Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The HP Lovecraft Collection Vol 5 Strange Aeons|
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Documentary
The 5th volume of The H.P. Lovecraft CollectionŽ continues to showcase author H.P. Lovecraft's unique contribution to American Literature having melded the best in traditional supernatural horror with the genre of science ... more »
Compared to other releases in this excellent series...
UbiK | 03/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"..."Strange Aeons", based on the HPL tale "The Thing on the Doorstep" is a bit of a disappointment. Director Eric Morgret tries hard and provides a few decent moments - primarily his shot of the ghoulish-green Asenath (which adorns the evocative DVD cover) which is achieved with some clever mise en scene and the grim ending has some typically HPL-style paranoia. However, some of Morgret's influences are all too clear and a little jarring. Kobayashi Masaki's "Kwaidan" is lifted for the imagery of Waite's face covered in black inked glyphs and the derivative "Return of the Jedi"-style 'Luke meets the Emperor and gets barbequed' showdown between Upton and Waite detracts from a story that doesn't need overt pop culture references to succeed.
Acting-wise it's a mixed bag. Erick J. Robertson's Derby, is a plodding, somnambulistic exercise, while J.D Lloyd plays Derby's mentor, Upton, and his spiral into madness really well. Angela Grillo seems to relish the part of Asenath, getting a few excellent opportunities early on to establish herself with some fun dialogue and sneering looks. But it's Jerry Lloyd's turn as Robert Black that steals the show in a single outstanding scene full of madness and menace with an interesting stage design evocative of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Overall, "Strange Aeons" is a long film at over one buck fifteen and could have done with some judicious editing.
The additonal film on the DVD, "Maria's Hubris," is a German version of the same story and its really very good. At only 13 minutes long and directed by Patrick Weber it's got more dramatic impact than the main feature and a claustrophobic visual style in keeping with a tale involving body-swapping. The small, generally more mature, cast have a typically German grittiness and expressivity about them which tends to overshadow the younger and more inexperienced American cast of "Strange Aeons."
Nonetheless, buy this DVD, watch it on its own merits and I'm sure you'll enjoy aspects of it. Just don't expect a "Cool Air" or "Pickman's Model."
An uneven but decent fifth part in the HPL-series
The Northern Light | Europa, Close to Ultima Thule | 03/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The main feature on this DVD; "Strange Aeons", (really "The Thing on the Doorstep") is a fine tale by European-American author of horror and weird tales from back in the early 1900's; Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Although the tale is a bit lacking in inspiration throughout, it is a very exciting tale of bodily exchange and research into "occult" matters. I was a bit unsure of what to think of this filmed version of the tale, so I had to watch it twice to decide. According to the booklet included in the cover, they had intended to use the original timing, but due to budgetary reasons, they were forced to adapt it the present. This in addition to a very "American late-teen" (you'll know what I mean if you see it) feel to everything throughout the movie was what made me not so fond of it.
Some of the actors are very skilled; the professor, the surprisingly beautiful Asenath Waite, (I know this isn't exactly the type of girl I got in mind when I read of her fishlike eyes and so on, but oh well...) Black in the asylum comes to mind, but from time to time the acting is a bit cheesy. I appreciate that they are on a limited budget and all, and I do enjoy the film, but this isn't really the tale "The Thing on the Doorstep", but more of a loosely based adaption of it, similar to the Semitically Correct film version of LOTR. The inclusion of sexual themes in this particular tale is for once not so out of place, given Asenath's gift for gender exchange. A decent adaption, but once again it is only loosely based on, like pretty much every other adaption we've seen. Why, oh why, can't they just make it like Lovecraft wrote it?
Included on the disk is also a very interesting short interview with John Carpenter on Lovecraft and adapting his work to the big screen. In addition is a minor German film in the same vein as the main feature that isn't really much to say about, and a surprisingly good adaption of "From Beyond", not that it would take much to beat Stuart Gordon's travesty of a film with the same name. This is also a bit different from the tale, but I found it to be quite eerie and well-made. Impressive work from amateurs, to be sure!
So all in all, I was very uncertain of whether to give this 3 or 4 stars, but I decided on 4, given the effort they must have put into this, and it is a rather entertaining DVD."
Another Dandy from Lurker Films
L. Cabos | planet earth | 03/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very interesting adaption though -- like a lot of them -- the inseration of sex is something I wonder if old HPL would have appreciated. The Thing on the Doorstep is one of the lesser Cthulhu stories but, like all the previous editions in this series, well worth adding to your collection."
It's Pretty Good & I'd Watch It Again
Jeff Farrow | 07/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The only problem I had with this film was that the acting was less than stellar--not exactly mediocre--but not really bad either. The story was typical Lovecraft--and that, of course was very good. It involves an affable college professor, a little smug, but basically a good guy. It's his ill luck to have a very daemonic in one of his classes. She challenges him on just about every statement he makes to the class. Then she mentally controls his favorite student, a sort of son figure. Her hold on him because so complete they actually begin to exchange bodies--with sinister results, of course. The woman's power eventually extends to other members of the professor's class & begins to push him right over the edge. There were some excellent, spooky good images in the film. It lacked the power & magnitude of THE CALL OF CTHULHU and sustained suspense & acting in DAGON. Nonetheless, STRANGE AEONS is a must for the Lovecraft/SciFi/Horror video library.
The Call of Cthulhu: The Celebrated Story by H.P. Lovecraft