Francis Thurston (Matt Foyer) is the executor of his dying great-uncle’s estate. While trying to put the old man’s papers in order he comes across a trove of documents concerning his great-uncle’s investigation into a strange cult called the Cthulhu cult. Francis begins reading the papers and becomes fascinated with the cult and his great-uncle’s research. Eventually Francis becomes as spellbound with the cult as his great-uncle and begins to piece together a strange tale.
In his great-uncle’s affects he finds a clay bas-relief. He learns that the sculpture was created by a man named Henry Wilcox (Chad Fifer). Wilcox took the sculpture to Professor Angell (Ralph Lucas) who says it looks like a sculpture seized by police Inspector John Legrasse (David Mersault) in a raid of a religious cult. The sculpture is of a bizarre looking creature. Legrasse took the sculpture to some professors, but they refuse to talk about the sculpture or what it means. They did, however, seem frightened by the statue.
Francis eventually learns that a Norwegian sailor, Gustaf Johansen (Patrick O’Day) was part of the crew of the schooner “Emma” that found a derelict ship called the “Alert”. Since the “Emma” had taken on water from a storm, the crew commandeered the abandoned ship. On board the “Alert” they found a sculpture of Cthulhu. Something about it frightened them. The sailors end up on an uncharted island. While exploring the island the crew find themselves face to face with Cthulhu. They try to escape the evil entity. Johansen was the only survivor. Francis tries to find Johansen only to learn that he had died. Johansen’s widow gives Francis a diary that the sailor had written. In it Francis learns what happened on the island and what happened to the rest of the crew.
“The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 2005 and was directed by Andrew Leman. It is an independent silent film based on the 1926 H. P. Lovecraft short story published in Weird Tales in 1928.
This is the first film adaptation of the story. The filmmakers used Mythoscope to create the film. Mythoscope is a film process that is a blend of vintage and modern filming techniques. The result gives the film the look of an early 20’s era silent film. At about 46 minutes long it gives the movie the sense of an old-fashioned featurette. The film was created in cooperation with the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. With their help, the film is considered the most faithful screen adaptation of any Lovecraft writing.
It is an interesting little film, but it can be a little confusing if you are not familiar with the story. There is a slight touch of German expressionism in places that adds to the silent era feel of the film.
The Cthulhu is a fictional creature invented by H. P. Lovecraft. A Cthulhu is a cosmic entity. It looks like a combination between a squid and a dragon. It is green with a squid or octopus face filled with feelers. Its body looks rubbery with claws on its hind and front feet. It also has wings on its back.
Pronunciation of the word varies depending on what you prefer. Most pronounce it as Kuh-thoo-loo; others say Kuh-too-loo. Lovecraft himself pronounced it Khlûl′-hloo with a guttural sound on the first syllable. Lovecraft also said that the name is actually an alien name and beyond the ability for a human to be able to pronounce with the human vocal cords. In essence, there really is no wrong way to say it because there really is no right way to say it.