-four year old man, Ken Kendrick, who disappeared while cycling his way home after a night-time security job. Second was Isabelle Parfit, a young prostitute who’s last known prophetic words, to the fellow street women that she associated with, were “With the way my luck’s been goin’ lately I’m sure to bump into some sicko tonight!” Lenny MacDonald, eighteen years and last seen stumbling home after a night on the town was the third victim to turn up crucified. Then there was the homeless derelict and inveterate drunk, eventually named as Joseph Serratoa. Mina Carlisle, mother of two, was murdered next, out at night for unknown reasons. Followed by Susan Maltby, a shift worker on her way home from the fast food outlet where she earned a meagre living. Darren Jones, a petty thief on a dishonest night’s work was victim number seven, and James Wilkinson, a bank manager last seen alive wandering the red-light district, was the eighth crucified body to be found.

Nick suddenly felt like his head was spinning, he paused and leaned against the wall. Again, he took a deep breath. Bloody hell – what’s happening to me? This should have all ended – it can’t begin again.

The house had spacious, tall ceilinged rooms that were elegantly decorated in a subtle Art Nouveau, High-Tech fusion. It was his refuge; he dropped his weekend bag unceremoniously and cast aside his long, dark, insulating coat before quickly sitting himself down in the comfortable living room where he slowly tried to relax.

The story from the paper kept intruding on his thoughts, ‘The police are due to make a more detailed statement at 6 pm today once the victim has been positively identified and the next of kin have been notified.’

I need a strong coffee, he thought. It was 4.09 pm, just under two hours to go. He went through into the large kitchen, a spotless steam-punk fantasy of black, white and chrome. Nick watched his reflection rapidly grow in the percolator’s shinning, functional façade as he neared and then prepared a coffee.  He waited while it slowly gurgled and spat into the jug. Nick poured a cup of steaming black liquid and added two sugars. What to do now? The Internet! Of course – always up to date if you know where to look.

The study housed one of Nick’s computers, both of which were high spec and both used heavily.  Each computer was dedicated to a different side of his life, this one, a PC, was for research and information gathering, writing books or articles – responsible for the bulk of his income, and for communications – net, fax and phone.  The other was a ‘Mac’, which he used for design and art work, more as a hobby than for a living, it was one of his relaxation techniques.

There were hundreds of web sites with references to the Crucifixion Killer, the search engine made all the more notable ones available for scrutiny but it was easy to pick and choose which ones would be useful.  They were mainly split between the fan sites and the hate sites, with a few neutral report and documentary style sites thrown in. All serial killers seemed to develop a certain cult following but the number of fan sites for the Crucifixion Killer still amazed him. Most were British, a few European and American, and quite a large number from the Far East, especially Japan. He concentrated on the more serious British sites for the moment, hoping to just get an angle, the latest theory out there among the Crucifixionologists about the identity of the killer, or to find any breaking news.

But this was useless he soon realised, the first most net authors would have known about the new murder would have been the breaking of the news in the papers this morning. It would be unlikely that any would have had time to up load and broadcast their views to the world at large. He checked out the two highest ranking, and therefore most recently updated, fan-sites – one announced ‘Crucifixion Killer returns: Praise to the Crucifixion Killer’, and another, somewhat surrealistically ‘Crucifixion Killer Dead. Long live the Crucifixion Killer.’ Beneath that last title was a picture of a rather battered doorway which, it claimed, was the front door to the location of the latest murder. Neither website held any real details though; both seemed to be just the usual amalgam of unhealthy fascination, artistic endeavour and too much time running spare.

Nick resorted to the TV news and Broadsheet sites. The best were already bookmarked and he accessed them directly without the need for a search. There was little to show for his effort though… except for a small piece from a local Durham news site – ‘A close community is shattered by the discovery of a sacrificial style killing in their midst. The house the body was discovered in has been empty for at least two years, say shocked locals. The identity of the victim has not been revealed and there are no reported missing persons from the immediate area. A number of impromptu wreaths and bouquets have been left at the front door of the premises.’

A photo of the forbidding looking detached house was beside this comment, a splash of floral colour visible at the doorstep. He downloaded the image then immediately shifted applications on screen so he could zoom in on the shaded front entrance of the house; after adjusting the sharpness, contrast, gamma and saturation levels, the number nine became clearly visible in the darkened doorway… it was the same door from that last fan-site he had looked at. But in that site’s photo there had been no flowers carefully lain before it.

Nick kicked his heels back in the sumptuous room, lined with books and dark wood surround. Resting his feet on the desk he gazed out through the tall Georgian style windows to the frosted trees and grass of the large garden beyond, sipping at his coffee. The garden was a totally private piece of paradise, separated from the outside world. He decided to spend the rest of the morning exercising, to try and clear his mind a little. But first, he thought, he should check out the various cable news channels on the TV.

He scanned them all quickly, those broadcast from home and overseas, catching the half-hourly bulletins, but there was nothing new. The police news conference was still scheduled for six o-clock and the TV pundits were taking this as confirmation that the latest victim had been identified and the next of kin notified.

Nick subjected himself to an intensive half-hour of physical exertion in the exercise room before stepping into a hot shower, trying hard not to think of this new murder. It wasn’t easy. Images of the old ones were persistently haunting him, stark faces developing on the brilliant white tiles of the shower room like little Polaroid’s and the bigger, dark slate floor tiles were like photographic plates of the crime scenes – showing white magic circles that span and spiralled toward him. What’s going on? The thought angrily voiced in his head.  Three years and not a single disturbing memory, dream or thought – till now… a new murder and all hell breaks loose in my head.

He turned the shower to cold and shocked himself out of the daze that seemed to be descending.  Yelling with the surprise he turned it instantly off and, shivering, rushed from the shower room and retrieved a warm towel from the airing cupboard beside it. He patted himself dry, got dressed, and moved through into the living room, after pouring another cup of coffee, ready to watch the latest news.

The big, flat screen flicked into life, the black silent rectangle becoming a shining cacophony as he channel hopped rapidly before settling on what seemed the best. Nick placed the remote control beside him as he waited patiently for noon to arrive. The screen showed a number of chairs behind a long table with a blow-up of the both the Durham and Metropolitan Police Insignias on an otherwise plain backdrop. The table was covered with assorted microphones. A presenter’s inane voice-over prattled annoyingly as they waited for something interesting to happen.

Finally a number of official looking people paraded out sombrely; with little fuss they soon settled themselves in the chairs behind the table. Nick’s heart leapt up into his throat as he saw the lead officer take her place in the centre chair. It was Detective Inspector Annabel Radcliffe, she had been the chief officer involved in the Metropolitan’s original investigation into the Crucifixion killings… they must have found a connection to have called her in – but there can’t be a connection, there simply can’t!

The excited shuffling and coughing of the journalists present suddenly ceased as DI Radcliffe cleared her throat and leaned forward, bringing her mouth nearer to the microphones.  “I have a short statement only to give to you.” She said. She seemed harassed and continued abruptly. “The body found yesterday has been identified as Patricia Bell, a twenty year old university student who went missing three days ago, her next of kin have been notified. We are doing all we can to trace the killer at this moment in time and due to the sensitive nature of our investigations we can not disclose any further details.” A sudden commotion from her audience erupted as all the journalists present simultaneously voiced their protests as violently as possible.

“Other than…” DI Radcliffe stood and grabbed the largest of the microphones before her and then shouted into it, effectively drowning out all dissent.  “Other than to state that we have made a connection with the previous spate of serial killings that have been popularised as the work of the Crucifixion Killer! There can be no doubt that the same perpetrator is at work again.”

The room positively erupted before her as she calmly turned her back on it all and lead her entourage back out of the room, increasingly desperate questions and pleas were shouted after her but to no avail.

Nick couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. No! You can’t leave it like that! He stared, dumbfounded at the television screen. “It can’t be the Crucifixion Killer – it just can’t be.” He said standing, his fingernails digging into his palms, and then spat “No bastard’s going to steal my crown! No fucking bastard… after all that work… I did those killings, I’m the Crucifixion Killer – and I’ll crucify any bastard that tries to take my place!”

Nick Kaufman’s mind raced, desperately trying to figure out who could possibly know the intricacies of his murders, who would dare mess with his greatest work of art… his ultimate statement? A number of facts had remained undisclosed to the public so it had to be some one in the know, a police officer working on the case or maybe a journalist with very good sources – but who?

Miles Turner instantly came to mind, he’s a low life opportunist scum, who would kill his own mother if he thought it would sell the newspaper with his account in it . . . but surely he wouldn’t have access to the full details of the case?

Then, more desperately, he thought. Maybe it’s a plot by the police themselves – to flush me out… but no, they could never get away with that… unless there never was a murder, there was no student called Patricia Bell… so no next of kin to notify?

Nick was forcibly snapped from his deliberation by a voice from the half open door to the room.

“Hello Mr. Kaufman.”  It said. Nick’s heart almost stopped dead as he span to see the intruder that had addressed him.

End of Part One.

As stated earlier, you can read the concluding Part Two of this story on my Patreon site HERE (if you subscribe), or you can wait for it to be published in the up-coming second volume of our 451 ePublishing Haus’ Dollar Dreadful series of ebooks which will feature this and two more of my occult horror tales… ‘The Ninth Watcher‘ and ‘The Matter of Time’. Both these stories will have part Sneak Peek previews here and full Sneak Peek previews on the Patreon site HERE. Subscribe to this blog to keep updated on all my articles, stories and publications.

The Horror of it All… enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

Harbinger451.co.uk

Copyright © 2017 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


The Horror of it All

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Sneak Peek at Occult Horror Short Story: The Ninth Watcher by Peter Guy Blacklock

Posted by Harbinger451 on July 4, 2017

The Horror of it All CategorySneak Peek at Occult Horror Short Story: The Ninth Watcher by Peter Guy Blacklock

The Ninth Watcher is a short occult horror story in two parts, the first of which is presented below. You can read the whole thing on my Patreon site HERE (if you subscribe), or you can wait for it to be published in the up-coming second volume of our Dollar Dreadful series of ebooks which will feature three of my horror tales for your delectation.

High Moor Asylum

A dark date with destiny is in the offing at the High Moor Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

The Ninth Watcher

Part One: Lunatic.

Tuesday.

A date with destiny is a date that needs a lot of setting up.  No matter how preordained an event, planning is essential; certain designs must be put into action to ensure that a doom comes to fruition.  Newspaper ads, favours, dues . . . all play their part.  There is a definite knack to being in the right place at the right time.

Loud music thundered ominously in my ears as I walked steadily from the picturesque village, rising out of the valley and away from its cosy day-tripper surroundings.  Although late in the season my headphones and blue tinted shades had provided shelter from the bustle of the still busy Valley Line train, but in the increasingly barren landscape of High Moor they contributed to a rather chill mood.  A mood though which was suitable to the task ahead.

I approached High Moor Asylum with a sober countenance, it was a high security institution for the criminally insane, its reputation for excellence and its extreme secrecy also made it a perfect sanctuary for the rich and famous to deposit any relatives that may otherwise cause embarrassment or scandal.  The bleak building, built less than thirty years earlier, suited its surroundings; though its mock nineteenth century facade failed to add the character of age.  The building was new and the site had no history, at least none that I could find, and my research was meticulously thorough.

I mounted the steps leading to the large front doors purposefully, stopping before them I removed my headphones which now only emitted the low electronic hum of latent power, the music had finished.  I switched the compact-disc player off.  Pressing a finger to the small white button of the doorbell I waited to be greeted.  The door opened to show me a mature woman dressed in official whites, a name badge tagging her Nurse Wheatley.  The poorly veiled puzzlement on her face as she looked me up and down was familiar to me, welcome even.

Appearances can be deceptive, my height is below average for a man but above average for a woman, my build is slight but athletic and my dress, some might say, is effeminate though definitely not feminine.  I think of my attire as practical in a Victorian gentleman sort of way, the black frock coat emphasising slightly masculine shoulders and accentuating a slightly feminine waist.  A pale and pretty asexual face and dark, roughly cropped hair added to the ambiguity.  Removing my sunglasses I introduced myself, Sam Stafford.  My soft, strong and measured voice giving nothing away.  I was expected.

Dr. Hilda Greer admitted me to her presence at the precise time of our appointment, 10.30am, I had arrived nine minutes earlier.  She was younger than I had expected – in her late thirties maybe, she scanned our earlier correspondence, seeking for a formal title to brand me.  She didn’t find one.  She finally said my name uncomfortably with no Mr, Miss, Ms or Mrs to label me with.  Doctor Greer did not like being at a disadvantage.  She was also uncomfortable with my reason for being there.  The supernatural was not a subject she could confidently discuss theories about.  Which was why she needed to call in a professional.  I was the only Investigator of the Paranormal that she could find mention of through her many contacts at various universities and institutions, so she called for me.

I accepted her invitation to sit down.  I broke the stilted silence that descended into her comfortably dark, wood panelled office by asking if there had been any more strange occurrences since her last letter.  She hesitated before releasing a torrent of concerns, things had just been getting worse; security systems failing, strange unbelievable noises, temperature changes.  When these things happen the inmates would all seem to go simultaneously berserk, stretching the staff to the limit.  The strain was starting to tell; staff calling in sick, patients weren’t being attended too properly.  The concern in her eyes told more than her words possibly could.

I asked Dr. Greer if the beginning of the unusual happenings had coincided with the admittance of any inmates.

“Our admissions are taken in with the strictest confidence . . .” She began to recite her official policy, I interrupted her, reminded her of the predicament.  The phenomena were unlikely to be attached to the building or grounds for they had no history, they must be attached to someone or something brought into the Asylum.  I demanded to know who or what had arrived just before the waves of supernatural phenomena had started.

She remained silent for a good thirty seconds.  “Alexander Price was admitted on the 23rd of August, the phenomena started that night, hardly noticeable at first, gradually getting worse each night.  That was a month ago.”

Alexander Price.  That name conjured up so much for me.  A lunatic asylum was where he belonged, to protect himself as well as others.  He was a self and very publicly professed sorcerer, occultist and practitioner of black magic, considered by most to be eccentric, by the rest simply mad.  He was considered by a few, those misfortuned enough to know of his dealings at first hand — myself included, to be the most dangerous man in Britain.  His privileged and extremely wealthy background had protected him so many times; assault, rape, ritual abuse; there was never enough evidence — and any willing witnesses or accusers were never very willing for long.  My composure remained intact and my expression did not change.  My existence had meaning again.

“What happened to him?  Why was he admitted?”

The head of the asylum hesitated.  “His father brought him in, he’d been found a ‘gibbering wreck’ in a cellar of his London premises.  A few of Price’s cronies had tipped his father off, a ‘summoning’ they had tried had gone wrong . . . or some such nonsense.”

I asked if I could see Price himself.  Dr. Greer shuffled a little, then pressed a secreted intercom on her desk and asked for a Nurse Addams.

 

Alexander Price

Alexander Price… or is it Aleister Crowley?

Nurse Addams was a very big man, both vertically and horizontally.  He looked exactly like the clichéd sadist always found in mental institutions, at least if television is to be believed, but his soft voice belied this.  I followed him, feeling very small.  The spotless tiles of the chequered floor remained the same but the décor, doors and walls changed from plush manor house to sanitised, high-tech institution with insidious ease.  The nurse led me initially to a control room for the wing that held Price, monitors showed rooms and occupants with a detached, uncaring clarity.  Alexander Price’s cell stood out in its scarcity.  The occultist sat cross-legged and naked, but for a grubby pair of shorts, in the centre of the room with a pentacle and circle scrawled about himself on the floor.  No furniture, not even a pallet kept him company, a bright white toilet bowl kept a lonely vigil in a darkened corner.

I asked for confirmation that Price had had no belongings with him when he was incarcerated in this room.  “None.” said Nurse Adams.

“With what then has he marked the floor?”  I asked.

“Charcoal, mixed with ‘is own blood, amongst other things I’m sure.” Was the reply.  The marks looked desperately black on the monitor screen.  The inmate rocked slowly back and forth as if talking or chanting to himself.  “When ‘e first came ‘e ‘ad no charcoal –- daubed it with ‘is own blood and filth, every time we cleaned it up ‘e would do it again,” continued the nurse, “tried restraining ‘im, ‘e just went wild.  Dr Greer just said to give ‘im some charcoal an’ leave ‘im — and ‘is daubs . . . it kept ‘im quiet.”

My request to see him was met with a shake of the head.  “You’ll get no sense out of ‘im.”

The door to his cell was as secure as security could be, the pass card and key-pad sequence released a mechanism and then a huge bolt had to be slid across the heavy iron door.  “It won’t be pleasant.”  Warned the nurse matter-of-factly.

The scent of fear is the foulest thing.  Price’s cell was full of it.  I asked the nurse to leave and close the door behind him, he refused but agreed with a shrug to leave the cell with the door open, he was obviously relieved that he did not have to stay there.  Price looked up at me as soon as the nurse left the room, his eyes were perfectly sane but panic was in his voice.  “Are you here to help me — can you help me?”

Standing before him I asked, “What has happened to you?”

“Questions, questions . . . I don’t need more questions I need help!”

“I can only help you if I know what has happened.”

“Are you a Doctor?” said Price suspiciously.

“No,” I said, “I’m an occultist, like you.”

He laughed, “There is no one like me.  Don’t you know? I’m the most evil man in the world . . .” His laughter was strong and loud but it was an obvious bluff.

“What did you manage to summon that night?” I asked.  “Can you remember?”

“Back to the questions . . .” he said vociferously. “– Oh I remember all right: I’m not likely to forget . . . ever.”

I waited for an answer to my question, taking the opportunity to study Price in detail.  He just stared back at me, occasionally glancing about the dark room.  Price remembered what had happened all right, he was replaying it constantly in his mind but he feared that to tell of his memory was to bring that memory to life . . . he stayed silent in his fear.  He sensed my intrusion as I viewed his thoughts though and this panicked him.

“How can I help you?” I asked hoping this path might lead to information.

“Have you heard the term Binah?”  He suddenly asked.

Binah is the third Sephirah of the Tree of Life, according to Kabalistic tradition.  And I told him so. He was testing my occult knowledge.

“What do you know of the Codex Latinus Monacensis 849?”

“It is a manuscript, of the fifteenth century.  I suppose you could call it a handbook of ritual magic and Necromancy.”  I said.  “It’s in the Bavarian State Library I believe.”

He smiled unpleasantly.  “Do you know what this circle marked on the floor represents?” His tone was getting increasingly sarcastic and his manner more manic, more desperate.  “It protects me,” he answered the question himself.  “I remain perfectly safe while it remains intact and I remain within it.  If you can’t find a way for me to leave here without the need for it you cannot help me.  Do you still think you can help me?”

“I can only help you come to your fate.  The outcome of your actions is unavoidable, preordained almost.”  I smiled.  He did not.

“There is nothing I can do to prevent your destiny,” I continued, “you may succeed in postponing it, but in the end retribution will come to you.”

“Oh please . . . don’t preach to me!”  He said contemptuously.

“I can only aid those unconnected with you, those innocents affected by your actions and dealings with the Otherworld.  Your meddling must be put to rights.”  He just stared at me with pure hate slowly surfacing in his eyes.  “I can only give you advice.”  I continued.  “To hope to release your soul from its torment — its eternal torment.  You must forsake all your dark deeds, turn away from them.”

“You fool — if I turn my back on all I have done . . . they will simply take me — overwhelm me and destroy me . . . body and soul!”

“You are weak.”  I said matter of factually.  “You deserve the demons that seek you.”

“They’ll never get me,” he scoffed, “my knowledge keeps them at bay.”  His grin barely held as his bony hand, covered in grime, circled his crossed legs indicating the magic symbols.

“That kind of knowledge has a price though.”

“You talk like some kind of priest!” he suddenly spat,“– so holier than thou.  It makes me sick.”

“At least I am free to leave this Asylum, yours . . .“ I pointed to the circle, “you can never leave.”

He stood as if ready to leap at me, his fingers held like talons and his yellowed teeth gritted, his whole body strained.  Then suddenly he pulled back, looking at his circle, frightened he may have crossed over or disturbed it.

I laughed at him, trying to get another reaction.  He sat though as before and began mumbling his chants to himself.  He closed his eyes and his mind to me.  I would get no more from him.

End of Part One.

As stated earlier, you can read the concluding Part Two of this story on my Patreon site HERE (if you subscribe), or you can wait for it to be published in the up-coming second volume of our 451 ePublishing Haus’ Dollar Dreadful series of ebooks which will feature this and two more of my occult horror tales… ‘Crucifixions Continue‘ and ‘The Matter of Time’. Both these stories will have part Sneak Peek previews here and full Sneak Peek previews on the Patreon site HERE. Subscribe to this blog to keep updated on all my articles, stories and publications.

The Horror of it All… enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

Harbinger451.co.uk

Copyright © 2017 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


The Horror of it All

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Lovecraftian Horror Movie Review: The Void (2016/2017)

Posted by Harbinger451 on June 13, 2017

The Lovecraftian CategoryThe Void (Steven Kostanski & Jeremy Gillespie, Canada. 2016/2017)

The Void

Theatrical poster for The Void.

Originally crowd-funded on Indiegogo, this movie is a horror, mystery, sci-fi homage to classic pre-CGI creature features, especially those of John Carpenter. It has loads of allusions to various Lovecraft tropes including strange cultists, reanimated dead, alien evils older than time and weird portals to regions beyond the stars. First shown at the 2016 Fantastic Fest and then later at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, it was given a wider theatrical release in 2017.

James (Evan Stern) flees from an isolated farmhouse and escapes into the woods. A screaming woman tries to follow James, but she is shot and callously set on fire by Vincent (Daniel Fathers) and his mute son Simon (Mik Byskov), both of whom also came out of the farmhouse. A short time later Deputy Daniel Carter (Aaron Poole) comes across a bloody and incoherent James crawling down a rural road and delivers him to the nearest medical facility; a half-burned-out, understaffed hospital which is about to close – and also happens to be where the good Deputy’s estranged wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe) works as a nurse. The only other staff at the hospital are Doctor Powell (Kenneth Welsh), Nurse Beverly (Stephanie Belding) and intern Kim (Ellen Wong). In the waiting room is an old man, Ben (James Millington), with his heavily pregnant granddaughter Maggie (Grace Munro) and, in one of the rooms, there is a young patient called Cliff (Matt Kennedy).

The hospital descends rapidly into chaos as Beverly seemingly goes crazy, pealing her own skin off and killing Cliff, forcing Deputy Carter to shoot her dead. A State Trooper (Art Hindle) then arrives, investigating an apparent occult mass murder back at the farmhouse, looking for James. Strange, otherworldly horns then sound ominously and the hospital is surrounded by hooded, knife wielding, cultists seemingly intent on making sure that no one leaves alive – just as Vincent and Simon burst into the hospital, also on the hunt for James.

void cultists

Cultists from The Void!

Things just get stranger, more weird and more violent from there on in, so prepare yourself for a gruesome roller-coaster ride to a place far worse than hell itself as Deputy Carter tries to make sense of what is happening. All while sorting the good guys from the bad, dealing with in-fighting, more murders, unusual visions, the dead that will not lay and the sanity defying appearances of hideous slithering entities and other cosmic horrors… oh, and don’t forget the cultists.

Content Warning: very violent, with plenty of blood and gore – enough even for the most ardent fan of grotesque body-horror.

Watch the trailer here:

The Void – Taglines: A New Dimension in Evil | There is a Hell. This is worse

Runtime: 90 min – Colour – English.

The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 7.5/10 (Good to Very Good) – a great attempt at a good old-fashioned (80s) style practical-effects driven action packed horror. A bit weak regards characters and dialogue but a very entertaining and bloody slice of creepy and intense Lovecraftian shenanigans none the less.

Buy The Void on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy The Void on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve seen the movie, add your own review – by replying to this post.

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2017 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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Lovecraftian Book Review: Shoggoths and Sundown Towns – Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (2016)

Posted by Harbinger451 on June 10, 2017

The Lovecraftian CategoryShoggoths and Sundown Towns – Lovecraft Country (Matt Ruff, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., 2016)

First off: I assume that if you’re reading this then you’re a fan of H. P. Lovecraft, but whether you are or not I strongly advise that you procure and binge on this book, it is an all-round treat and surely one of the best ever Lovecraft stories not actually written by Lovecraft himself. It is a fun and funny romp through many of Lovecraft’s themes and ideas, deliciously refuting his unashamed racism by featuring a large, well-drawn cast of highly individual and wholly capable African American characters. The central, over-arching tale – each chapter is a story that could stand alone – focuses on a 1950s African American family, along with their friends and associates, who find themselves pitted against a classic Lovecraftian trope: an evil cult whose unscrupulous intention to achieve great occult power may endanger the whole of humanity!

Cover of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Cover of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff… nice antiquing there by the graphic artist.

Each chapter is based around a separate family member or friend, describing their particular experience of it all as the plot dashes forwards, with all of these aspects ultimately uniting in the grand finale. The protagonist tying all of this together is Atticus Turner, a name which some have conjectured is a portmanteau of the principled defence lawyer Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mocking Bird and the very real, bold and defiant enslaved African American, Nat Turner, who led an uprising of enslaved and free black people against the inhumane authorities in Virginia in 1831.

Author Matt Ruff

Author Matt Ruff.

This seems apposite as he demonstrates many of their central qualities along with some that are his alone, including being a veteran of the Korean War and an avid science fiction fan. This latter attribute leads to some wonderful exchanges with his similarly enthusiastic uncle and baffled father which surely mirror the experiences of any passionate fan of speculative fiction. Interestingly, some of the most successful chapters centre on female characters. This is not least because the writer has taken care to outfit them with strong, distinctive identities and allowed them proactive agency and personal motivations that can sometimes be over looked in the writing of characters of the female persuasion – in both genre and literary fiction. It’s almost as if this particular author thinks women are real people, which again feels rather wonderful as women feature very little in canonical Lovecraft. The fact that people of colour and women share centre stage in defiance of Lovecraft’s repressive approach may have the fan boys yipping about legitimacy – but that’s just what they do, isn’t it?

The author of this gripping yarn is the critically acclaimed cult novelist, Matt Ruff, a well-regarded American writer covering diverse areas of genre fiction including sci-fi, post-cyberpunk, speculative and alternate history. His fifth book The Mirage dealt sensitively with Muslim culture and characters.

Influential horror writer H. P. Lovecraft in 1933

1933 photo of influential (and undeniable racist) horror writer H. P. Lovecraft

And so Ruff’s premise tackles Lovecraft’s notorious racism head on. This notoriety recently lead to the World Fantasy Awards replacing the bust of Lovecraft they’d used as the trophy for winners with an innocuous (and rather uninspired) statuette of a tree, finally understanding that any winner who happened to be a person of colour didn’t want the face of an infamous racist staring at them from their mantelpiece. Ruff’s confident explorations of both sundown towns – where black people were (and sometines still are) subject to legal summary execution after dusk (cf. Trayvon Martin) – and shoggoths are equally disturbing.

Most of the action in Lovecraft Country doesn’t take place either there (New England) or in Jim Crow Country either but in Chicago, yet there is still plenty of racial abuse and aggravation to go around. This randomly ranges from traffic cops pushing their petty weight around to people of colour being unable to buy houses in certain areas to the afore mentioned summary execution as punishment for the unforgivable crime of breathing while black.

The cultists – the Order of the Ancient Dawn – do not hide their intentions and prejudices behind white hoods, instead their money and power shields them. Caleb Braithewhite, the main antagonist, is apparently not an avowed racist, even standing up to bigotry to some degree. However, with an impunity born of a life time of unquestioned privilege, he also reflexively uses all of the advantages society has afforded him as a wealthy, upper class white man against our cast of every day characters who just happen to be black, in order to expedite getting what he wants. This vividly illustrates that latent and systemic racism, the kind purveyed by people who don’t consider themselves racist, also warps, damages and destroys the lives of people of colour, just as the more blatant burning crosses and lynching variety does. Caleb himself is actually a bit of a weak point, he’s not a very good bad guy, if you see what I mean.

Ruff confronts and writes well of that moment familiar to many a genre reader when a writer you adore makes plain their racist, misogynistic or homophobic opinions and a part of you dies a little in response, creating an ambivalence about whether enjoying their work is to tacitly endorse hatred. What does it mean to consume the output of someone whose moral compass points to true bigotry?  Is it hypocritical to value the work of someone whose views you fundamentally disagree with, that you know to be wrong? And how much more potent is that dilemma when you, the reader, are a member of the designated and despised demographic upon whom much venom is spewed simply for being what you are? Are you betraying yourself and your background if you read and enjoy the non-prejudiced parts anyway? The worst kind of unashamed vile racism is the great sin that taints Lovecraft’s work and I cannot imagine how it must feel to be a Lovecraft fan and a person of colour reading the Lovecraft poem, ‘On The Creation of the [N-word]’ The fact that Lovecraft Country itself – in which that particular poem is discussed – is a sharp retort and a clever clap-back to HPL’s retrogressive opinions is yet another point in its favour.

Having heaped all of that praise upon it, however, this is where I kill the buzz by pointing out that the book is not perfect. Although the characters are sensitively portrayed and the central idea of ‘who cares about tentacle monsters and blind albino penguins when I live in a society devoted to degrading, abusing and dehumanising me for every minute of my entire goddamn life?’ is a particularly effective one, it is not entirely successfully explored. The book has generally been well received but there are some lingering criticisms. Some felt it had nothing new to say on the issue of race, some felt exploring racism through the work of a notorious racist was in questionable taste.

A Shoggoth by Nottsuo

The existence of a shoggoth – as depicted here by Nottsuo – is not something you would take in your stride.

My personal criticism is this: in his eagerness to counteract Lovecraft’s position of reactionary hatred, which is a perfectly laudable aim, Ruff has created not characters but Platonic ideals of humanity, paragons almost totally without flaw, who are altogether too pat, too good, too perfect and in that they lose something of the messiness of what it means to be human. Perhaps this is a consequence of the idea that all victims are righteous? Atticus and his family and friends are all brave and clever and never confused or even slightly overawed by bizarre happenings, no one ever splutters, ‘Huh?’ or ‘What!?’ or ‘Wow!’ they merely take it all in their stride. For example, I’d be rather taken aback to accidentally discover – and reluctant to unquestioningly jump straight into – an interplanetary portal whether or not I was an astronomy enthusiast like Hippolyta who finds herself in such a situation which of course she deals with handily, remaining as they all do ever insouciant. They all drip with savoir faire and aplomb, never showing fear, cowardice or doubt. They lack any major character flaws and they never seek to turn situations to their advantage or in fact claim anything more than what they’re owed when others might well seek to leverage the situation. These incorruptible exmplars of humanity at its most faultless therefore lack the speck of authenticity that would have made them leap off the page and into a permanent place in the reader’s affections. Because of this they came off as a little pious and that is never a good look; it is an attitude that is also a trifle dull. It certainly put this reader off a little bit and I found myself longing for one of these goodie-goodies to come down with a severe case of self-interest or become even a teeny bit corrupted by the power they wielded so conscientiously. But no such luck.

Incidentally, there is no mention of Cthulhu – which is strange as that particular great old one has turned into a real media whore these days – and even the shoggoths are all off stage but people seem to forget that they mostly were in Lovecraft’s work too. And of course it would be difficult to plausibly remain preternaturally calm in the face of a gargantuan octopus god from beyond the stars, thereby breaking character.

The director of the amazing film, Get Out, Jordan Peele is to team up with JJ Abrams to make Lovecraft Country into an HBO TV show and I think the book’s episodic format should translate wonderfully, I very much look forward to seeing this novel transferred to the small screen which I think will suit the nature of the material better than a movie would. Prestige TV here we come!

[side note: Jordan Peele has said that the classic and much underrated horror movie ‘Tales From The Hood’ helped inspire ‘Get Out.’ TFTH also features a cast of black characters battling supernatural as well as racist horror, linking it to Lovecraft Country; if you haven’t seen it already, you really should seek it out.]

Of all the post-Lovecraft Lovecraftian material I’ve wolfed down over the years and, reader, that is a LOT, this book has come closest of all to matching the eerie dread Lovecraft so successfully strove to infect us with. The fact that the cause of that dread is the inescapable racism of people and society, rather than a monster the size of a house or a deadly, infectious colour says a lot. In the end, Matt Ruff has achieved something special and rare with this hugely enjoyable caper through Lovecraft’s mindscape that really has a unique perspective and something meaningful to say.

The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 9/10 (Extremely Good) – If you only read one Lovecraftesque novel about a 1950s African American family battling an evil cult this week, make it Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff.

Buy Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff at Amazon.com
Buy Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve read the book, add your own review – by replying to this post.

More Lovecraftian stuff…

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2017 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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Lovecraftian Book Review: Whispers From The Abyss (Volume 2, 2015)

Posted by Harbinger451 on September 21, 2016

The Lovecraftian CategoryThe Horrors That Were & Shall Be (Various Authors, Edited by Kat Rocha, 01Publishing, 2015)

This is the second volume in 01Publishing‘s series, Whispers From the Abyss (see here for review of first volume), collecting together twenty-six short stories inspired by the work of the great H.P.Lovecraft.  I’m pleased to be able to report that this is another great collection and, thanks to the sterling work of the editor Kat Rocha, the high standard of writing established in the first volume has been carried over, creating another treat for Lovecraft fans everywhere.

cover

Cover of Whispers From The Abyss Volume 2: The Horrors That Were & Shall Be (2015)

There are so many good stories within that they cannot all be covered here as they very much deserve but I’ll list several of my personal favourites which just so happen to be the final three stories and among the best.

Echoes in Porcleain by Konstantine Paradias is highly original, looking at the longer-term consequences of the famous R’lyeh from an angle I’ve never encountered before, having something meaningful to say about refugees which obviously has contemporary resonance.

Shadows of the Darkest Jade by Sarah Hans again comes from a unique angle, nicely building up the story to a classically Lovecraft denouement.

The Dreadful Machine by Martin James Hunter is particularly well written with the author having total control of the material, revealing a little at a time as the story moves on, hinting at what’s to come to good effect.  It’s a fittingly excellent way to close this splendid collection.

A few honorable mentions, all of them funny: Nyarlathotep’s Way by Tom Pinchuk; Notebook Concerning The Class Struggle in Dunwich, Found In The Ruins of a Construction Site by Kevin Wetmore; Kickstarter by Richard Lee Byers.

This volume presents a very particular problem for me as a critic.  My review of the first volume was itself criticised for being, if anything, too positive.  But as the material in both volumes is generally excellent, there is genuinely nothing negative to say and so it is out of my hands.  I am therefore left in the critically difficult position of having nothing negative to say – critically difficult as people love to read reviews that demolish their subject (the best ever example of this is of course by Dorothy Parker who famously wrote: ‘This is not a book to be cast aside lightly – it should be thrown with great force!’). And once again, the only, extremely minor critique I can offer is that I’m not terribly impressed by the cover, it is by no means bad, it’s simply not as superlative as the contents.  I’d like to suggest that as many of the stories have a contemporary setting, a similarly modern cover might do the volume more justice and perhaps make it stand out as it very much deserves to.

So congratulations again to 01Publishing and Kat Rocha, here’s hoping there will be a third volume in the series and that it will continue in the original, well written and satisfying vein very clearly established by the first two.

The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 8/10 (Very Good) – another highly recommend volume. If you don’t long to see R’lyeh rise from the dark depths after reading this – there’s something wrong with you.

Buy Whispers From The Abyss Volume 2 at Amazon.com
Buy Whispers From The Abyss Volume 2 at Amazon.co.uk

Also

Buy Whispers From The Abyss Volume 1 at Amazon.com
Buy Whispers From The Abyss Volume 1 at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve read the book, add your own review – by replying to this post.

More Lovecraftian stuff…

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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Lovecraftian Book Review: Whispers From The Abyss (Volume 1, 2013)

Posted by Harbinger451 on September 3, 2016

 The Lovecraftian CategoryWhispers From The Abyss (Various Authors, Edited by Kat Rocha, 01Publishing, 2013)

Has all your reading of H.P.Lovecraft’s entire works left you hungry for more? Good news, fellow Lovecraft fans (Lovecraftians? Necronomicomrades? Cthulhunatics?) – I have the solution! This truly excellent collection of short stories inspired by Lovecraft’s fiction explores all areas of his canon, from the good ol’ Cthulhu Mythos to the more obscure corners of that very unique mind’s body of work.

cover

Cover of Lovecraftian anthology “Whispers From The Abyss” (2013)

Although some of the stories are more successful than others, even the less well realised ones are full of good ideas and the standard of writing never wavers from the highly professional. Of course, none of them achieve the same sense of creeping dread and tearing open of the seams of reality that Lovecraft does, but that is rather like saying, ‘You don’t play the guitar as well as Jimmy Hendrix, do you?’

Particular standouts among the thirty three stories presented include my favourite, The Decorative Water Feature of Nameless Dread by James Brogden which has a wonderfully English slant and is very funny (shout-out to Radio 4!), The Jar of Aten-Hor by Kat Rocha which gets inside the idea of obsession and the final story in the collection, a long one called Death Wore Greasepaint by Josh Finney which comes at the Cthulhu Mythos from an original and very well-realised angle that is highly enjoyable.

I searched hard to find a criticism, the only one is extremely minor and barely worth mentioning at all – but I will anyway as that’s a critic’s job: a volume this good deserves a better cover.

There is a second volume of this collection which is reviewed HERE, but I heartily encourage 01Publishing to keep going with this series, especially if they can maintain the high standard that they have set for themselves with this initial collection.

The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 8/10 (Very Good) – highly recommend. I devoured it like Cthulhu swallowing a world and you most certainly will too.

Buy Whispers From The Abyss at Amazon.com
Buy Whispers From The Abyss at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve read the book, add your own review – by replying to this post.

More Lovecraftian stuff…

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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Vampire Horror Movie Reviews: the Nosferatu films 1922, 1979, 1988 & 2000.

Posted by Harbinger451 on May 8, 2016

The Horror of it All Category

A Short History of the Nosferatu Vampire in Cinema, from 1922 to 2014.

Here we will be (mostly) looking at the classic silent-movie Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Murnau, Ger. 1922) with Max Schreck as the nosferatu. It’s remake Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht (Werner Herzog, Ger/Fra. 1979) and then the later sequel (of sorts), Nosferatu a Venezia (Augusto Caminito, Ita. 1988) – both with Klaus Kinski playing the nosferatu. Followed by Shadow of the Vampire (E. Elias Merhige, USA. 2000), which is a fictional account of the making of the original movie, with Willem Dafoe playing the actor Max Schreck as a real vampire.

But first, a brief discussion of the origins and meaning of the word Nosferatu, reputedly to be of Romanian etymology – but it is absent, in written form at least, from any known historical phase of Romanian that precedes the publication of Bram Stoker‘s popular Gothic novel Dracula in 1897. Its first written appearance (anywhere) was actually in an 1865 German-language article by Wilhelm Schmidt which discusses Transylvanian customs, in which he implies that nosferatu is the Romanian (or, at least, a local Transylvanian dialect) word for vampire. British author Emily Gerard, whom Stoker identified as his source for the term, was the first to record the word in an English-language publication in her article Transylvanian Superstitions in 1885 – and, like Schmidt, she refers to it as the Romanian (or a Transylvanian dialect) word for vampire. It seems likely that the word’s etymology is probably derived from the similar Romanian forms Nesuferitu (insufferable/repugnant one) or Necuratu (unclean one), terms typically used when referring to Satan or the Devil.

Max Shrek in Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm Mornau, Ger. 1922)

Max Shrek in Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Mornau, Ger. 1922)

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Murnau, Germany. 1922)

AKA: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (UK, USA) | Nosferatu (UK, USA)

Nosferatu 1922 Poster

This German Expressionist Horror Movie directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Mornau and starring Max Schreck in the titular role is the first film adaptation, though a fairly loose one, of the novel Dracula (Bram Stoker, 1897). It was made without the permission of the then copyright holders (Stoker’s heirs) and despite changing the Count’s name to Graf Orlok, paring down the story line and characters dramatically and never mentioning the word vampire (using nosferatu instead) the film makers were sued and a court ruled in 1925 that all prints of the film should be destroyed. Luckily, they weren’t – just a few survived – for this is a brooding, melancholic master work of early horror cinema with some truly nightmare-like scenes utilising shadow and darkness to spell-binding effect. The use of speeded up sequences and negative images make the slow pace mesmeric and fascinating while Schreck’s depiction of the Count remains one of the most horrific, and iconic, to date. The idea that sunlight is fatal to vampires originates from this movie.

The plot: In the (fictitious) German town of Wisborg, Thomas Hutter (played by Gustav v. Wangenheim) is sent by Knock, his boss, to Transylvania to meet with a wealthy client named Count Orlok who wishes to buy a house in their home town. Before leaving for Romania, Hutter entrusts Ellen (Greta Schröder), his young wife, to the care of friends Harding and Annie. After a long journey Hutter reaches the Carpathian Mountains and stops at an inn for the night, he tells the locals his destination but they become frightened and try to dissuade him from going on to meet with the Count. The next morning he travels on by coach till, as nightfall approaches, they reach a bridge at a mountain pass and the coachmen refuse to go any further so Hutter is left alone by the roadside. After night-fall a mysterious dark clad coach driven by a mysterious dark clad figure arrives to pick him up and take him the rest of the way.

Once ensconced at his client’s crumbling old castle Hutter starts to enjoy dinner with the decidedly spooky looking Count and accidentally cuts his thumb with a knife – Orlok takes his wounded hand and tries to drink Hutter’s blood but, repulsed, the young man pulls his hand away. The next morning Hutter awakes to find he has two puncture wounds on his neck and, after exploring, discovers that the castle is apparently deserted. He writes a letter to his wife, which he gives to a courier – who just happens to be passing by. (Odd that, considering how the locals won’t come near the place). That night, after seeing a photo of Hutter’s lovely young wife, the Count immediately signs the documents granting him possession of a suitably dark and crumbling premises back in Wisborg – just across from the young man’s own house and just across from his wife’s lovely young neck. After retiring for the night, Hutter finally gets round to reading a book he had picked up at the inn earlier… and it’s all about the nosferatu. Now suspicious of the Count’s true nature, Hutter explores the castle further during the next day. He finds the crypt and discovers the dormant Graf Orlok in a coffin. Terrified he retreats to his room to cower. As another night comes in Hutter sees from his bedroom window the count piling coffins on a cart and then climb into the last one as the cart drives away. He realises Orlok is heading for Wisborg and for Ellen. The desperate young man’s only escape route from the castle is to climb out of the window, which he does, but then falls and is knocked unconscious.

Count Orlok and his coffins get shipped by raft downriver to the sea, and then by schooner to Wisborg. During the journey the crew of the schooner fall victim to the nosferatu one by one till the craft sails into the town port a ghost-ship – the dead captain tied to the wheel – and its hull full of plague rats. Hutter, not yet recovered from his injuries, leaves the hospital in which he awoke and rushes home to warn the town and Ellen of the impending danger.

Watch the 1922 Nosferatu movie (English Version) here for FREE:

Runtime: versions vary from about 65 to 94 min – Black & White or Tinted Monochrome – Silent.
Harbinger451’s Rating: 8/10
(Very Good) – though silent era movies can often seem clunky and the acting style comically over-exaggerated to modern audiences you really should persevere with this one for it is an iconic and influential piece of cinema history that still manages to be creepy, unsettling and even beautiful to watch. A must see for any movie buff and especially for fans of the horror genre. Although various versions of this movie are available for free (like the one above), I can’t recommend enough getting a fully restored version through the links below:

Buy Nosferatu (1922) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy Nosferatu (1922) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

Poster for Nosferatu the Vampire (Werner Herzog, Ger/Fra. 1979)

Poster for Nosferatu the Vampire (Werner Herzog, Ger/Fra. 1979)

Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht (Werner Herzog, Germany/France. 1979)

AKA: Nosferatu: fantôme de la nuit (France) | Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (UK) | Nosferatu the Vampyre (USA)

A hauntingly creepy reworking of F. W. Mornau’s classic 1922 original, with Klaus Kinski in the title role, now renamed Count Dracula as opposed to Orlok. Isabelle Adjani is Lucy Harker (Ellen), the main object of his thirst, and Bruno Ganz is Jonathan Harker (Hutter), the hapless victim who sets Dracula onto Lucy’s trail.  The performances and visuals are striking indeed and the musical score very atmospheric. Despite being infuriatingly slow at times – especially in the first half – his film is probably more palatable to a modern audience than the 1922 version.  It features some excellent scenes of bats and thousands of rats, and incorporates heavy symbolism as the town of Wismar descends into chaos with Dracula’s illicit arrival among a hoard of plague carrying rats. It follows the same basic plot as the silent original but the ending is definitely a turn up for the books.

Runtime: 107 min – Colour – German, English & Romanian.
Harbinger451’s Rating: 7/10
(Good) – it has moments of genius but doesn’t quite live up to the original, inexplicably missing out some of the more iconic scenes. Kinski is brilliant as the Count however, not only making him a repulsive character but also a strangely sympathetic one full of pathos and even prone to the occasional (unintentionally?) comic moment, and Adjani is suitably pale and ethereal as the classic Gothic heroine who must stand (or lay) alone against him.

Buy Nosferatu (1979) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy Nosferatu (1979) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

Kurt Barlow, the Master vampire in Salem's Lot (1979)

Salem’s Lot

Salem’s Lot

1979 saw a hugely popular television mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s vampire novel Salem’s lot (1975) – directed by Tobe Hooper and starring David Soul and James Mason. Reggie Nalder plays Kurt Barlow, the ancient Master vampire who has come to the small American town of Salem’s Lot with evil and, of course, vampiric purpose. The visual appearance of Barlow (left) is very reminiscent of the Nosferatu vampire, even down to the long and sharp rat-like front incisors instead of the (now) more common fangs.

Nosferatu a Venezia (Augusto Caminito, Italy. 1988)

Klaus Kinski in the 1988 movie Nosferatu in Venice

Nosferatu in Venice

AKA: Nosferatu in Venice (UK) | Vampire in Venice (USA)

This underrated (at the time of its limited release) semi-sequel to Werner Herzog’s 1979 homage to Mernau’s seminal vampire horror followed almost a decade later. It picks up the pace and spices up the blood and nudity quota a couple of notches, though not necessarily for the better, and fans of modern horror may still find the pacing a little too slow and the performances a little too brooding for their liking. Kinski (right) reprises his role as the nosferatu, with hair this time (apparently, he refused to wear the make-up from the first film again), who is revived by a ill-conceived séance during carnival time in Venice. Christopher Plummer appears as the rather ineffectual vampire hunting Professor Paris Catalano and Donald Pleasence as the pious priest Don Alvise – the pair pit themselves against the anguished but immensely powerful and murderous immortal (known only as Nosferatu in this movie) who has set his sights on the beautiful Helietta Canins, played by Barbara De Rossi.

Runtime: 97 min – Colour – Italian.
Harbinger451’s Rating: 6.5/10 (Pretty Good to Good) – The film looks great, benefiting from the awesome setting, and Kinski continues to carry himself with an evil indignation that fits the part perfectly. The movie is let down by a rather disjointed plot that many may have trouble making sense of. Definitely a case of style over substance but still very much worth hunting down for that style is often breathtaking.

Buy Nosferatu in Venice (1988) on DVD at Amazon.com
Buy Nosferatu in Venice (1988) on DVD at Amazon.co.uk

The Master Vampire from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In the 1994 movie adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel Interview with the Vampire the vampire character Luis (Brad Pitt), presumably in 1922, visits a cinema that is showing Mornau’s Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens, and Count Orlok’s death scene is shown.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The look of the main antagonist (or Big Bad) in the 1997 first season of Josh Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series was heavily influenced by the appearance of Nosferatu. Mark Metcalf played The Master (left), a centuries-old vampire determined to open the portal to hell below Sunnydale High School in the fictional town where Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy lives.

Shadow Of The Vampire

Shadow Of The Vampire

Shadow of the Vampire (E. Elias Merhige, Luxembourg/UK/USA. 2000)

This black-comedy horror is a highly fictionalised account of the making of Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (F. W. Mornau, Ger. 1922) that depicts director Mornau (John Malkovitch) as an obsessive and ruthless perfectionist who will do anything to create his masterpiece of horror. The film requires a ruined castle, so he finds a real ruined castle. The film requires superstitious peasants, so uses real superstitious peasants. The film also requires an ancient evil vampire, so he uses a real ancient evil vampire… what could possibly go wrong? Willem Dafoe plays the unnamed vampire who is playing Max Schreck playing Count Orlok – without the need for makeup. Eddie Izzard plays Gustav von Wangenheim (Hutter) and Catherine McCormack plays Greta Schroeder (Ellen), while Udo Kier plays producer Albin Grau and Cary Elwes plays cinematographer Fritz Arno Wagner. The creators of this film clearly have a great deal of affection for their source material and took pains to lovingly recreate many of the classic scenes from the original.

Runtime: 92 min – Colour – English, German and Luxembourgish.
Harbinger451’s Rating: 5.5/10
(Average to Pretty Good) – This is a great idea for a movie and it has a really good cast, but it fails as a black-comedy, a horror and a homage. The whole, in this case, is NOT greater than the sum of its parts. I really wanted to love this movie for its concept has potential (and most critics can’t seem to praise it enough), but at best, its a darkly amusing and interesting portrait of vampirism and early motion picture making. I, for one, was disappointed – but that may be because I had such high expectations.

Buy Shadow of the Vampire (2000) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy Shadow of the Vampire (2000) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

In 2002 Max Schreck’s Count Orlock made a brief appearance (via manipulated stock footage) in the SpongeBob SquarePants animated series (Season 2, Episode 16, Graveyard Shift) flicking a light switch on and off… the gag ending revealed that it was he who was responsible for the lights flickering on and off mysteriously throughout the horror trope filled episode.

What We Do in the Shadows

In 2014, the New Zealand horror comedy mocumentary film What We Do in the Shadows featured an 8000 year-old nosferatu type vampire named Petyr, played by Ben Fransham (left), who lives in a stone coffin on the bottom floor of the house he shares with three other (much younger) vampires. The film is presented as a fly-on-the-wall style documentary as the four mis-matched immortals are forced to adjust to early twenty-first century life, relationships, and technology when a new rookie vamp is introduced to the fold… and all while being followed by a very mortal film crew. For the most part it is very funny, but it does lag a little in places.

Count Orlok flickering the lights on and off in Spongebob Squarepant.

Count Orlok flickering the lights on and off in SpongeBob SquarePants.

Please feel free to comment on these reviews – or add your own – by replying to this post below.

We are building a whole section dedicated to the wider genre of horror on our website HERE.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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Lovecraftian Horror Movie Review: Re-Animator (1985)

Posted by Harbinger451 on April 22, 2016

 The Lovecraftian CategoryRe-Animator (Stuart Gordon, USA. 1985)

An adaptation of (the first two parts of) H. P. Lovecraft‘s short story Herbert West – Reanimator but updated to a more contemporary setting and infused throughout with some very campy and decidedly black humour. All the actors involved play it entirely straight and the dry jokes are delivered so dead-pan that it just makes this movie even funnier.

UK movie poster for Re-Animator (1985)

UK movie poster for Re-Animator (1985)

Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs) is a very intense, dedicated and some-what weird medical student who comes to the Miskatonic University in New England in order to further his studies after an unfortunate incident at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Medicine in Switzerland, resulting in a(n un)dead professor, caused him to leave there rather unceremoniously.

West rents a room and basement space (for his experiments) from fellow student Dan Cain (Bruce Abbot) who eagerly takes him in for the extra income and despite his girl-friend Megan Halsey (Barbara Crampton)’s reservations that West is too “creepy” for a house-mate. Soon after, Dan’s pet cat Rufus goes missing so he and Megan search the house top to bottom and finally find its corpse in West’s refrigerator… along with some mysterious vials of strangely glowing green liquid. Dan later confronts West about the dead cat and West explains that the cat was already dead when he found it but didn’t want Dan or Megan finding it in such a condition so he refrigerated it till he could break the bad news to them gently.

Dan then asks West to explain the green liquid and West tells him that it is the result of his ongoing experiments to find a cure for death itself. Dan, of course, is sceptical so West proves the efficacy of his “reagent” by injecting it into the dead cat. Rufus is reanimated and immediately goes crazy – attacking them both – so they kill the cat a second time. Both shocked and exited by this event Dan agrees to assist West in his experiments and the pair decide to try to perfect the reagent by experimenting on corpses stored in the University’s morgue. The chaos resulting from this experiment causes the medical school’s Dean Halsey (Robert Sampson), Megan’s father, to stumble into the pair in the morgue but the Dean is killed by a reanimated corpse – which West re-kills with a bone-saw.

Realising the Dean’s corpse is the freshest they’re likely to get, West injects it with the reagent and it too is reanimated… but it too behaves violently toward them. When police and security officers arrive and subdue Halsey, West and Dan – to explain the scene of carnage – claim that the Dean simply went crazy and attacked both them and the corpses in the morgue. The reanimated Dean is strapped into a straight-jacket and taken away – put into the care of his brain specialist colleague Dr. Carl Hill (David Gale). After lobotomising Halsey, Dr. Hill soon realises that the Dean is in fact dead and reanimated. Realising that West must be onto something with his research, which the doctor had earlier scoffed at, Hill determines to get West’s secrets for himself.

Little does Hill realise quite how unhinged Herbert West was becoming with each increasingly disastrous and chaotic experiment. Hill tries to blackmail West into handing over his secrets, West plays along just long enough to decapitate Hill with a shovel… and then West wonders how his reagent will work with body parts…

Content Warning: be prepared for very dark humour with very gruesome and bloody scenes… also some nudity and a particularly controversial depiction of a sexual assault (that gives new meaning to the phrase “giving head”).

Watch the trailer here:

Re-Animator – Tagline: Herbert West Has A Very Good Head On His Shoulders… And Another One In A Dish On His Desk
Runtime: 86 min (unrated) / 95 min (R-rated) / 106 min (extended cut) – Colour – English.
The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 9/10
(Extremely Good) – this might be schlock, but it is schlock of the highest order – a very funny and gory horror comedy. Jeffrey Combs‘ performance is particularly brilliant and it cements in place the foundation for his (as well as director Stuart Gordon‘s and producer Brian Yuzna‘s) prominent position in Lovecraftian cinema history.

Buy Re-Animator on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy Re-Animator on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve seen the movie, add your own review – by replying to this post.

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

The Horror of it All

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Lovecraftian Horror Movie Review: The Dunwich Horror (1970)

Posted by Harbinger451 on April 17, 2016

 The Lovecraftian CategoryThe Dunwich Horror (Daniel Haller, USA. 1970)

A contemporary and not entirely faithful adaptation of Lovecraft’s short story of the same name with some 70s counter-culture and Crowley-esque occult-ness added for good measure… oh – and a young Dean Stockwell hamming it up to the max!

The Dunwich Horror Movie Poster

The Dunwich Horror Movie Poster

The enigmatic young warlock Wilbur Whateley (Dean Stockwell) is twin to a monstrous entity locked in the attic of his family’s Dunwich farm-house. The pair were born to Lavinia Whateley (Joanne Moore Jordan) who was driven insane by the trauma of the birth and (presumably) by their conceiving – since the father of the “brothers” was Yog Sothoth, an Outer God summoned briefly by Lavinia’s own father Old Whateley (Sam Jaffe) twenty-five years earlier.

Wilbur wants to get his hands on a copy of the Necronomicon and a virgin so he can perform a ritual to open the trans-dimensional door that will let the Old Ones, heralded by Yog Sothoth himself, through to this world and bring about their dominion over humanity. At the Miskatonic University in Arkham he finds both the eldritch tome he’s looking for and a suitable young virgin, Nancy Wagner (Sandra Dee). He successfully ensnares Nancy but the book proves to be a bigger problem as a suspicious Dr. Henry Armitage (Ed Begley) refuses to “lend” it to him.

After getting Nancy ensconced, drugged and mesmerised at his Dunwich home Wilbur sets out to steal the Necronomicon. Meanwhile, Dr Armitage sets out to rescue Nancy from the warlock’s influence and then slowly realises it will fall to him to prevent any magical skullduggery from coming to fruition.

Pedagogic nit-picking: everyone in this movie pronounces the town’s name as “Dun-witch” when in fact it should be pronounced “Dun-itch”.

Content Warning: some nudity, sexual situations and orgiastic scenes.

Watch the trailer here:

The Dunwich Horror – Tagline: A few years ago in Dunwich a half-witted girl bore illegitimate twins. One of them was almost human!
Runtime: 90 min – Colour – English.
The Lovecraftian’s Rating: 7.5/10
(Good to Very Good) – an underrated (by most) cheesy 70s horror but a minor classic of Lovecraftian cinema that is very entertaining, even if the ending is a bit rushed. Much better than the director’s previous Lovecraftian effort – Die, Monster Die (1965). Stockwell steals the show!

Buy The Dunwich Horror (1970) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.com
Buy The Dunwich Horror (1970) on DVD or Blu-ray at Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment on this review – or, if you’ve seen the movie, add your own review – by replying to this post.

Go HERE for a full list of Lovecraftian film and TV adaptations. We have an expanding section of our website dedicated to The Lovecraftian – purveyor of all the latest news, updates, chatter and trends from the field of Lovecraft lore – the man, his works and his weird worlds of Yog-Sothothery.  Stay up-to-date with the news and join The Lovecraftian’s adventurous expeditions into the world of the Cthulhu Mythos by following him on Twitter where fact and fiction become entwined! The Lovecraftian’s main webpage can be found HERE.

Also: Check out The Lovecraftian Herald, an online newspaper concerning all things Lovecraftian in the world of social media and beyond. Published daily by us here at Harbinger451.

For the uninitiated:

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an influential and prolific American writer of early twentieth century cosmic horror fiction who saw himself chiefly as a poet – though many believe that it is his immense body of often literary correspondence that is in fact his greatest accomplishment – he wrote over 100,000 letters in his lifetime. He inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world.

The Cthulhu Mythos: Lovecraft, somewhat light-heartedly, labelled the “Mythos” that he created in his body of work Yog-Sothothery – and also, on rare occasions, referred to his series of connected stories as the Arkham Cycle. It was his friend August Derleth who coined the term “Cthulhu Mythos” (named after one of the monstrous beings that featured in Lovecraft’s tales) to encapsulate his epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

The Horror of it All

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We made a Promo Video for our upcoming free H. P. Lovecraft eBook

Posted by Harbinger451 on April 13, 2016

451 ePublishing Haus CategoryPromo Video for our upcoming free H. P. Lovecraft eBook.

The first volume of our free Dark Matter series of ebooks is proving to take quite some time to compile and format. It collects all of H. P. Lovecraft’s creepy cultish fiction with a good spattering of his relevant essays, poetry, letters and his only sketch of Cthulhu. This eBook will also take a look at the legacy of his Cthulhu Mythos – an epic vision of a chaotic and dark universe filled with unspeakable horror – which inspired a veritable legion of genre writers then, and to this day, to set their fiction within his strange cultish world. It will have 144 of Lovecraft’s weird works; including ALL of his extant tales, with his juvenilia, his collaborative and his revision works. It will also include selected examples of those poetical and non-fiction works that we think will be of interest not only to fans of his fiction and Mythos in particular – but also to fans of horror and weird fiction in general.

Anyway – to the main point of this post. We thought a little promo video would serve well to drum up some interest in the aforementioned e-book… and, without further ado (except, put your headphones on people – the soundtrack will knock your socks off),  here it is:

Made using entirely free software with the addition of some open-source sound files from freesound.org. All the graphics were made using the open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape. The Cthulhu illustration was created using the GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP. These graphics and images were then incorporated into video format using Microsoft’s Movie Maker.

The soundtrack featured in the video was made using the free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds Audacity. This soundtrack includes a special guest appearance by Bloop the mysterious ultra-low-frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu quote “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” was voiced by Harbinger451 himself… here it is in isolation:

For a break down of who was responsible for each individual sound used in the soundtrack see the credits at the end of the video… but also presented here for your convenience:

Video Credits

Video Credits

Details of the free ebook Dark Matter Vol 1: The Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft can be found HERE – including a full list of its contents.

Brought to your attention by Harbinger451.

Copyright © 2016 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


451 ePublishing Haus

Posted in 451 ePublishing Haus, Free for All, The Horror of it All!, The Lovecraftian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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