Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cthulhu (2007)

I recently finished watching Cthulhu. I only wanted to cover this because more than a few friends have asked me if I've seen it yet, and recently, a friend on Facebook asked about it after I mentioned picking it up as a rental. Here goes.

Now, I did go into this movie knowing full well it was a gay film. But it's also a self-described Lovecraft-inspired film. If you can sit through the first hour, you'll find yourself thinking "Hey, this isn't so bad. Maybe I won't be so harsh while describing it." Then they remind you over and over why you should reconsider. Other than getting the feeling you're watching an awful Lifetime or LOGO movie, the film hurt my sensibilities - over and over. While at parts it seems they really did want to loosely adapt a Lovecraft story, they pause time and again to demonize heterosexuals - in an overt attempt at being grossly stereotypical. I have to presume it was on purpose, lest I think they're so out of touch with heterosexuals they truly believe them to be the way they portrayed, and I would guess they also think all black people like KFC and watermelon.

They also make sure to elevate homosexual males to crucifixion status - of course, at the hands of the aforementioned stereotypical homophobic heterosexual conspiratorial males. They even had an angry mob, complete with torches! Now, I keep saying males to make sure that we understand character development in the film. But they don't target heterosexual males, because that would be wrong. They made sure to include heterosexual women and Christians too. Phew. I thought I was going to be offended. Wait a minute...

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going to sit here and gay bash. But now I'm going to go into the... ickier... parts of the film. "Should I rent this?" you might be asking yourself. Absolutely, if you want to see two gay guys jerking off under a dock. And yes, there is a steamy gay sex scene later on in the movie. That's all I really want to say any more regarding that topic. Thank you and good night, please tip your waitresses.

"Hey! Chief! What about the Lovecraft fans? Have you forgotten us? Aren't you going to make comparisons to Lovecraft's work, namely The Shadow Over Innsmouth? Aren't you going to tell us about any inaccuracies or bastardizations?" Why yes, Virginia, I think I am. First and foremost, Cthulhu himself is only mentioned by name once in the entire text of The Shadow Over Innsmouth (not counting the In His House... reference). This is at the end where the protagonist offers the revelation that the Deep Ones could never truly be destroyed, and paying a tribute to said Great Old One. Any Lovecraft fan who knows Azathoth from an apple probably knows the story related to Dagon. "Who's Dagon?" Dagon was a Phillistine fish god. Now stop interrupting. Dagon was better referenced in Stuart Gordon's Dagon (duh), but that's a topic in itself.

It should be noted also that there aren't really any monsters in this movie (except those awful awful straight people.) Some baby Deep One hybrid things are pretty close. They also show what is supposed to be a few dozen Deep Ones coming out of the sea, but since it was apparently shot from the air, and they apparently didn't want to put much thought into what their Deep Ones would look like - you know, because they're all tiny and semi-out-of-focusey - they're just lanky weirdos walking with their legs apart up a long ass beach. Although, the movie does have Tori Spelling in it, and I challenge the reader to find a more horrifying visage to throw on my screen when I'm not expecting it. The story also takes place on the west coast, in 'Rivermouth,'Oregon, rather than New England; Innsmouth, MA. On the bright side, it was pretty cool to see a ship in the background of one scene bearing the name Alert.

Now, because I'm tired, I'm going to end this post rather quickly. In fact, it seems that the whole post itself has been a series of disjointed impressions rather than a proper review. I can live with that if you can. While I kept trying to give it chances, the movie offended me. It offended my senses because it was a bad movie, and it offended me because I like boobies. As the credits rolled, my wife said the movie could be described using two words. She liked the ones I used a lot better. Gaydiculously Grossorrible. The entire thing reminds of the words H. P. Lovecraft himself wrote in a letter to J. Vernon Shea dated 14 August 1933:

So far as the case of homosexuality goes, the primary and vital objection against it is that it is naturally (physically and involuntarily—not merely ‘morally’ or aesthetically) repugnant to the overwhelming bulk of mankind...

Apologies if anyone is genuinely offended by this post. But you know what? I listen to your opinions, even if I think they're kind of icky. You can deal with mine.

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