1327 – In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

timespace coordinates: 1990’s New Hampshire

reality isn’t what it used to be…”

In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca. It stars Sam NeillJulie CarmenJürgen ProchnowDavid Warner and Charlton Heston. Informally, the film is the third installment in Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy, preceded by The Thing and Prince of Darkness.

The film pays tribute to the work of seminal horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, with many references to his stories and themes. Its title is a play on Lovecraft’s novella, At the Mountains of Madness, and insanity plays as great a role in the film as it does in Lovecraft’s fiction. The opening scene depicts Trent’s confinement to an asylum, with the bulk of the story told in flashback, a common technique of Lovecraft. Reference is made to Lovecraftian settings and details (such as a character that shares the name of Lovecraft’s Pickman family). Sutter Cane’s novels have similar titles to H.P. Lovecraft stories : The Whisperer of the Dark (The Whisperer in Darkness), The Thing in the Basement (The Thing on the Doorstep), Haunter out of Time (The Haunter of the Dark/The Shadow Out of Time), and The Hobbs End Horror (The Dunwich Horror), the latter also referencing Hobbs End underground station from Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass and the Pit.

The film can also be seen as a reference to Stephen King, who, like Lovecraft, writes horror fiction set in New England hamlets. (wiki)

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1240 – The Sinking City (2019 video game)

timespace coordinates: secluded fishing town of Oakmont, Massachusetts in the 1920s

The Sinking City is an action-adventure mystery horror / open-world detective game with a third-person camera perspective developed by Frogwares and published by Bigben Interactive, inspired by the works of horror author H.P. Lovecraft. Set in the fictional city of Oakmont, the story follows private investigator and war veteran Charles W. Reed as he searches for clues to the cause of the terrifying visions plaguing him, and becomes embroiled in the mystery of Oakmont’s unrelenting flooding. (wiki)

System Requirements (Minimum):  CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 3.3 GHZ / AMD FX-8300 3.3 GHz. / OS: Windows 10 64bit. / VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 4096 MB / ATI R9 290 4096 MB or higher. / FREE DISK SPACE: 40 GB. / DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 4096 MB.

steam   /   ~Let’s Play Gameplay    /   Walkthrough FULL GAME   /   Walkthrough   /   <<trailer   /   review

1062 – Lifeforce (1985)

timespace coordinates: 1986 London / Halley’s Comet MV5BOWFhZGVhYTktOGI2ZC00YmUyLWFhMGUtMDZkYWJjMjUzYjU4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDUxNjc5NjY@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,702,1000_AL_Lifeforce is a 1985 British science fiction horror film directed by Tobe Hooper, written by Dan O’Bannon and Don Jakoby, and starring Steve RailsbackPeter FirthFrank FinlayMathilda May, and Patrick Stewart. Based on Colin Wilson‘s 1976 novel The Space Vampires, the film portrays the events that unfold after a trio of humanoids in a state of suspended animation are brought to Earth after being discovered in the hold of an alien space ship by the crew of a European space shuttle.

Horror and comic book writer C. J. Henderson praised the film: “Lifeforce is an incredible film, and may by be the most intelligent vampire movie ever made … [The ideas presented in Lifeforce] are beyond [others vampire movies] beyond all of them, light-years beyond … the story is what makes this movie hum…. Lifeforce is a true, thinking sci-fi fan’s film”. Andrew Migliore and John Strysik in their Lurker in the Lobby explain that Colin Wilson wrote The Space Vampires as a consequence of H.P. Lovecraft‘s publisher August Derleth challenging Wilson (who was critical of Lovecraft’s writing) to write a Lovecraftian novel himself (a challenge that resulted in three such novels, The Mind ParasitesThe Space Vampires, and The Philosopher’s Stone), and they continue, “[Lifeforce] is big, splashy, and … the scenes of an apocalyptic London are not to be missed. And the film, an obvious tribute to Nigel Kneale‘s Quatermass, has deep roots in Lovecraft’s mythos”. (wiki)

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1045 – The Mist (2007)

timespace coordinates: 2000’s small town of Bridgton, Maine Mtime.comThe Mist (also known as Stephen King’s The Mist) is a 2007 American science-fiction horror film based on the 1980 book The Mist by Stephen King. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont. Darabont had been interested in adapting The Mist for the big screen since the 1980s. The film features an ensemble cast including Thomas JaneMarcia Gay HardenSamuel WitwerToby Jones, and future The Walking Dead actors Jeffrey DeMunnLaurie HoldenMelissa McBride, and Juan Gabriel Pareja. Darabont has since revealed that he had “always had it in mind to shoot The Mist in black and white”, a decision inspired by such iconic films as Night of the Living Dead (1968) and the “pre-color” work of Ray Harryhausen. While the film’s cinematic release was in color, the director has described the black and white print (released on Blu-ray in 2008) as his “preferred version.”

The director revised the ending of the film to be darker than the novella’s ending, a change to which King was amenable. Darabont also sought unique creature designs to differentiate them from his creatures in past films.

Although a monster movie, the central theme explores what ordinary people will be driven to do under extraordinary circumstances. The plot revolves around members of the small town of Bridgton, Maine who, after a severe thunderstorm causes the power to go out the night before, meet in a supermarket to pick up supplies. While they struggle to survive, an unnatural mist envelops the town and conceals vicious, Lovecraftian monsters as extreme tensions rise among the survivors.MV5BMzE3MDk0ODkwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzA5NTk5MTI@._V1_meta-reference to this film appears in one of Stephen King’s later novels, Under the Dome. (wiki)   /   [The Mist (TV series) imdb]

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770

The Weird and the EerieMark Fisher (2016)weird-and-the-eerie-9781910924389_hr


Making Sense of “The Weird and the Eerie” By Roger Luckhurst

(…) “You have probably heard of “the weird” by now, but you may not quite know what it is, or why so many genre critics, cultural theorists, and philosophers are keen to engage with it. It might once have been quarantined as a subgenre associated with sullen Goths and all those arrested-adolescent readers of H. P. Lovecraft, but it has long slithered free of those confines, and now leaves a trail not just straight across the internet, but on the page and in mainstream TV shows and movie screens.

Writers of the New Weird in Britain, like M. John Harrison and China Miéville, briefly rallied to this banner in 2003 before morphing into something else (although the critics still lumber around with the term). Philosophers such as Graham Harman and Eugene Thacker have proposed a “weird realism” — a rival term to “object-oriented ontology” — that replaces Husserl or Heidegger with Horror. One of the early signs of this shift was Mark Fisher’s own symposium on Lovecraft and Theory at Goldsmiths College in London in 2007. In film, David Lynch was always “wild at heart and weird on top,” from his early animated short films up to Inland Empire. On TV, True Detective was pretty weird, with its echoes of Robert Chambers’s The King in Yellow and dark nihilistic mutterings lifted from Eugene Thacker’s In the Dust of this Planet: The Horror of Philosophy Volume 1. Stranger Things was quite weird, although a little too soft-focused and retro to be fully paid up, but The OA was definitely out-and-out weird. Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy of books (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance, all of which appeared in 2014), so far the major achievement of the American translation of the New Weird, will hit mainstream cinemas with Alex Garland’s film adaptation in 2017. Best get weirded up.

Fisher’s guide to this terrain is an excellent place to start your orientation. The book displays his signature knack for reading popular culture (principally music, fiction, and film) in an expressive, demotic way that is still vigorously political and philosophical. Somehow, Fisher magically renders post-Lacanian, post-Žižekian Marxism and the radical anti-subjectivist philosophy of Gilles Deleuze entirely accessible. Only Fisher can enthuse about old Quatermass TV shows in terms of their “cosmic Spinozism” and still (mostly) make sense. With typical disdain for cultural boundaries, Fisher moves crab-wise from Lovecraft and H. G. Wells to the impenetrable mumblings of punk band The Fall; obscure Rainer Werner Fassbinder TV shows from Germany; Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, and Andrei Tarkovsky films; Nigel Kneale TV series from the 1970s; the music of Joy DivisionThe Shining; the unclassifiable fiction of Alan Garner and Christopher Priest; Jonathan Glazer’s extraordinary avant-garde SF film Under the Skin; and surprising appearances of Margaret Atwood’s early fiction Surfacing and Christopher Nolan’s portentous quantum SF blockbuster Interstellar (which receives a great defense).” (read more here)


https://k-punk.org/

http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/


The eeriness of the English countryside

(…) “In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle.

Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture – this occulture – is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething.”

“What are those pressing concerns, though, and what are the sources of this unsettlement? Clearly, the recent rise of the eerie coincides with a phase of severe environmental damage. In England, this has not taken the form of sudden catastrophe, but rather a slow grinding away of species and of subtlety. The result, as James Riley notes, is “a landscape constituted more actively by what is missing than by what is present”. This awareness of absence is expressing itself both in terms of a vengeful nature (a return of the repressed) and as delicate catalogues of losses.”

“Digging down to reveal the hidden content of the under-earth is another trope of the eerie: what is discovered is almost always a version of capital. Keiller’s Robinson tracks the buried cables and gas-pipes of Oxfordshire, following them as postmodern leylines, and tracing them outwards to hidden global structures of financial ownership. Wheatley’s deserters rapaciously extract “treasure” from the soil, by means of enslavement and male violence. In his cult novel Cyclonopedia (2008), the Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani figured oil as a sentient entity, developing Marx’s implication that capital possesses emergent and self-willed properties, that it is somehow wild.” /  see: 771-robinson-in-ruins-2010

(read more here)

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A suitable place for violence? Orford Ness, Suffolk. photograph by Emma Johnson