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Sunday, June 22, 2008


What happens when you leave your home to not only escape your family’s oppression of your queer sexual identity but also because your father is the head of a “Great Old Ones”- idolizing cult in a small Pacific Northwestern town?

Director Dan Gildark and screenwriter Grant Cogswell depict one of the possible answers to this question in the film Cthulhu.

For the uninitiated, the title is pronounced “kuh-THOO-loo.”

Who are the “Great Old Ones”, you may ask? Early 20th century horror writer H.P. Lovecraft created the fictional deities called the Great Old Ones who, when awoken from their deep sleep at the bottom of ocean, would come back to the surface to reclaim the planet as their own. No one is exempt from the sheer horror of their return and you had better be on their good side because these ancient deities are merciless and will destroy your perceptions of reality with a mere flailing of their tentacles. Cthulhu is just one of these terrifying Great Old Ones who will resurface.

Yeah…I don’t want to get on Cthulhu’s bad side. Ever.

Gildark’s film, shown this past Saturday night as a part of Frameline’s San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, deals with issues of family, sexuality, religious cults and the ultimate understanding that one can never go home again. A reinterpretation of Lovecraft’s short story, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Cthulhu involves a mystery surrounding the hometown of Russell Marsh (Jason Cottle)and his family’s involvement in a shadowy cult that may be responsible for the disappearance of numerous townspeople. As Russell searches for answers, he reunites with his old friend/flame, Mike (played with a sexy steadiness by Scott Patrick Green).
Oh, yes, and Tori Spelling is in it as well. She is actually quite good.

When introducing his film to the audience, Gildark announced that the film will be undergoing another edit and then distributed by Regent Releasing in August or September of 2008. Along with those big plans, he also commented that his film is about “just plain folks.” I agree with that assessment. What makes Cthulhu so riveting is not only the mounting suspense as the mystery surrounding Russell and his family begins to spiral out of control, but also the exploration of sexual orientation and gender that take place within the bond between Russell and Mike, as well as the depictions of heterosexuality as expressed by the religious cult.

This film has chills, thrills and the sheer dread of knowing that no one, not even queer folks, are beyond the unspeakable horror that is Cthulhu.



  • Looks interesting. Does it go beyond the usual knee-jerk "sexuality is the naughty-bad-evil" we usually get in horror flicks?

    - Brian

    By Blogger trollsmyth, at Sun Jun 22, 10:04:00 PM PDT  

  • Actually, the messages about sex absolutely go beyond that. The sexuality between Russell and Mike is definitely positive and human. The way sex is used by the cultists is purely for procreation.

    Sex is not the horror in this film. In fact, it is merely a means to an end in some ways. And in the grand scope of what is evil in this film, sex is the last thing that is considered evil!

    By Blogger Desiree Valdez, at Sun Jun 22, 10:35:00 PM PDT  

  • Cool, thanks. That's good to hear.

    I must admit, it's hard not to go all "Camille Paglia" on what this movie might be like, based on the snippets from the trailer. ;)

    - Brian

    By Blogger trollsmyth, at Sun Jun 22, 10:41:00 PM PDT  

  • Yeah...The people that make trailers for movies are totally separate from the actual creators of the films. Trailer companies do everything they can to cast a net wide enough to get the most people to come see the movie.

    If you are interested in the film, check it out and see what you think!

    I actually think the stills do the actual film more justice.

    By Blogger Desiree Valdez, at Mon Jun 23, 08:23:00 AM PDT  

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