On this day in 1890, the birth of a child would set forth a chain of events that would alter history as we know it!!! Sounds a bit dramatic, but still, H.P. Lovecrafts writing has lead to some great moments in cinematic history with visuals as well as story telling. Sadly, it has also lead to some blunders. That is a story for another time though. Here are 5 prime examples of Howard Philip Lovecrafts influence on cinema…
#5 The Evil Dead (1981)
Even if Sam Raimi didn’t set out to do a Lovecraft movie, he definitely showed his influences. Between reanimation and fear, the main theme of Evil Dead circles around the infamous grimoire, The Necronomicon and the powers it beholds. Guess who wrote the Necronomicon…H.P. “muthafreakin” Lovecraft. The theme of the Necromonicon still follows the franchise to this day with a second season of Ash vs. Evil Dead on its way and shows no signs of dying. Just like Lovecrafts stories. It’s quite poetic in a weird twisty kind of way.
#4 The Mist (2007)
Yes, I know this is a Stephen King story but guess freakin what! Mr. King is a HUGE fan of Lovecraft and the story shares striking similarities with Lovecrafts love of giant terrifying creatures that we as a race have no knowledge of. You think that was an accident? They are monsters with tentacles and claws and whatchamacallits! Plus, it’s also based in New England which is where all of Kings and Lovecrafts stories are located. Again, coincidental? I think not!
#3 Hellboy (2004)
I think it’s quite obvious where Lovecrafts writings inspired not just the visuals, but the story of the first film. It couldn’t possibly be the giant ice cube thingamajig filled with the living bodies of the Ogdru Jahad (which again are humongous creatures with tentacles and claws that are beyond mankind’s understanding and comprehension) floating around in space. Or when Rasputin is then possessed by one of these giant tentacles creatures. Even when Hellboy fights the Sammael. The thing looks like it’s straight out of a Lovecraft story. Do I really have to go over how this relates to Lovecraft? Do I?
#2 Re-Animator (1985)
Based on Lovecrafts novella “Herbert West-Reanimator“, Re-Animator has since become a cult classic. Directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West, this adaptation is freakin outrageous and definitely should be seen by any fan of horror and Lovecraft. The fact that it is literally based off of a Lovecraft short story as well means it really needs no explanation as to why it’s on the list. There is literally a disembodied head trying to get jiggy with a woman. It truly is a one of a kind film.
#1 The Thing (1982)
Coming in at No.1 is one of my all time favorite movies! It is my favorite John Carpenter films as well as Kurt Russell. Although it is based on a novella by John W. Campbell’s entitled “Who Goes There?”, it would be hard to deny the influence Lovecraft had in every part of this film. All of his themes of his stories are in this one movie. Throw a dart blindly with both hands tied behind your back and you’ll still hit something. There is so much insanity, fear, tentacles, and other worldly beings, that this film is a perfect example as it is a perfect movie. I mean, have you seen the special effects?!
The point is, H.P. Lovecrafts stories are going to live for a long time. Even today with the Netflix hit Stranger Things, his blood runs through its veins. As the man himself said, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown“.