Out of Mind: The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft

May 16, 2015 by

Out of Mind_The Stories of HP Lovecraft-1Although he died a virtual pauper, Howard Phillips Lovecraft is now celebrated the world over as one of the leading practitioners of the horror story. Called “The Copernicus of the horror story” by Fritz Leiber, and “The twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale,” by Stephen King, Lovecraft was able to effectively blend elements of the supernatural tale with the concepts of science fiction to create what has been termed the tale of cosmic terror. Called by some the “Cthulhu Mythos” and by others the “Lovecraft Mythos,” his ideas inspired many talented writers of his day–Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Henry Kuttner, Frank Belknap Long, Clark Ashton Smith, and others–to develop stories in the same vein. Today his ideas continue to reverberate, influencing authors, artists, filmmakers, game designers, and other creators to add to Lovecraft’s Mythos.

In August, PulpFest 2015 will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of H. P. Lovecraft’s birth. As part of its salute, the convention will be offering several films as part of its nightly programming. Opening up its “Lovecraft at the Movies” series will be an hour-long picture directed by Raymond St-Jean and originally aired on the Bravo cable network in Canada.

Almost universally praised, OUT OF MIND features Christopher Heyerdahl as the author himself, speaking into the camera to create the illusion that the viewer is watching a lost newsreel of Lovecraft.  Employing ideas from his fiction, his essays, and the voluminous correspondence that H. P. Lovecraft conducted during his lifetime, Heyerdahl discusses the author’s life, his vision, and his work.

Melding its imagined documentary of Lovecraft with a story about a contemporary artist who inherits a copy of Abdul Alhazred’s NECRONOMICON–the fictional book described by Lovecraft that generally brings a premature and undesirable end to those who explore it–OUT OF MIND is one of the most admired films to be inspired by the master of the cosmic terror tale.

Leading off PulpFest’s “Lovecraft at the Movies” series at 11:30 PM on Thursday, August 13th, OUT OF MIND will be preceded by “Pickman’s Model,” a short film made for ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY and based on the Lovecraft work of the same title.

The Lovecraft film series continues on Friday evening with THE CALL OF CTHULHU. It concludes on Saturday evening with THE WHISPERER IN DARKNESS. Both films, produced by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, will be accompanied by NIGHT GALLERY episodes inspired by Lovecraft’s fiction.

“Lovecraft at the Movies” is part of PulpFest 2015, running from August 13th to August 16th at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn more about “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” and its “125 Years of H. P. Lovecraft” celebration.

(Christopher Heyerdahl plays writer H. P. Lovecraft in Raymond St-Jean’s made-for-television movie, OUT OF MIND: THE STORIES OF H. P. LOVECRAFT. The 1998 film explores the author’s vision of the conflict between dreams and reality.)

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