Friday, August 21, 2009

Sorry, Howard

August 20 was writer H.P. Lovecraft's birthday. It's okay we just found out too. Lovecraft was a contemporary and pen-pal of Robert E. Howard, both were highly influential to future fantasy, horror and sci-fi writers, artists and filmmakers. [And blatant racists too? -- ed.] 

Even if you've never read any Lovecraft, chances are you've seen a horror film that used Lovecraftian (yes, really) ideas and imagery. Director Stuart Gordon is particularly Lovecraft-savvy, and two of his most entertaining films are based on Lovecraft stories: Re-Animator and From Beyond. And John Carpenter's underrated In the Mouth of Madness hinges on an idea used in nearly every Lovecraft story -- that there are other worlds in other dimensions, separated from ours by an all-too-thin membrane. 

The Lovecraft Archive has a well-organized list of films and TV shows (plus other media) with Lovecraft connections. It's also a good reference on the writer in general.

You can read every Lovecraft story at Dagonbytes' Lovecraft Library. And because it's not a mention of Lovecraft without it: Cthulhu.

Happy birthday, Howard Phillips Lovecraft.