The History of Dunwich – Part 1 – It’s Annoying Origins

The origins of the site on which Dunwich sits are shrouded in mystery.  A mystery based on profound indifference and shoddy scholarship.  Legend claims that in the earliest epoch it was the Latrine of Yog Sothoth.  It is believed that the current stratum of bedrock is completely composed of metamorphized coprolite.  Professor Obadiah Bishop of Miskatonic University spent forty years of his academic career studying this coprolite formation and determined that it was almost entirely composed of triceratopsian dung formed from an exclusive diet of poison sumac.  This is thought to explain the funk that emanates from the ground, groundwater, crops and inhabitants of the present day site.  It is also believed to explain the almost constant, frenzied scratching that all Dunwichians indulge in.

The original human inhabitants of the area were members of the Pocnipnarrawampamuckutucs (sometimes shortened to the Muckutucs) tribe.  The Muckutucs were despised by the other tribes because they smelled awful, had thirteen fingers and two rows of teeth.

When the first European settlers arrived, they interbred with the Muckutucs and their descendants had twelve fingers.  Which was an improvement.  But no teeth.  Which was not.  Over time these anatomical oddities became the hallmark of the Dunwichian ancestry and somewhat explained their status as loathed outcasts and pariahs.  Suffice it to say that the rest of New England chose to avoid Dunwich like the plague.

But the American Revolution saw a change.  The patriotic fervor that swept through the rest of New England did not neglect Dunwich.  A company of stout Dunwichians headed up by “Captain” Nehemiah Hoadley marched east to reinforce the colonial army at Lexington.  But when the Boston regiment got a look at the Dunwich contingent approaching from the west, they abandoned their ambush of the British and blasted away at these toothless mutants, mowing them down to the last polydactylous humanoid soul.  After this Dunwich refused taxation by the US government until almost the time of the Civil War.

It was during the nineteenth century that the first truly disturbing events began to occur in and around Dunwich.  In 1824 on the site of Phineas Goodgroates’ orchard, a thousand ton, three-hundred-foot-long caste-iron cylinder fell out of the sky and flattened Phineas’s apple trees and because he was apple picking that day, flattened Phineas too.  This metallic meteor came to be known as the Codpiece of Cthulhu because of the inscription on its side identifying it as such.  The arrival of this piece of sartorial ironmongery was taken as an event of ill-omen.  Opinions varied, although with respect to Phineas all agreed it was definitely a bit of tough luck for him.

But by 1830 the populace had calmed down and normalcy reasserted itself until in the fall of that year when Caleb Sillwright’s turnip patch was similarly bombarded by the aptly named Moustache Comb of Azathoth.  At this point there were calls to abandon Dunwich altogether or at least to install some kind of gargantuan clothes rack above the town in the hope that the Elder Gods would take the hint and stop dropping their effects on Dunwich.  Luckily, cooler heads prevailed.

To be continued.

17FEB2022 – Dunwich Complainer

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Dunwich Republican Committee or as we call it “The Pentaveret.”  The meeting was sparsely attended as many are recovering from a winter bout of Dunwich demonic possession.  First Selectman Cthulhu was under the weather after having eaten some bad “seafood,” which is what he calls people living on the coastline.  So he wasn’t in attendance, which was kind of a relief.  He is a big personality and what with stepping on people and drooling all over the place and dribbling bits of man-flesh when he speaks it is a distraction.

The agenda included a report from the Treasurer that showed a net liability of about ten thousand dollars in the account.  The explanation for this was the cost of repairs to the “old Bishop place” after an interdimensional portal opened up in the kitchen and swallowed up the newly renovated appliances.  And the cook.  Apparently the First Selectman’s cousin Dagon got the address mixed up in his GPS and instead of arriving at the all you can eat buffet at the Dunwich Red Lobster, he materialized in the Bishop place and ate the cook and the contents of the refrigerator.  Luckily the cook was a Democrat and an illegal alien to boot, so after a little hand waving by the First Selectman with the State Police and a fifty-dollar “gratuity,” things were smoothed over.  It really helps to have a way with the common people.

During the Q&A I stood up and asked whether the COVID restrictions mandated by the state legislature and other unpopular decisions by the Democrats would provide a chance for the Republicans to make gains in the legislature this year.  Our State Representative happened to be at the meeting.  He was there to beg us to set up a fundraiser and meet and greet with his constituents.  He fielded this question saying that earlier in February most politicians had agreed that the Republicans would make significant gains this year.  There was even talk of the Governor’s mansion being in reach.

But last week Yog Sothoth was quoted in the larger circulation papers in Arkham stating that if the Republicans retook the legislature and the Governor’s mansion that he would be appointed attorney general and he intended to dispense with all criminal justice functions and immediately round up the democratic voters and have a luau.  He figured the Great Old Ones, once assembled for the feast could eat their way through the Evil Party in about forty-eight hours.

For whatever reason this seemed to spook the voting populace.  The consensus opinion was described as, “Yes the Democrats are inhumanly cruel and a terrible governing elite, but they’ve never clearly stated that they intend to eat their opponents alive.”  When Yog heard about this reaction, he complained that he had been taken out of context.  The Committee agreed that it was most regrettable that Yog had couched his answer quite so specifically.  Leaving a little wiggle room when talking about eating people alive is probably a good idea when dealing with those unfamiliar with the Cthulhu clan.  Well Yog is known for his honesty and candid speaking style.  I’m sure he can win over the crowd in time.

The final order of business was the Green Energy Initiative.  The town had been provided with $600,000 by the state and federal governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Dunwich.  The Republican Committee had been approached by the First Selectman to create a team to draft a proposal for the town.  He told us to make sure we stayed within the budget but he encouraged “creative solutions.”  As an example, he mentioned that his cousin Azathoth owed him a favor and for almost no cost he could rearrange the very fabric of space-time so that only elements below carbon in the periodic table could still exist in our space-time continuum.  When the Republican Chair mentioned that all life as we know it not to mention all solid planets would cease to exist the First Selectman was heard to say, “That kind of nit-picking isn’t going to get you anywhere in this town.”  So, we’re still fielding ideas.  The committee is thinking maybe some solar panels on the abandoned church.

Another Annoying Dunwichian Disturbs My Day

Last week I was accosted by Albert Wilmarth, a nut who teaches some kind of intersectional studies nonsense at Miskatonic University.  I was heading back from a walk in Dunwich Forest when this wild-eyed kook rushes up to me and warns me that the Mi-go have removed Henry Akeley’s brain and were going to take it into outer space.  Well, this story seemed ridiculous on its face because anyone who has met Akeley knows he has no brain.

So, I tried to calm Wilmarth down by slapping him repeatedly in the face.  After about thirty slaps my hand got tired so I stopped.  I asked him to give me the details of these Mi-go.  He said that Akeley had described them as large, pink, fungoid, crustacean-like entities the size of a man, that have a “convoluted ellipsoid” composed of pyramidal, fleshy rings and covered in antennae in the place that where a head should be. So, I started slapping him with my left hand.  This time I got up to up to forty slaps.  At that point Wilmarth seemed less eager to continue the conversation and asked me to promise to stop slapping him.

Well, how could I refuse?  He’d been such a good sport up until this point.  I told him to relate Akeley’s story but keep it reasonable.  Wilmarth related a tale of how Akeley had corresponded by letter with him.  The letters related Akeley’s discovery of a drowned Mi-go at the fords of the Miskatonic river and how the living Mi-go then lay siege to Akeley’s farmhouse whispering in their buzzing voices about how they would remove his brain and take it along on their journeys to Pluto and beyond.  He further related how only his rifle and his dozen or so ferocious German shepherds had been responsible for keeping these mushroom lobsters from capturing him.  But he told me that the Mi-go were taking a terrible toll and every day he had to replace four or five of his dogs that were killed in the war.

I asked him, if Akeley was besieged how it was possible for him to procure more dogs and in fact how was he able to post these letters.  Wilmarth supposed that during the day the Mi-go went back home to their underground lair under the domed hills that they inhabit.  So I asked him why Akeley didn’t call in the police to witness this nightly battle.  Wilmarth seemed a little confused by this line of questioning and implored me not to start slapping him again.

So, I let that problem go for the time being and asked him to continue with his tale.  Then Wilmarth related how suddenly last week Akeley’s letters changed their tone.  And handwriting style too.  Akeley said that he had come to terms with the Mi-go and they were actually really nice guys and some were even Shriners.  And he told Wilmarth to come visit him at his farmhouse and Akeley would tell him amazing secrets of the interstellar travels of the Mi-go.  Wilmarth related how he visited Akeley who sat in a chair in a dark room covered in a blanket and how his face was unmoving and his speech was a muffled buzzing which somewhat resembled the noises that lobsters make when they’re thrown in a pot of boiling water.  And that the sandwiches and coffee he provided were awful but he ate them anyway.  And after retiring to Akeley’s guest bedroom for the night Wilmarth heard strange buzzing noises downstairs and when he got back to the dark room, he found Akeley missing but among the blankets on his chair he found a mask-like face and human hand-like shapes that looked like Akeley’s hands and face.  So, he ran out of the house screaming like a little girl.

Then Wilmarth started screaming like a little girl.  I had promised not to slap him so I kneed him in the groin.  That stopped the screaming.  After he was able to get up off the ground, he convinced me to go to Akeley’s farmhouse.  When we got there Wilmarth refused to go in so, armed with a fallen tree limb that was on the lawn I walked into Akeley’s house of horrors.  I found the darkened room that smelled pretty bad and the chair with the blankets but instead of the severed hands and face of Henry Akeley, I found one of those Michael Myers masks and those latex monster hands that they used to sell around Halloween.  Suddenly someone behind me shouted so I swung my makeshift club and laid my opponent low.  After finding the light switch, I realized that I had done the impossible.  I had brained a man without a brain.  There was Henry Akeley, with hands and face intact except for a large bump on his forehead where I had clonked him.

After he started to come to, I caught him up on why I was there.  He sheepishly admitted that he owed Wilmarth a bunch of money and had hoped that if he believed the whole story about being shanghaied to Pluto by lobster fungus, he could string him along forever and never pay him.  I felt bad for playing baseball with his skull so I told him that I wouldn’t rat him out to Wilmarth.  He offered me some sandwiches and coffee but I told him I’d pass.  That house smelled really funky.

When I rejoined Wilmarth out front I informed him that Wilmarth had been replaced by a Mi-go that had been surgically altered to exactly resemble Akeley.  I told him I escaped by using advanced martial arts that I had learned while studying in a Tibetan monastery.  I advised him never to go near Akeley’s house again and if he ever saw him walking around town to avoid him for fear of having his brain removed and sent to Pluto.

I really need a better class of neighbors.

02DEC2021 – Dunwich Complainer – Local COVID Actions

Here in Dunwich as everywhere in America, COVID has been a scourge.  Of course, the spread and the symptoms in Dunwich are atypical and highly disturbing (as is everything here).  The disease is completely restricted to a one-mile radius around the historic home of Zebadiah Cobblestoner the legendary Whaling Fleet Magnate.

Zebadiah was known in the early nineteenth century as the whale prostate king.  His company sold pickled whale prostate throughout the New England region where its healing properties were much in demand.  And with the proceeds of this lucrative trade Zebadiah built a magnificent mansion in his native town Dunwich.  And there he lived in great opulence until the great whale prostate crash of 1841.  In that year the medical profession actually investigated the “healing effects” of whale prostate and discovered that its only effect on humans was to imbue its users with a decidedly bright blue coloration around their private parts.

Needless to say, Zebadiah’s fortunes fell on hard times.  In addition, a local witch named Hepzibah Goodbody was so outraged at the coloration she had contracted that she put a curse on Cobblestoner that not only killed him but rendered his mansion a nexus of contagion and miasma ever after.  At first this miasma was restricted to anyone foolhardy enough to inhabit Zebadiah’s mansion.  But over the years the contagion grew until now it had reached out to all the inhabitants of the formerly prestigious Toenail Hill area.  The malady starts out as general abdominal discomfort but in its terminal stage it presents as an exaggerated swelling of the lower abdomen followed by detonation of the prostate which usually leaves only the legs and upper body of the victim intact.  Surprisingly both males and females are equally afflicted in this syndrome.

Now you may be asking yourself how a nineteenth century witch’s spell that causes people to explode could be diagnosed as COVID.  Well, it turns out that the federal and state governments have provided, let us say, inducements to local governments for finding COVID cases in their areas.  And let’s face it, it’s not cheap cleaning up the biohazard when someone’s pelvic region explodes so First Selectman Cthulhu worked it out with the Dunwich Department of Health to sort of roll the Cobblestoner Curse victims in with the COVID census.

But with the recent state budget cuts the “subsidy” for the COVID cases has dried up and so the Board decided something should be done to clean up this problem.  I was contracted to do it.  And it was stressed that I could employ all means necessary.

Using satellite imagery, I was able to triangulate the source of the miasma to a corner of the Cobblestoner estate.  In fact, it turned out to be centered around Zebadiah Cobblestoner’s private cemetery.  I brought along one hundred tanker trucks, each loaded with 6,000 gallons of aqua regia which is a combination of saturated hydrochloric acid and fuming nitric acid.  My team excavated down to one hundred feet where we started to uncover a stone-like mass of enormous size finally we could see its shape was spherical with a diameter of over a thousand feet.  When we reached the bottom of this structure, we saw with horror that it was attached to the centuries dead but normal sized corpse of Zebadiah Cobblestoner.  We had uncovered his decidedly malign hypertrophied prostate bulging out of his body!

We climbed out of the excavation in a panicked rout but before following my team in a sprint for the hills I slammed the valve actuator that released the veritable lake of hyper-corrosive acid into the pit.  As I panted from the effort of escaping the scene, clouds of acrid fumes spread along the ground.  Earth tremors made it difficult to keep my legs under me but I finally reached a ridge about a mile off from the pit.  And there I witnessed a sight that has shaken my sanity and left me a shell of the man I was.

The ground around the pit convulsed and swelled.  The prostate swelled up to ten times its size and glowed a bright yellow.  Then the prostate shrank down and disappeared below ground.  But suddenly the corpse of Cobblestoner took its place swelling up to the size of the prostate and even larger.  Its face was distorted with pain and rage and I feared something truly horrible was about to occur.  All at once an enormous flatulence erupted from the nether regions of Cobblestoner.  A hurricane of unbelievably foul air stormed past me.  But almost as soon as it arrived it passed and a look of angelic peace suffused Cobblestoner’s face and then he slowly shrank back into the pit.

After a safe period of time had elapsed, I dared to return to the top of the pit.  There was no sign at all of Cobblestoner or his cursed prostate.  The area had been miraculously cleansed by the potent acids and the miasma was gone!  There are signs in the last few days that Toenail Hill is once again a healthy place.  I’ve notice that Zillow has quadrupled the value of all the local real estate and speculators have snatched up all the likeliest properties including the Cobblestoner mansion and gravel pit.

One other salubrious result of the exorcism is that for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic not a single COVID victim has exploded.  That means I’ll probably get paid for my efforts by the Town of Dunwich.  And I call that a win.

Thanksgiving in Dunwich

I’ve been so busy with my own personal Thanksgiving plans that I lost track of what the town of Dunwich was planning for the holiday.  Last year the COVID lockdown put a damper on this but this year First Selectman Cthulhu and the rest of the Board were determined to get things back to normal.  So, to get the ball rolling Cthulhu invited fifty of the wealthiest and most influential Dunwichians to his house on Monday for a sumptuous dinner.

Of course, there was a misunderstanding.  The guests assumed they were going to eat instead of being eaten but you can hardly fault the First Selectman for that.  He was specific that the menu would come directly from his favorite cookbook, “To Serve Man.”  When I spoke to him, he was still recovering from overindulging but after a couple of barrels of Alka Seltzer he was feeling much better.  He told me his favorite moment was when the guests walked through a doorway and after failing to find any light switches on the walls used their phone lights to determine that they were inside their host’s mouth.  Their screams of terror made the meal all that much more enjoyable.  Oh, that First Selectman, he’s incorrigible!

I read an advertisement in the Dunwich Complainer that a town fair was going to take place on Wednesday.  There would be the usual pie contests and a silent auction for the various crafts that the townspeople would donate.  There were also supposed to be games.  The one that interested me the most was the sack race.  In most towns this is a pretty straight forward affair but the twist that is employed in Dunwich is that Cthulhu alters the geometry of space in the playing field.  This makes moving in a straight line rather tricky.  Three years ago, Josiah Bishop ended up falling through a portal and landed inside of Azathoth’s gallbladder.  He reappeared three weeks later in pretty horrendous condition.  His ears had pretty much melted off and his hair was orange.  When asked what happened he said, “Outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity—the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.”  A lot of people just assumed Josiah had just stomped off because he’s a sore loser and because Jenkin Brown took the prize and they’ve never gotten along.

But by far the oddest story I’ve heard this week was from Arthur Birdsong.  He was walking through some of the more overgrown areas of the northern hills of Dunwich when he was caught in one of the frequent thunderstorms.  Searching for cover he saw a very dilapidated house and ran to it.  The door wasn’t locked so he let himself in.  Finding a fire in the living room he warmed himself and then looked around at his surroundings.  There was a very old book open on a table and he saw that the book was describing cannibalism among certain tribes in Africa and an illustration showed a butcher’s shop with human body parts for sale.  Arms, legs and organs were grouped on tables.  Suddenly he heard a door open above and a white-haired man in 17th century garb walked down the staircase.  The man saw that Arthur had been interested in the book and he began a long meandering tale, the gist of which was that he had come to the notion that feeding on human flesh would enormously extend the human lifespan.  Just then a drop of blood from the ceiling splashed down in between the two men and Arthur looked up and saw an enormous spot of blood on the ceiling and realized that the horrid old man was a cannibal and had just been butchering of one of his victims upstairs.

At first Arthur was hoping that a bolt of lightning would burn the house and the cannibal in the righteous fire of heaven.  But when that failed to happen, he asked the old man what time was dinner.

Arthur had to admit that human pot pie wasn’t bad.  A little gamey and fatty but no worse than mutton.  And the old fellow even threw in some pretty decent hard cider.  So, they became pretty chummy and after dinner they stayed up late chatting and Arthur discovered that they had both gone to the same prep school.  So, they sang school songs and Arthur invited his new friend over for Thanksgiving dinner.  He had been planning to serve a turkey dinner but in light of his new perspective on health food he decided to invite his least favorite blue-haired feminist wine-auntie over and serve her up instead.  I told Arthur that was splendid and I hoped it became a family tradition.  He sadly informed me that he only had three wine-aunties so it would be a short-lived tradition.  I told him to cheer up.  I have dozens of relatives that need eating.  I told him I’d donate one of mine every Thanksgiving for the foreseeable future.  Well, this brought tears to Arthur’s eyes and he declared it a “Thanksgiving Miracle.”  I said, “Nonsense, it is always better to give than to receive.”

So, you can see we here in Dunwich have a lot to be thankful for; friends, family and meat tenderizer.  Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving allows you to enjoy your family as much as we intend to enjoy (parts of) ours.

13NOV2021 – Dunwich Complainer – Irregular Edition

After a day of rain, some wonderful late fall weather has broken out in Western Dunwich.  Up here in the hill country there have been only sporadic sightings of shoggoths and the odd micro-eruption from the parallel dimension where the lobster fungi of Yuggoth hang out.  Out in the west field I noticed some strange and indescribable colors to the foliage on an elderberry shrub which I immediately attributed to a meteoric landing of the Color Out of Space.   But then I remembered I’m color blind so I dialed that back to perfectly normal green.  When I drove out to our grocery store, the one that’s housed in a ruinous, desanctified, former church the proprietor, a man named Jedediah Spoonhandle, eyed me suspiciously when I entered his building.   When I asked to buy some soap, he accused me of being in league with the devil.  But when I told him I wanted to purchase a dozen frogging gigs he became enraged and attacked me bodily.  Apparently, he has some relatives from Innsmouth who have a slightly batrachian look to them.  I finally subdued him by clubbing him senseless with a leg of lamb that was at hand.  I took the gigs and left the price in paper and coinage on his stunned carcass.

Travelling back to the Compound I reflected on the wonderful world we live in and the strange occurrences that seem to follow me wherever I go.  But then I remembered that it’s Saturday and Saturday is a strange day around here so that put things in perspective.  When I arrived home, I asked Camera Girl if anything had happened while I was gone.  She said no but looking out the kitchen window I noticed that something had flattened two sheds and about a dozen cattle on the neighboring field belonging to Josiah Whateley.  When I brought this to her attention she stopped to reflect then said, “Yes, but it is Saturday.”  So, I shrugged and said, “Yeah, that’s true.”

I hadn’t spoken to old Whateley in a while so I ambled over to his field where he was collecting cow carcasses for salvage and I greeted him cheerily.  But for whatever reason he seemed sort of quiet.  So, I asked him what was the matter and he said, “T’ain’t right that unspeakable, blasphemous, eldritch abominations from beyond space and time keep flattening my outbuildings and livestock whenever they get a notion.”  So, I said, “Well Josiah, why don’t you ask for help at the next Town Council?”  But he backed up with a look of revulsion and said, “And be branded a complainer like you?  No thankee.”

I should have known that even in the heart of a quagmire of unspeakable horror that good old Yankee independence would recoil against asking for help from his neighbors.  I agreed with Josiah and mentioned that one of his flattened sheds looked like it could be used as a patch for one of his other sheds that had only been half flattened and that his smashed cattle would make a very good mulch for his alfalfa field.  I like to think that my talk cheered him up some.

As I walked back to my house, I noticed that a tentacle about as thick as a telephone pole and about a hundred feet long was dragging a full-grown black bear into the swamp.  The panicked roaring of the animal as it was pulled under the surface reminded me that life in Dunwich was full of unexpected problems that could ruin your peace of mind if you didn’t make sure to look on the bright side of things and whistle a happy tune.  I thought, “That poor bear, he probably forgot to look on the bright side of things and he certainly wasn’t whistling a happy tune, and now look at him.”

And by golly now I was right back in step with the world.  I dashed for the side door just as a squadron of eagle sized dragonflies made a bee line for me.  I beat them to the door just in time to hear them slam into the outside of the door after I had drawn the deadbolt.  Suckers!

After a wonderful dinner I sat down in the living room to write up this little post when the motion detector on the west side of the house activated the flood light.  In the dazzling light half a dozen ghouls were staggering back toward the tree line.  I thought about running for my rifle and trying to pick off a few of them but I remembered that ghoul hunting season didn’t start until December so I smiled sheepishly and went back to finishing this report.

Well it was a quiet day in Dunwich today but enjoying nature and the simple pleasures of interacting with neighbors shows you what’s really important in life; timing, muscle memory and pure dumb luck.

Local Election Results in Dunwich

Living as I do in the mythical New England town of Dunwich, election results take a little longer than they do in the outside world.  What with eruptions of elder gods and eldritch horror of nonspecific origin popping up incessantly it takes the election committee quite a lot of time to count the white and black pebbles that we use for voting purposes.  I mean when they’re distracted, they lose count and have to start all over.  And then there are the disqualifications.  If one of the candidates is discovered to have webbed fingers or toes or gills during the mandatory examination, then everything has to stop while the unfortunate individual is burned at the stake or crushed under a door stacked with large smooth stones.  Lately they’ve switched completely to door crushing because of the greenhouse gases emitted by the stake burning procedure.  Time marches on.  Of course, the runner-up is glad, as long as he isn’t similarly non-conforming.

Well, the point is we finally have our results and they are pleasing.  The stupid party was resoundingly re-elected and the evil party was gratifyingly defeated.  I performed an exorcism rite complete with incantations from the Necronomicon (or was it Comic-Con?) and rendered all attacks by the power of darkness null and void (in other words I paid up my property taxes).  And now I can expect to enjoy another two years of quiet, efficient, demonic public service by the good people of the stupid party as they do their best to hold the powers of the evil party at bay.

I intend to continue attending the local Republican Party meeting and find out if I can get involved in some less painful volunteer services.  I’d like to work with the election committee and find out how the sausages get made.  And in fact, I’d also like to find out what other functions I can help out around town.  I may be trapped here in Dunwich for a few years so I might as well make the best of it.

Who knows, maybe I’ll become an adjunct lecturer at Miskatonic University in advanced perpetual motion engineering.  We all have to do our best to save the planet.  After all, both Greta Thunberg and Cthulhu are depending on us.

Color Out of Space (2019) – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie Review

Tyler Cook of the Portly Politico and I have decided to cross link on our reviews for this movie.  We both thought this movie was awful but we thought that readers should see nuanced differences.  Actually what you’ll see is our two styles.  Tyler is a witty and intelligent writer and I like to rant.  So here’s the link to his review and below is mine.

This is a cinematic version of Lovecraft’s story about a meteor that lands in a rural Massachusetts farmyard and infects the soil and the water with an entity that subtly alters the plants and animals and then sucks the vitality and finally the life out of every living thing around it before shooting back into space leaving a dead landscape behind.  But let us say the movie takes liberties with this plot.

How do I hate this movie?  Let me count the ways.

First off, I despised all the characters in this story.  I even despised the seven-year-old who was the youngest kid in the family.  They are stereotypical yuppie transplants to the countryside and all of them have extremely annoying personalities.  The father is Nicholas Cage and he spends his time milking alpacas and raising heirloom tomatoes.  The mother is a financial advisor who has neglected her kids to the point that older son is a useless pothead, the daughter is a bitter Wiccan wannabe and the younger son appears to be a doofus.  Tommy Chong is the forest dwelling pot grower who supplies the son with his weed and also seems to be acquainted with alien invasions.  Then there is the hydrologist who is taking water samples for a new reservoir that will be covering the property that Nick Cage’s family currently inhabits.  He walks around warning everyone about the dangers of meteorites and contaminated water but achieves nothing other than somehow surviving the apocalypse.

Next is the plot.  In the original Lovecraft story, the baleful influence of the entity slightly modifies the appearance of plants and animals but its most powerful effect is the sapping of the life force and eventually even the structural integrity of organic materials.  By the end of the book the whole farm where the meteor lands, the house, the trees, the animals and people, the wagons and the fences crumble to dust.  Only stone and metal remain.

In this version of the story the entity is able to fuse groups of animals together into hideous many-headed monsters.  It can disable all communication devices and even alter time, making days and nights shorter as needed.  So, they’ve revved up the monster’s power quite a bit.  But the use they put this to is horrendous.  In one scene the mother and the seven-year-old kid are walking in the dark near the barn when the creature zaps the both of them with its potent “light.”  Next, we see that the mother and the little boy have been fused together.  His head is attached to her shoulder, their torsos are fused and both of them are writhing in agony.  And the older son characterizes what’s happening to them as the younger son being re-absorbed into the mother’s body.  Even the thought is horrifying to consider.  And later on, the fused creature starts taking on a preying mantis like shape and Nick Cage’s character shoots both of them in the head to end this nightmare.  Okay sure, this is a horror movie and it’s no more disgusting than the scenes in John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” but he didn’t use a mother and a little boy as the victims of this abomination.  To my mind this is awful.

Finally, the acting.  The only cast members I’ve heard of are Nick Cage and Tommy Chong.  I’m guessing the rest of the cast is unknown and they should stay that way.  They were awful and so were the two better known actors.  The script was awful.  The plot was tedious and the resolution seemed pointless and annoying.  I will say some of the special effects were interesting looking and well done.  But not the fused animals and people.  Those were hideous and depressing.

I would avoid this movie.  Nick Cage has descended indeed from the time when he was a pretty good actor.  He should be ashamed that he was in this crap.   Seeing this movie has ruined a perfectly good day out of my life.  Not recommended.

10JUN2021 – OCF Update

Today is a disrupted day due to errands and visits.  But also I have to watch the Nick Cage movie of the H.P. Lovecraft story “The Color Out of Space.”  Tyler Cook of the Portly Politico and I have agreed to each watch this stinkeroo and then review it to the best of our abilities.  He has watched it and assures me it’s awful.  So today I will bite the bullet and watch it before Camera Girl gets back from weekly shopping.  I am dreading the experience already.  The things I do for my art.

Nicholas Cage – The Man, the Myth, the Legend – Giving Shatner a Run for his Money

It has been brought to my attention that a film version of “The Color of Space,” one of the only good H.P. Lovecraft stories, was made last year and it starred Nick Cage.  I vowed I would watch, no matter how bad.  And to get my self in the mood to appreciate this cinematic experience, I watched a very funny SNL skit from back in 2012 when the show was only mostly bad.

Here’s the trailer for this magnum opus.  How could it go wrong?