What if they’d based a film on an H.P. Lovecraft story during his lifetime?
Not only would it have lacked the shlock of “Re-Animator”, but it would have been… silent! In glorious black and white! With thrills, chills, and title cards!
Just like this one, in fact.
What we have here – “Filmed in Mythoscope” – is a re-creation of what that might have been like. Don’t expect expensive (or even inexpensive) CGI here, folks. It’s all filmed with practical effects like hanging miniatures and the action takes place in wonderful, low- to no- budget sets. The most advanced thing going on here, except in the editing, is some judderingly retro stop motion animation.
The actors do a creditable job and the film, which weighs in at a brief 72 minutes, just approaches its own low budget nature – with quivering tentacles – and absorbs it, makes it its own, as a feature of its period style. It’s a great example of turning necessity into a virtue.
And should you buy or rent it, don’t fail to watch the making-of material in the bonus features. Once you know that the South Atlantic and the ruins of R’Lyeh were filmed in somebody’s back yard, you’ll be about ready to give it a go yourself.
It’s a fine adaptation, a curious object, and a lot of fun to watch. And should you speak a language other than English – even I think, Finnish – you can watch in your own mother tongue. The fact that all the dialogue’s on title cards meant that the makers could translate the movie into an eldritch and unspeakable variety of languages. Which, compelled by the will of the Old Ones, they did. Nifty!