Forgotten Films:Cthulhu (2007)
This is the 81st in my series of Forgotten Obscure or Neglected Films
I found this movie the other day when I visited Waterloo Records in Austin. I had a gift certificate that had been burning a hole in my pocket for nearly six months and the fates conspired to make it all happen.
I should have been suspicious when the salesperson told me explicitly that there were no returns on this item. Everything else was guaranteed but not this one DVD. I quickly figured out why once I got to the previews. HERE! Films was the name on the box and apparently they produce gay and lesbian films. Not a biggie by me, but I guess that is why there was a no return policy.
Our protagonist Russell Marsh (I don’t call him a hero) is a history professor who has been called back to the Pacific Northwest to handle portions of his mother’s estate. He has missed the funeral but is there for the wake. Russell is gay and this has caused a giant rift between him and his father (Dennis Kleinsmith) who leads a local church called The Esoteric Order of Dagon (more on that later). The Reverend wants Russell to have children to be a legacy. His sister and her husband cannot, which is another source of tension.
Strange things are happening in town. Children have been missing. Russell has been gone for ten years. Only his best friend Michael seems happy to see him. Weird things are occurring too. One old man wants to tell him stuff but gets spooked away. The liquor store clerk passes him a cryptic note and then won’t talk with him. A blind boy who may be the lost brother of the clerk attracts his attention and then the two of them get chased into an underground world with creepy things that might be shuggoths.
And his sister’s friend Susan (Tori Spelling) wants him to make a baby with her because her husband got rebar through the testicles and they don’t work no more. So he gets drugged and raped. He is much more interested in his old friend and not in a brotherly way.
It is an odd independent film. Cthulhu gets mentioned once or twice but does not make an appearance. But the big guy and his friends may be bringing about the end of the world.
I have quibbles. I do not see why the story was moved from New England to the Pacific or how the gay storyline improves anything. I am still not quite sure why this is called Cthulhu but that’s its name.
As to the Esoteric Order of Dagon, that is a mention from a Lovecraft story (and I am too tired to look up which one). There is also an amateur press association (APA) of that name of which I am one of 26 founding members. It was organized by my friends Bill Wallace and Joe Pumilia and I was a member for about 4 mailings in the mid 70’s before it became too much work with school and work also interfering. So I was intrigued to see it mentioned here.
It’s not a bad film or a great one. It runs 100 minutes and I do not begrudge the time. It is not as good as The Call of Cthulhu silent film made a few years ago (2005). That one you should see. This one, only if it intrigues you.
Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.