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The H.P. Lovecraft Collection Volume 3: Out of Mind

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

The third volume in the H.P. Lovecraft Collection contains some of our favorite Lovecraft inspired films. The sublime Out of Mind seamlessly melds a stealth Lovecraft documentary using dialog based on his numerous personal corespondence, and story fragments from his mythos woven into a single fascinating tapestry. The film also introduces us to Lovecraft the person (through the brilliant characterization by Christopher Heyerdahl). There are lots of in-jokes and references to all things Lovecraftian for the astute fan. Even some iridescent protoplasma shows up but the filmmakers wisely keep their on-screen time very short, hinting at them rather then attempting to gross anyone out. The plot revolves around a modern day artist, Charles Dexter Ward, who inherits a copy of the Necronomicon that casues a series of nightmare excursions into his familial past and to the dream world meeting with Lovecraft himself. The volume also includes John Strysik's The Music of Erich Zann (now with the new 5.1 dolby surround sound mix) and Aaron Vanek's The Outsider & My Necronomicon.

Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Heyerdahl
  • Directors: Raymond Saint-Jean
  • Producers: Michel Ouellette
  • Format: Collector's Edition, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lurker Films, Inc.
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007VXYDM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,298 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Pawlowski on December 22, 2008
Format: DVD
Highly recommended to HP Lovecraft fans. Christopher Heyerdahl plays HP Lovecraft in this wonderfully folded in on itself story within a story, dream within a dream within a dream. The best moments to me are those of Heyerdahl doing monologues in a remarkable impersonation of Lovecraft himself.

The story springs from the monologue by Lovecraft in his beliefs and motivations and then zooms to the future where Randolph Carter comes into his inheritance - the Necronomicon. And then starts flipping in time from there into a pre-history to the modern segments.

But that oversimplifies the constant folding of the story line and characters as they themselves start to meet and try to unravel who is dreaming who.
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Format: DVD
I have no doubt that, along with Carpenter's "In the mouth of madness", "Out of mind" is the masterpiece in the weird and fascinating field of the so-called Lovecraftian cinema, being in itself an excellent homage to the man and writer who now peacefully rests at Swan Point Cemetery. It doesn't have the visionary and apocalyptic qualities of Carpenter's movie, but it really expresses the sense of the world and, I dare say, the philosophy conceived by H.P. Lovecraft.

"Out of mind" deals with dreams and reality, life and art, fictional characters meeting their author, in a surprisingly subtle, intelligent and unprecedented way (at least as far as Lovecraft is concerned). Some sequences are really worth of their literary model, even if the movie can't be considered a real adaptation of any of Lovecraft's tales. Seeing the magnificent Heyerdahl playing (somehow "being") Lovecraft, speaking his own words and in his own accent, always leaves me happily amazed. The final sequence is particularly unforgettable and, in a very peculiar way, touching, especially if one, like me, spent some minutes in front of the real grave of Mr. Lovecraft in Providence, RI.

As always in Lurker Films, the dvd is rich in other short movies (John Strysik's "The Music of Erich Zann", a kind of classic in the genre, would deserve another review...), audio comments (two comments for "Out of mind"!), trailers, etc., not to say the most interesting interview with S.T. Joshi. "The Call of Cthulhu" trailer is specially beautiful and funny. By the way, in the useful and well-written booklet of the dvd you find the name Cthulhu written "Cthuhlu": it's not a problem, but maybe in future editions this little mistake could be corrected.

Luca C. Foffano (Milan, Italy)
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Format: DVD
This third collection by Lurker Films has the wonderful Television biography episode shown on Bravo! Canada entitled Out of Mind: The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft. The film seamlessly melds a documentary about Lovecraft with elements of actual Lovecraft storys, and a Lovecraft inspired plot of its own. The result is an excellent sampler of the Lovecraftian world. The disc also contains a couple of audio commentaries which were ok, trailers for upcoming films, interviews, and a few shorts the best of which is The Music of Erich Zann. Recommended.
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Format: DVD
The Story:

The film opens with H.P. Lovecraft (Christopher Heyerdahl) in both live action and interview format discussing his opinions on writing then switches to the story of Randolph Carter (Art Kitching), a young man who has just found that he has inherited a box from a uncle that he never knew he had. Given strict instructions to only open the box while alone, he finds it contains a book called the Necronomicon. Within it's pages are a letter to a professor and two faded pictures, one of his uncle, the other of H.P. Lovecraft.

Speaking some of the words written on back of the picture of his uncle, Carter is then sent on a journey between dreams and reality. When dreaming he is in the past as his uncle, while retaining his own memory. The story is then intertwined with scenes of Lovecraft talking and Carter's own perilous dreams. Discovering as much as he can about his uncle and Lovecraft, Carter must wonder if he is simply a pawn in something much more sinister?

The Picture:

Out of Mind was shot on Super 16mm film and was framed for a 16x9 presentation. However the DVD from Lurker is non-anamorphic, so that viewing on a 16x9 TV will still show the black bars and stretch the images. Also my DVD player indicated that the source for the DVD was from video not the film elements. This is the only criticism you will read from me about this DVD. Having been shot on film, it has the grainy feel that is so enjoyable from 16mm. The colors are a bit faded which works to a tee for the traveling between time. There was times when watching the film you become the camera and move with it through the story. Serge Ladouceur is a veteran cinematographer who does some amazing work on this movie.

The Sound:

Out of Mind is presented in a Dolby 2.
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Format: DVD
Christopher Heyerdahl, who has gone on to work on various series for the Sci-Fi channel, gives here a brilliant performance as H. P. Lovecraft. His opening segment, filmed in black & white as if it were lost footage from the 1930's, shews Lovecraft seated before a large radio microphone. It is a hypnotic illusion -- one wou'd swear that this IS Lovecraft speaking into the camera. During these interview segments, the text spoken is taken directly from Lovecraft's letters and essays. Some years ago, Mr. Heyerdahl was a guest at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, held in Portland at the Hollywood Theatre -- and he stood on stage reading one of Lovecraft's essays "as" Lovecraft. Despite the growth of hair and beard, the performance was magical, and one could dream that this was indeed the Master standing before us on stage. Absolutely wonderful. The film deals with aspects on Lovecraft's life, and there is a separate story line in the tradition of the Cthulhu Mythos. Both stories are brilliantly combined at the conclusion. Interwoven are cinematic tidbits of Lovecraft's tales as plot elements, such as "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and "The Statement of Randolph Carter."

This fantastic DVD also includes bonus features, including: an amazing cinematic rendition of "The Music of Erich Zann" by John Strysik; Aaron Vanek's superb shorts "The Outsider" and "Necronomicon;" an interview with the world's leading Lovecraft scholar and editor, S. T. Joshi ; two audio commentaries on OUT OF MIND with star Heyerdahl and director Raymond Saint-Jean; and a delightful eight page booklet on H. P. Lovecraft and the films contained in this DVD. This is a must-have for all Lovecraftians and fans of ye Cthulhu Mythos!!
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