Phonicon science fiction convention
Date: 7 April 2013
Location: Phoenix Arts Centre, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter
CHILD (Under 14) £4.00
FAMILY (2 adults 2 children) £25.00
Something exciting is coming to the city and I will be there on the day interviewing Devon-based film maker and Fangoria writer Ashley Thorpe. The Q& A session will not only focus on his successful award-winning short films but I will attempt to unearth more information about his Spring-Heeled Jack and Borley Rectory Projects.
I also have the privilege of being able to introduce the HP Lovecraft Historical Society later that day. The Society was founded by a group of Lovecraft fans and they are a very talented bunch as over the years they have turned a number of HP Lovecraft‘s tales into audio recordings such as Shadow over Innsmouth and the Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
These are incredible productions and they’re value for money too. Let’s face it, some of Lovecraft’s tales have over the years been produced as audio CDs but the voices of some narrators are less than inspiring.
[NB an exception is the podcast material, produced by Andrew Leman and Chad Fifer, is definitely worth a listen. Their version of Call of Cthulhu is a greate xample of how to produce quality podcasts. Their Cthulhu illustrates how the narration is brought to life through an interesting voice (that of Andrew Leman’s) supported by wonderful sequences of music that was produced by Chad Fifer.]
At least one can always rely on the fans to produce the goods (look what happened with Dr Who in the late 1980s) the HPLHS bring Lovecraft’s writings to life through dramatisation, great sound effects and a masterful supportive soundtrack to boot. However, their hard work has also been translated onto the big screen. The Call of Cthulhu was released in 2005 and has since won acclaim and several awards. Honouring the old black and white silent films, this production used basic special effects proving that old tricks of the trade still work to produce on-screen magic. It was a wonderful moment seeing Lovecraft’s story come to life, even the mighty Cthulhu appeared to be a nod to Ray Harryhausen.
So on the 7th April visitors to the Phonicon (Black Box Studio) will be able to watch The Whisperer in Darkness, which was written by Lovecraft in 1930. This 2011 adaptation is true to the original tale with the exception of the appearance of Charles Fort. Although not one of Lovecraft’s characters, Lovecraft himself would have appreciated the addition of a man who at the time was clearly interested in understanding anomalies that had been observed in reported in numerous publications of the day.
Running at just over an hour in length, this silver screen wonder was made in the style of a black and white talkie. The film itself doesn’t look aged as it lacks crackling in the sound and film, it looks a little too clean perhaps, but the storytelling is wonderful and this time the special effects includes CGI which was used to imitate stock motion animation. A superb telling of one of Lovecraft’s most disturbing tales of terror from beyond the stars!