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High and Low (Brow) – Episode 7 – HP Lovecraft

Posted on Oct 23, 2009 by | 5 comments

highlowbrow-podcast-logo-copyAnd we’re back! This time on High and Low (Brow) James and I are joined by a live studio audience named Kevin who was invited because he offered us pizza and bread sticks. Delicious bread sticks. Buttery foodstuffs aside, this episode’s theme is HP Lovecraft, an author both of us enjoy, but who’s works have struggled to gain mainstream acceptance and have had even worse results in finding capable, or even enjoyable, versions brought to the silver screen.

For this episode we watch The Curse of the Crimson Altar, a 1968 film starring Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff and Barbara Steele, an impressive pedigree to be sure, but will the film live up to the expectations that such a monstrous (pun intended) cast brings? The second film we watch is the 1992 film The Resurrected, directed by Dan O’Bannon and starring Prince Humperdinck, Ross’ lesbian ex-wife Carol, Mike Damone and some guy from Lost. Sure the bar is set low, but can it be cleared? And out of these two films will we finally stumble across a good adaptation of Lovecraft’s work?

Rounding out the show we have our selection process for the next episode, and once again we provide a twist on it to help keep things fresh and exciting. If you have any recommendations for films we could watch for the podcast, or want to suggest a potential theme for us to use, feel free to email us and tell us your ideas. If you enjoy the show make sure to subscribe through iTunes or our RSS feed so you can catch every new episode. Also, please friend James on Facebook. Because it will frighten and confuse him.

One more thing, if you enjoy the show feel free to donate to it through PayPal in either a single installment or as a recurring donor. We’d love to upgrade some of our equipment and anything you donate will go directly towards us getting some decent mics and perhaps even pop screens that aren’t made out of cotton balls.

As always, thanks for listening!

Opening Music – Mother Made Me Do It by Mark Mallman
Closing Music – Okey Dokey by The Incredible Bongo Band

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Matt Gamble
I review movies. I run a movie theatre. I annoy people. I let my dogs lick my face whenever they want. Sometimes I'm even a halfway decent human.
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  1. Man, this is the first subject I wish I could’ve been a part of. I’ll be given this one a listen and then critiquing the shit out of you two.

  2. You were offered a position and declined. Suck it up and deal!

  3. What’s this? Nary a mention of the 1970 Dean Stockwell epic, THE DUNWICH HORROR? Fools, I say. That movie’s the shit. It also co-stars a spritely Ed Bagley and a particularly vapid Sandra Dee, joined by her luscious thighs and half an exposed butt cheek. Even the opening credits animation and music is a masterpiece. And then there’s the awkwardly shot and choreographed fight scene in the library. I shant even mention the bodice-ripping, booby-exposing monster, either.

    OT: Check this Hallowe’en film lineup:

    Horror Express
    Carnival of Souls
    Don’t Look in the Basement
    Bloody Pit of Horror
    Zontar the Thing From Venus
    “MANOS” Hands of Fate
    Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse

    Yes, I’m watching them all by the end of the 30th. Yes, medics are standing by.

  4. Enjoyed the podcast and I thought the streamlined version worked. Haven’t seen either of the films, although I’ve read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. You’ll probably be unsurprised to learn that there isn’t any wife or private investigator in Lovecraft’s original story, which seems to be the biggest trouble spots with the movie.

    I’m slightly surprised that there wasn’t a larger discussion of Lovecraft and the difficulty in adapting him to film. Personally, I think the biggest issue is that they keep trying to turn Lovecraft stories into Hammer Films when they’d be better off emulating the German Expressionists and Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur. Yeah, Re-Animator, but for the most part, the unseen works in Lovecraft’s favor. You really need to be inspired to pull off Grand Guignol and Lovecraft.

    Also, your studio audience either needs to speak up or get a better microphone.

    Looking forward to Cronenberg in the next podcast.

    Also, House of the Devil? Spoiler Warning seems to be a misnomer for a movie with so few twists and turns. Not even a good cat jump scare.

  5. @Robert

    No mic for the studio audience, I had to just stretch mine as far as it could go. I didn’t really explain what we would be doing beforehand, so I’ll take full responsibility. If we do have a studio audience again I’ll make sure we are better prepared.

    I do wish we talked a little more about Lovecraft in general, and ‘m not quite sure why neither of us even remembered to do so while we were recording. I’m sure we’ll come back to him again, or another adaptation, so next time I’ll be sure to discuss it with James. I do agree though, Lovecraft shouldn’t always be done like Hammer films, as much of his work is far to broad or even epic to try and distill down to such low brow fare. I’d really like del Toro to do a straight Lovecraft adaptation. That could be a truly spectacular film.

    You’re insane to try and get those all watched by the end of the Puff-Tober-Ween. Oh sure it will be fun, but your mind will be goo by the end of it. Even compared to its present state.

Would you like to say more?