The Necronomicon, The Elder Gods, Dagon, Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep. The maddening creations of a tortured mind.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, created the mythos behind these other worldly horrors scratching & clawing to breach our time & dimension. We must not allow these skittering, un-holy terrors purchase into our world! And yet, famed Director Guillermo del Toro is planning to do just that.
“At the Mountains of Madness” is the novella written by H.P. Lovecraft in 1931. Not published in any form until Astounding Stories printed the hellish work in 1936. Regarding the “Cthulhu Mythos”, This novella apparently demythologizes said mythos and appears to explain the origins of Cthulhu and other features as scientific.
For those of us who love Ron Pearlman’s work in Hellboy, (yet another story that smacks of Lovecraft), we will take great pleasure in once again seeing him on-screen.
Although Perlman’s character, Larson, did not appear anywhere in the story, I find myself happy to accept this brazen alteration of Lovecraft’s genius. I do, of course, understand that certain changes or additions must be made to in order to level the playing field. In other words, what may have been acceptable entertainment in the 1930’s, by today’s standards would seem very tame indeed.
According to an unknown source from IMDB, the storyline for “At the Mountains of Madness” is as follows in this short paragraph.
“A group of scientists and archaeologists travel to Antarctica on an expedition. There they stumble upon the ancient relics of an abandoned city hitherto completely unknown to mankind and uncover a prehistoric species that is awakened only to wreak havoc on their victims.”
There is some speculation from some that say Del Toro intends to set the scene in the NORTH pole instead. I cannot subscribe this line of thinking, Lovecraft chose the southernmost pole of the earth because even at that time it was still considered mysterious and unchecked.
I for one am looking forward to this, regardless of what is to be some literary butchering in the name of modern entertainment.
I welcome your comments, complaints, and, indeed, your questions about this exciting endeavour. And be sure to check back often, I shall be updating this post as the information is made available to me.
(NOT to be mistaken for “the Crawling Chaos”).
This just in from a lengthy article in the New Yorker!
The Mountains of Madness monsters
(The Shoggoth and The Old Ones) could be the most complex del Toro designs to date.
Just the explanation for the Shoggoth creatures in GDT’s next film have us scratching our heads. We have no idea how he will execute this.
“Let’s say that creature A turns into creature A-B, then turns into creature B, then turns into creature B-C. And by the time it lands on a guy it’s creature E.” He discussed one grisly Shoggoth transformation: “It’s like when you grab a sock and you pull it inside out. From his mouth, he extrudes himself.”
And that’s not all the director goes into great detail about “abandoned coral reef” world he’s building for the monsters in which the Old Ones will “torpedo through tubes” to get from one area to another.
“A coral reef is a shitload of skeletons fused together, right? All the technology those creatures have, all their technology is organic. You and I use metals, plastics. These creatures don’t have weapons or chisels. They create other creatures as tools.”
In the early stages GDT referred to the The Old Ones as “cucumbers with wings,” but later on the author got a much better look at the concept designs for the beasts which will open up like a “Swiss Army Knife” revealing wings and tentacles.
The oceanic motif was particularly evident in the design of the Old Ones. Del Toro’s enthusiasm for the lionfish had endured, and the aliens’ wings echoed their flamboyant fins. In motion, he explained, the Old Ones would appear buoyant-“unbound by gravity.” As the camera tracked them caroming around the city, the viewer would feel disoriented, like a panicked scuba diver inside a cave.
But bringing to life H.P. Lovecraft’s Shoggoth is much more complicated.
Since the Shoggoths could mutate into anything, there was no fixed silhouette, but many would feature a “protoplasmic bowl,” an abdomen-like area from which new forms could sprout. One maquette was a disorienting twist on classic Lovecraftian form. It looked like a giant octopus head with tentacles jutting from the top and the bottom-a fearful symmetry. “That’s my belly in the middle,” del Toro joked. In another maquette, the Shoggoth had sprouted two heads, each extending from brontosaurus-like necks. Their skulls could be smashed together to destroy victims. “The idea is to create craniums that function as jaws,” he said. The Shoggoths would often create ghastly parodies of human forms; as they pursued the humans, they would imitate them, imperfectly.