Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown TV-PG

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(31) IMDb 7.3/10

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is Fear of the Unknown.

Starring:
Isaac Bradley, Ramsey Campbell
Runtime:
1 hour 30 minutes

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown

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This is a must-have for any HP Lovecraft fans out there.
Meow
LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN is a thorough, fascinating documentary about the life, interests, and influences of legendary horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft.
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein
He also is well known for his highly eccentric personality and somewhat sad life.
Inanna Arthen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on November 6, 2009
Format: DVD
"LOVECRAFT: FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN" (2009)

Writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) said: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankindf is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

Just released for home theater, this terrific documentary won the 2008 San Diego Comic Con "Best Documentary" award. H. P. Lovecraft is generally recognized as the father of modern horror fiction. His unique blend of horror, fantasy and science fiction remains popular today and is a great influence on modern horror writers and movie-makers.

This film that is an overdue tribute and of Lovecraft's old world mindset and strange, xenophobic, mostly reclusive life. Film directors John Carpenter ("Halloween") and Guillermo Del Toro ("Hellboy") contribute thoughtful insights into Lovecraft's moody style and original subject matter. And the influence on pop culture and movies in particular.

Popular horror writers Neil Gaimen, Ramsey Campbell and Peter Straub offer informed and enthusiastic comments about Lovecraft's world and influience on them. The documentary is made with great care and is a pleasure to experience.

It sets the bar very high for similar works on other deserving writers. Great graphics and music set the eerie tone that no doubt would please Lovecraft himself. There's extensive bonus material for the interviews as well as a gallery of Lovecraft inspired art and sculpture. (Not rated, widescreen, 90 minutes)
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Inanna Arthen on November 12, 2009
Format: DVD
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) is now recognized as one of the most innovative and influential writers in the horror/fantasy/science-fiction genre. He also is well known for his highly eccentric personality and somewhat sad life. Both his parents died in a mental institution, and Lovecraft himself was a deeply troubled individual who was unable to enjoy intimate relationships, could not hold a job and suffered from constant raging emotions of fear and anger toward racial and ethnic groups different than his own. Despite these liabilities, Lovecraft was undeniably brilliant, not only because of his intelligence (largely home-schooled, he was reading at the age of 3), but because of his ability for original creative thought, the real mark of genius. Lovecraft's literary inventions include "the Cthulhu Mythos," a fictional history of the cosmos in which pre-human gods and creatures survive and threaten to overrun the modern human world, and *The Necronomicon,* an imaginary magical grimoire so compelling that substantial numbers of people believe it actually exists.

Awarded Best Documentary at the 2008 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, *Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown* chronologically relates Lovecraft's life from early childhood to his own death from intestinal cancer in 1937, when he was only 46 years old. The 90-minute film also discusses the evolving aspects of Lovecraft's writing, his core themes, the appeal and impact of his stories, and finally, Lovecraft's lasting influence and popularity.

The production boasts a high degree of craft and attention to detail. The filmmakers were faced with an amplified dilemma: it's hard enough to present non-fiction about a writer in a visual medium.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Matthew T. Carpenter on November 11, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been eagerly anticipating this DVD release for some time now. I approached it as a fan already familiar with the details of Lovecraft's life and having read all of his stories, and many of those in the Cthulhu mythos.

I was not disappointed. This documentary fulfilled all my expectations. It was like spending a few hours with authors whose work I love, and film makers whose mvoies I admire, and all of them love HPL as much as me! I could only wish it was an actual meeting in some cozy pub.

I think this film would serve admirably to acquaint someone unfamiliar with Lovecraft's somewhat peculiar life, and also unfamiliar with his works, with why HPL occupies such a special place in American horror fiction. If you already an assiduous Lovecraftian there will be nothing new here, but you will see some wonderful period photographs and some lovely images of Providence. I think the Frank Woodward did a great job of covering all the important aspects of HPL's life and world view, including his childhood, his teen breakdown/depression, his marriage and why it failed, his racism, his identification with the concept of an English gentleman, his poverty and publication history, and his relationships with other authors. Some might quibble over a detail or two, or might want the emphasis changed a bit, but I think it was a both fair and complete presentation of the man. Clearly this was a labor of love.

What were the highlights for me? Well, everything. Particularly I loved seeing my favorite authors and directors speaking, showing how familiar they are with HPL, how they are so insightful about his influence on them, his limitations and his place in 20th and 21st century horror fiction. I loved every minute Robert Price was on screen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David A. Leon on January 1, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Never read much Lovecraft myself, but I loved this documentary. I obtained the Blu-Ray from Netflix, and I enjoyed it so much I am now purchasing the product from Amazon. If you would like to know who inspired John Carpenter, Guillermo Del Toro, Neil Gaiman, and Caitlin R. Kiernan, not to mention James Hetfield and Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) you aught to watch this documentary carefully.

Lovecraft was the first guy to write horror from a modern scientific perspective. Most horror written prior to Lovecraft, begins and ends with the notion that there is a benevolent God who ensures the final survival and triumph of good over evil, even if there is a cost to that conflict. Lovecraft does not write from that perspective. Lovecraft writes from the perspective of a cold, materialist, scientific universe that does not care about humanity or human conceptions of good and evil. Humanity is not at the center of any grand plan, and we are one of the least significant and least powerful species in the trillion year history of the great universe. His big theme is that humanity is blissfully ignorant about the forces and beasties roaming around the world and the universe. If we knew the truth, we would either be driven mad by the knowledge, or we would commit suicide.

Most horror is written from this perspective today. King Kong, The Creature of the Black Lagoon, Ridley Scott's Alien, John Carpenter's the Thing, In the Mouth of Madness, Hellboy, Steven King's The Mist, and all of the Lovecraft movies have been done according to this perspective. Guillermo Del Toro admits that he has been trying to put together investors to do a grand implementation of At the Mountains of Madness.

You'll love this documentary if you like any of these things.
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